How does P2 student learn to do problem sums

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How does P2 student learn to do problem sums

Postby jollybeans » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:08 pm


I nearly vomitted blood telling my son he needs to write
sentences in his maths problem sums so that the marker knows what
are the working about. There is no head nor tail in the problem solving ! :lightrod:

However he claimed that the teacher only requires them to write
working as in

10 x 2 = 20 , 20 divide 2 = 10

The volume/ etc etc is 20 cm/ litres etc etc

Anyone has children in p2 this year. Could you kindly share your experience w me ? Thanks !

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Re: How does P2 student learn to do problem sums

Postby Funz » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:14 pm

Haha, you son is not wrong

They need only to show workings. No need to write story like we were taught last time. DD's workings are all over the place, if a problem sum has 2 parts, her working for the 2nd part can appear on the top left side of the space given and the 1st part on the bottom right side. Use to drive me nuts when I mark her work.

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Re: How does P2 student learn to do problem sums

Postby jedamum » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:27 pm

the teachers in school should have a set of 'requirements' that they will teach the kids what to expect.
some sch's past yr papers need not write answer statements in Problem sum sections while some need. key is to read the instructions.
focus on building foundations first.
another point i told my boy is to make sure that any numbers that he uses that is not in the question, he has to state how he got that number.

...not sure if i answered your question...:sweat:

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Re: How does P2 student learn to do problem sums

Postby rocklee » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:54 pm


Just to share with you what I have experienced with my two boys who are just 1 year apart. When DS1 was in P1 and P2, his teacher taught him problem sums by writing "intermediate statements". For eg:

Number of apples in each box = 10 + 5 = 15
Number of apples in 10 boxes = 15 x 10 = 150

By doing so, he was able to figure out that he needed to find the apples in each box first before finding the total apples in 10 boxes. Using the intermediate statement as a guide, slowly it helped to develop his logical thinking step by step and as he progressed to P3 and P4, he had a better understanding and can handle most of the problem sums with little help. Most of the time, I just need to give him some pointers and he will be able to figure out the rest.

On the contrary, when DS2 was in P1 and P2, teacher did not require him to write the intermediate statements. Using the above eg, he would just write down the steps as:

10 + 5 = 15
15 x 10 = 150

So when I asked him what did the answer 15 in step 1 represent, he would have to take some time to figure it out or referred to the questions again. This would be time consuming esp under exam condition. If the problem sums involved more than 3 steps, he would get confused easily and soon he would get lost and not knowing how to proceed. As he progressed to P3, he had more difficulty handling problem sums compared to DS1. I had to go through with him step by step what he needed to find and how to proceed from there.

While I don't think that teachers will mark the child wrong if he showed the steps, I think writing down the "intermediate statements" will help to guide the child in his thinking process which will be useful when the problems sums get more complexed. Hence, I strongly believe that proper guidance be given in doing problem sums at lower primary.

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