All About Careless Children

Getting your child into that dream Primary school is just the start of a 6 year journey. Discuss issues you face with supporting your child's studies in Primary schools.
Forum rules Gentle reminder before posting questions in the Academic Support Forums: Please ensure you post your question in the correct thread. Try not to start new threads.

All About Careless Children

Postby tianzhu » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:24 am

How to reduce carelessness in Maths?

Is your child making careless mistakes frequently in mathematics examinations?
Like most parents, you may be lamenting how many marks your child has lost from his carelessness. How can we help our child to be more careful in their work?

tianzhu
Councillor
Councillor
 
Posts: 3789
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 8:10 pm
Total Likes: 5


Re: How to reduce carelessness in Maths?

Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:12 am

Heheh... I think we all have the same problem :).

When in P2, careless mistakes were peppered across my son's exam papers... and not limited to math either. I have identified some possible causes:
1. He did not realize that his answers were incomplete.
2. He was over confident, zooming into an answer without checking out the rest of the answers in mcqs.
3. He lacked focus and concentration, or was simply bored out of his brains during the test. He always completed his tests way ahead of time so that he could do other things.

(1) was easy to solve by going through the papers and explaining how the questions should be answered in complete sentences and with obvious working steps. The hard part was getting my son to implement them consistently. So now if he makes those mistakes, it is not because he does not know better.

(2)+(3) can be solved by drilling into him the discipline and techniques of checking his work in various situations, but this is more easily said than done during the exams when we are not around to police him :) .

I've tried both carrot and stick approaches, and neither were useful nor sustainable. It all boils down to how important the exam is to him, not us parents. My message to him has now changed to "it doesn't matter to us how well or badly you do, as long as there are no careless mistakes in your exams, it shows that you have done your best and we will be most proud of you" He seems to be responding quite well to this, and there were hardly any careless mistakes in his latest midterms. So we are keeping our fingers crossed.

ChiefKiasu
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15221
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Singapore
Total Likes: 319


Postby lizawa » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:33 pm

[Moderator's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

One of my child's Maths teacher told us this. If you keep saying to your child "Why are you so careless ?", he will only remember the word "careless". You should be saying, "Be more careful next time" more often than using the word "careless", then he / she will remember to be careful. :)

I think a few careless mistakes are fine. then there will be room for improvement. Even as adults, we can be careless at times. You should be more alarmed if you find that your child is not understanding the question or concept or not knowing where to start solving the problem.

The number of careless mistakes tend to decrease as they grow older. If I can categorize the careless mistakes, I think they normally fall under

1. transcription or transfer error
they got the working right, but somehow when they write the answer, they copy wrongly. this is quite common for lower primary kids. so, I tell my children to do the working nearer to where they will write the answer. This is to reduce the "transfer" error.

2. copy the number in the question wrongly.
if it happens too many times, we need to get their eyesight tested.
One way is to make them highlight (either circle, underline or use the highlighter) the numbers in the question.

3. calculation error
put your answer back into the question to check. So rather than reworking the question (which some children do as a form of checking), work backwards to see if you get the number in the original question. This one takes some training, not all children can do that.


Can also teach them to check if the answer is logical first. eg. If you add 2 numbers, the answer has to be bigger than either of the 2 numbers, if not, then, the child could have done a subtraction instead.

lizawa
BrownBelt
BrownBelt
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:29 am
Total Likes: 0


Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:45 pm

lizawa, let me know when you decide to become a full time tutor. I'll be the first knocking on your door with my children in tow! :D

But really... I'm less alarmed about my son not knowing how to solve the problem than with his careless mistakes... at least if he does not know how to solve the problem I can zoom straight in and teach him to the point whereby he can solve similar problems. Normally, he gets it after I explain it to him and is able to apply it subsequently. It seems so much harder for me to teach him to be more careful in his work.
Last edited by ChiefKiasu on Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ChiefKiasu
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15221
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:16 am
Location: Singapore
Total Likes: 319


Postby tianzhu » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:58 pm

Hi lizawa
Thank you for your very thoughtful reply.

tianzhu
Councillor
Councillor
 
Posts: 3789
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 8:10 pm
Total Likes: 5



Postby lizawa » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:50 pm

ChiefKiasu wrote:lizawa, let me know when you decide to become a full time tutor. I'll be the first knocking on your door with my children in tow! :D


:oops: And it just shows how kiasu I am, to actually go into analyzing why my children make all those careless mistakes.

Cannot be a tutor now. Used to be more patient and gentler when I was younger. But now, tend to be louder when I point out mistakes. :)

lizawa
BrownBelt
BrownBelt
 
Posts: 665
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:29 am
Total Likes: 0


Ways to tackle careless children?

Postby SMILEY » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:59 pm

[Moderator's note: Topics merged.]

Hi all,
My 6yrs old girl is very careless especially in academically.
For example, when she tries to copy the helping words into the cloze passage, her answer will end up with missing alphabets.

Just wonder is it a normal habit for children at my girl's age?

Any tips to share?

SMILEY
OrangeBelt
OrangeBelt
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:37 pm
Total Likes: 0


Re: Ways to tackle careless children?

Postby jedamum » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:08 pm

My K2 boy too.
Helping words also will spell wrongly.
18+7 instead of give me 15, he write 5 :roll: then tell me miss out the '1'.

jedamum
Councillor
Councillor
 
Posts: 8517
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:58 pm
Total Likes: 20


Postby winth » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:00 pm

Ways to tackle careless children?


Hi Smiley, I train my 5-year old to remember 3 letters at one go.
E.g. aeroplane

When he looks at it, he needs to remember a-e-r, then write down
Tip: he can look at a-e-r for as long as he wants to, but once he look down to input onto his own book, he cannot look at it again
When he looks at it 2nd time, he needs to remember o-p-l, then write down etc...

This trains the child to not just look at 1 alphabet and copy down that alphabet. It's easy that their eyes (play tricks on them).

It takes time, need to monitor closely and encourage as they do it. Slowly, brain will accustom. Children tend to write 1 letter at a time, bec not only must input that letter that they see, but when translate down in writing, still need to remember how 'letter d' looks like. Actually, it's a wired brain process that needs to be trained.

It happened to me while I was in primary school too, and I can remember vividly that I was very slow in copying words from blackboard (bec I was literally copying 1 letter at a time when I look up to the blackboard, sometimes I even need to look up 2 or 3 times to see the letter again). To tackle this problem, I had to devise this method to help him so that he won't face this problem when it's time to go primary 1.

2nd stage: After boy remembers 3 alphabets at the time, I increase it to 4 at a time. Like that less probability of 'missing' it, plus force brain to take in more letters.

Hope this will helps.

winth
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 1486
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:08 am
Total Likes: 0


Postby aggellim » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:54 pm

Hi SMILEY ,Jedamum :

My Ds1 used to be like that when he was 5+ yr..... He will also waste time by looking for his pencil, eraser or chip in when people are talking. :x
Until I found a way that works for him. First I make sure that everything he needs is in his pencil case (his responsibility after awhile). No distraction such as TV or loud games by the family. :cry:

Instead of giving him a specific time to finish his work, he has to write down his start time and end time (after that,we will calculate the total time spent). Since his Chinese HW can usu. be completed within 20-30 mins, I know he will not be made to sit at the table for long hours. Now he can sit and complete his CHinese at one sitting up to 30mins (it started with shorter assignment that requires only 10 mins).
I guess this method works for DS1 cos he is motivated to finish his work with a certain time frame, without making too many mistakes.

Before doing that, i will sit down with my son as to how much to break into and how much time to allocate for each task and overall duration of doing the work. :lol: :lol:

An incentive also helps. Something very immediate is the best.

Maybe you can also help her develop the habit of concentrating by supervising her closely and making sure that she stays focused for short periods (start with 30 mins), then gradually lengthening the time. In between, she can have short breaks (not more than 5/10 mins). It's tough for you to have to do this, but over time it will help .

Also, giving her a quiet, distraction-free place to do homework may help. My Ds1 has a desk in his room facing a white wall. No toys or other books are allowed within view . My younger girl and Ds2 isn't allowed in the room at all while their brother does homework .

Its not easy to be a parent, we r all learning! !keke....... :lol: :lol:
All the best and I hope you succeed in doing so. Cheers!

aggellim
OrangeBelt
OrangeBelt
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:28 pm
Total Likes: 0


Next

Return to Primary Schools - Academic Support