Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

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Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby learning123 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:51 pm

I tutored a primary 5 girl this year and she was quite bright, but her foundation was very weak and failed her mid years!!

I was surprised when her parent first showed me her grades because primary math always seemed to be very manageable from my past experience.

Thankfully she passed her science after I gave her a crash course 1 day before her exam :D

Getting 90+ for math in primary school is key to a high PSLE score!

To do well in math, the ability to link the different math chapters taught and apply them to solve long problems is very important. My student was especially weak with problem sums because her concepts are in bits and pieces. Strong concept foundation and understanding of the material is required for a student to link well too.

Of course managing the time, and scoring as many marks as possible within the given time is also an essential skill a student needs to master. This is the most easy skill to pick up, if u ask me.

Lastly, Good Quality questions and practice :D

easier said than done, but...it's possible!

learning123
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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby bigsnoopy » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:03 am

Agreed! But how to build strong concept foundation?

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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby learning123 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:09 am

teachers play an essential role, of course if u can help explain concepts to them. If they can ponder over concepts they don't understand and make sense of it on their own, that's even better!

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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby jedamum » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:22 am

erm...any more tips?
easier to read in point form.
1. Read Problem Sum questions.
2. Identify the relevant topics involved.
3. Link concepts to Problem Sum questions.
etc etc.

managing time
1. ___ MCQ/SectB/SectC questions; spend not more than __ min per question.
2. Do MCQ first as easier to score etc (is it true?)
etc etc.

This is however maybe examination and application tips. How about tips to reinforce foundations? revision, studying tips?

Looking forward. :D

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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby cimman » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:02 am

jedamum wrote:erm...any more tips?
easier to read in point form.
1. Read Problem Sum questions.
2. Identify the relevant topics involved.
3. Link concepts to Problem Sum questions.
etc etc.

managing time
1. ___ MCQ/SectB/SectC questions; spend not more than __ min per question.
2. Do MCQ first as easier to score etc (is it true?)
etc etc.

This is however maybe examination and application tips. How about tips to reinforce foundations? revision, studying tips?

Looking forward. :D


the above points are very high level steps. These are very generic steps that seems to say a lot, but does very little in practice. You can either engage Learning123 services as a tutor, where he/she will share more concrete steps with you or try to work it out on your own.

Before the steps can be meaningful to your child, you need to sit with your child and do the coaching. From that, you will understand where your child's weaknesses lie and then you can then draw up a plan of action to tackle the weak points. Observe from your coaching sessions, why your child doesn't understand the question, is it a question comprehension issue ? is it a maths concept understanding issue ? is it an inability to transform words to mathematical understanding (ie. equations) ? is it a lack of the knowledge of the necessary heuristics to tackle the problem ? you will need to find out the answers to these questions yourself.

like in a building with poor foundations, there are many causes, ie. multiple weak columns, poor quality walls, etc.. Revisions will work only if your child have no problems identifying and understanding the various heuristics.

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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby learning123 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:37 am

@jedamum

The time to spend per Qn depends on ability of the student. For me it's not more than 1 min per mark. This leaves me time to check my answer later after finishing the whole paper. If ur child wants to score 90-100, than she can't really afford to leave any question blank or focus only on MCQ.

To get a strong math foundation. The child needs to
1st. Understand what is taught in school (best if the teacher is good)
2nd. Read the textbook on his/her own to confirm understanding
3rd. Review that he/she knows how to apply the concepts by solving problems

But primary school children is not as able to self study as kids in tertiary education. Thus if the foundation is weak due to bad teaching, I would advice the parent to either request for a change of teacher, or find your child a tutor.

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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby RRMummy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:36 pm

learning123 wrote:Thus if the foundation is weak due to bad teaching, I would advice the parent to either request for a change of teacher, or find your child a tutor.


or become Teacher Mummy / Teacher Daddy...

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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby meinteel » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:43 am

learning123 wrote:@jedamum
But primary school children is not as able to self study as kids in tertiary education. Thus if the foundation is weak due to bad teaching, I would advice the parent to either request for a change of teacher, or find your child a tutor.


That is where I don't agree. My P1 & P3 niece are able to tell the time, know when they have to sit down and study, when they have practise their piano, when they have to do their homework and when they can enjoy themselves watching tv, playing computer games, PSP and ipad. My aunt teaches them to do it ever since the elder daughter is in K2.

Self-discipline is the stepping stone to success. Your children learn as much as you are willing to teach them.

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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby mommyNg » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:15 am

meinteel wrote:
learning123 wrote:@jedamum
But primary school children is not as able to self study as kids in tertiary education. Thus if the foundation is weak due to bad teaching, I would advice the parent to either request for a change of teacher, or find your child a tutor.


That is where I don't agree. My P1 & P3 niece are able to tell the time, know when they have to sit down and study, when they have practise their piano, when they have to do their homework and when they can enjoy themselves watching tv, playing computer games, PSP and ipad. My aunt teaches them to do it ever since the elder daughter is in K2.

Self-discipline is the stepping stone to success. Your children learn as much as you are willing to teach them.



I beg to differ from you too :lol: My main point is that each child is unique and different. And the teaching and coaching has to tailor to the child's unique style and preferences in order to maximize the child's potential.

I have two kids 3 years apart. The older one, P3, even though she can tell time, even though she knows when she has to sit down and study or practice her instrument, etc., she would prefer to do her own things if you left her alone. She is less structured/organized, more spontaneous (and messy), if you know what I mean. She doesn't really care if she gets practice questions wrong and get bored with doing the same (types of) questions.

My younger one, K2, can tell time too, but she is very disciplined. She can remind me that it's time to, say practice her instrument, or practice her spelling. She will sit down and do it. And will practice on her own till she gets it right. And, she cares if she did not do it right.

I believe that children have different preferred styles of learning or teaching. My interpretation of bad teaching is that of a mismatch - that the same teaching works on some children but not on others. My opinion is that, to provide the most EFFECTIVE teaching, one really must know the styles and preferences of the child, and try to pitch the teaching at the right level. For example, for my eldest one, I have to use incentives coupled with lots of love (she's a sensitive child) to "motivate" her to do her best and introduce varieties in her schedule. She doesn't like model drawing but instead prefers using algebra to solve math problems. So instead of forcing her to use model drawing, I let her use her own way to solve the math problem and ask her to use model to check her answers. For my second one, building a routine works best for her.

That's why it's challenging for Singapore teachers to do a good job for every kid in the class because they have to attend to 40 students of varying ability, interests, and learning style! And I think that's what teachers mean when they say parents need to partner with the school to help coaching their kids at home ... I agree that it's definitely easier said than done though..

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Re: Getting 90+ for math in primary school (tips)

Postby meinteel » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:07 pm

I know that all children are unique and different. The point is, no matter what kind of preferred learning style they have...we should instil self-discipline and responsibility in them.

It doesnt matter if a child prefers to have a fully structured timetable or one that is more flexible, if a child prefers algebra or model as long as the child understands the underlying concepts and is able to apply the methods to different questions.

For a kid who is less organised and hates rigid timetable, we can say that he/she must finish 1 paper of each subject by the end of the week. She can then choose her own day/time to do it. This is as opposed to forcing the child to do his homework at 3, sleep by 10 etc.

So yes, teaching and coaching has to tailor to the needs of the child but being young is no excuse that they can be irresponsible and not capable of independent study.

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