PSLE Maths - Advice needed!!

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PSLE Maths - Advice needed!!

Postby von72 » Wed May 20, 2009 10:49 am

Dear all,

I'm appealing for parents who's kids are taking PSLE this year or done with to share some light on how to cope.....my boy just had his SA1 results, he did fairly well on all his other 3 subjects all in band 2 but he failed his Maths!! Scoring only 47. With PSLE preliminary exams around the corner, what should i do to help him. He is currently having maths tuition on both syllabus and Maths Olympiad. I'm so helpless..... :?: :?:

von72
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Postby Jennifer » Wed May 20, 2009 11:18 am

No.1 has not come back with the both papers. He did not do well (2 careless mistakes) in the paper with calculator. Then there are some other qns he did not get the right answers.

Maths is supposed to be his strongest subject. I also do not know how to help him other than to consider starting him on tuition.

Jennifer
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Re: PSLE Maths - Advice needed!!

Postby Fairy » Wed May 20, 2009 1:16 pm

von72 wrote:Dear all,

I'm appealing for parents who's kids are taking PSLE this year or done with to share some light on how to cope.....my boy just had his SA1 results, he did fairly well on all his other 3 subjects all in band 2 but he failed his Maths!! Scoring only 47. With PSLE preliminary exams around the corner, what should i do to help him. He is currently having maths tuition on both syllabus and Maths Olympiad. I'm so helpless..... :?: :?:


In my opinion, he should not be wasting time attending Maths Olympiad classes at this point. He should instead concentrate on the normal Maths syllabus. Even those who did well in Olympiads need not neccesarily do very well for Maths. They are both different aspects of Maths, although the former requires higher order thinking skills.

To help him, you must analyse where his weaknesses are and zoom in on those areas.
Marks could be lost due to:-
- carelessness
- poor calculation skill (eg. addition, multiplication etc) for Paper 1
- inability to grapse the concepts for certain topics
- inability to complete the papers within the time allocated

Zoom in by topic, starting from his weakest. Clear his doubts and make sure he practises enough questions before moving on to the next. For those who are weak in Maths, foundation and lots of practice is important.

Fairy
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Postby westmom » Wed May 20, 2009 5:48 pm

Von 72- Can you check what is the level average for the Maths first? School is very fond of scare tactics nowadays. Maybe its not really that bad if majority of the cohort did badly. The paper was probably set too hard beyond their "normal" ability.

westmom
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Postby Guest » Wed May 20, 2009 5:57 pm

westmom wrote:Von 72- Can you check what is the level average for the Maths first? School is very fond of scare tactics nowadays. Maybe its not really that bad if majority of the cohort did badly. The paper was probably set too hard beyond their "normal" ability.


Yes exactly my thoughts!! It is a strategy school uses!! :lol:
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Postby Vanilla Cake » Wed May 20, 2009 7:03 pm

Hi von72,

The date of your posting (20 May 09)coincides with an article that was published exactly a year ago on 20 May 08.Perhaps you may share some of these OE questions of this SA1 Maths paper to gauge the level of difficulty. Last year, a mother from a popular all-girls' school wrote to ST forum to share her grief that half her daughter’s classmates had flunked mathematics. Another class managed four passes.

The link to this news is longer available. Below was what was written by the mother and another related article about this issue.

May 20, 2008
Exam offers troubling peek into school attitude
I SIGH with resignation as I write this letter. For the past few days, my daughter has been distracted and subdued. The school examinations have just ended and her usual celebratory mood is clearly absent.
I found out that half her classmates in this top, all-girls' school had flunked mathematics. Another class managed four passes. I have not seen the paper. Nor do I know if my daughter has passed. All I know is this: She studied very hard, prepared herself well, especially for maths; she was determined and motivated to excel.
For any parent, that's all that matters: a self-motivated child who is willing, diligent and conscientious.
Regardless of her marks, I am disheartened that the school set an overly challenging paper which bore such atrocious results, that the matter was raised as an issue during the parent support group meeting.
Please spare me the usual 'it was challenging but we expect the girls to manage it well', or 'this is to make the girls buck up for PSLE'. These garden-variety remarks reflect a school's way of shifting blame onto the pupils and to pressure parents to get additional tutorial help for their children.
Surely if the paper was challenging, the maths teachers should have prepared their pupils better. Such poor results must also put the ability of the maths teachers in doubt.
This paper affected my daughter's desire to study hard, her creativity and her self-confidence.
As an active parent who works as a school facilitator to support the parenting programmes of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, I believe in reaching out to as many families as possible. But, I find myself asking now: 'Why bother?'
This is not about a frantic parent who is hurt because her daughter has suffered a setback. It was, after all, only a maths paper.
This is about the attitude of a school, school leadership and teachers. It is about an education system, which, in a bid to fuel an extreme race to excel in academic achievement, douses the spark and enthusiasm of learning.
I appeal to the Ministry of Education to compare the disparity between the simplicity of published primary maths textbooks and worksheets with the difficulty of exam papers set by schools, if my daughter's school is any yardstick. The disparity is unrealistic, places an unfair burden on pupils and parents, and may end up making a mockery of the education system.
Jessica Chong (Ms)

How much is TOO MUCH?
School examinations are getting harder. Is it so necessary, ask some
By Elysa Chen
May 24, 2008
ARE schools being too tough on students by setting hard exam papers? So hard it's bruising students' egos and hurting their confidence?

ST File Picture
Ms Jessica Chong, mother of a Primary 6 pupil at CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School, seems to think so.
In a letter to The Straits Times, published on the Forum page on Tuesday, she claimed that half her daughter's class at the school failed a mathematics paper recently, while in another class, only four passed.
Ms Chong said the 'atrocious results' had affected her daughter's 'desire to study hard, her creativity and her self-confidence'.
The New Paper made several attempts to reach the school's principal and the head of its mathematics department for their views. We waited 45 minutes at the school's office yesterday, but could not speak to them.
We spoke to six other parents whose children are sitting for the PSLE this year, and four felt schools were setting exam papers that were too tough.
Mrs Nah Kiat Yong, a homemaker in her late 40s, said: 'It's going from bad to worse. Even an adult (can't) answer some of the questions.'
Dr Lai Ah Eng, an expert in family and demography studies, who also has a son in Primary 6, said some school exams are harder than the PSLE exams.
'Why? It will not necessarily mean the students will do better in the PSLE with more difficult exams,' she noted.
'It could put them off studying and make parents more anxious. Everyone ends up feeling demoralised.'
Dr Yeo Seow Woon, a mother of four, said that in her daughter's junior college, 80 per cent of the cohort failed the biology paper.
'You want to challenge students, that's fine, but teachers must know where to draw the line,' she said.
Madam Aini, 45, a civil servant, said her son goes for extra classes in school three times a week and also has extra tuition. He has been complaining of headaches and feeling 'stressed'.
'Kids are being pushed very hard now. It's a bit ridiculous,' she said.
Ms Jenna Luen, 25, a social worker who counsels primary school pupils and their parents, said that after juggling remedial classes in school, tuition and a heavy load of homework, 'the average PSLE student has no time for rest or relaxation'.
TOUGH EXAMS NEEDED
But some parents are all for tough exam papers. A housewife who wanted to be known only as Mrs Cheng said: 'Every year, there will be two or three trick questions in the PSLE. School exams must be more difficult than that, so students still have a chance of getting A-stars.
'Schools want students to know the PSLE isn't easy. They want to encourage the students to work harder. If you set an exam that is too easy, they may get complacent and won't study.'
Mrs June Yee, 46, trusts the schools and teachers with taking care of their students' academic well-being. 'The teachers are experts in their field, I think we should respect their expertise, instead of making a fuss,' she said.
Madam Heng Boey Hong, principal of Nanyang Primary School, who is known for setting challenging exam papers, said there are ' different levels of readiness among the children'.
'Many of those who come to my school are ready for challenging tasks, and they would be extremely bored if they get questions that are too easy,' she said. 'We have to stretch the ones who are strong, but we also have to manage those who need more time. It's an extremely fine line to manage.'
Madam Heng also said that for the preliminary exams, the teachers would not set papers which are too difficult, because with the PSLE looming, the children 'need a morale booster'.
Last year, no one in the school failed their PSLE, though 20 to 40 children would fail the school's exams, she said.
However, Mr Yong Cheng Huat, principal of Stamford Primary School, said: 'There is no necessity to set harder exam papers. We just need to make sure the students are prepared.
'I don't see them having a stronger advantage even if we set harder papers... Doing poorly in an exam may discourage the students.'

Vanilla Cake
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Re: PSLE Maths - Advice needed!!

Postby oceandeep » Wed May 20, 2009 8:39 pm

Dear von72, a friend recommended me Andrew Er's mathematics worksheets, (complied in a book) for P6, new syllabus, about $15.90 from popular. The questions are designed and arranged in increasing order of difficulty, and with worked solutions to those difficult questions. I find it quite good especially with the working given. I'm getting my girl to try the questions. You may want to check out this book.


von72 wrote:Dear all,

I'm appealing for parents who's kids are taking PSLE this year or done with to share some light on how to cope.....my boy just had his SA1 results, he did fairly well on all his other 3 subjects all in band 2 but he failed his Maths!! Scoring only 47. With PSLE preliminary exams around the corner, what should i do to help him. He is currently having maths tuition on both syllabus and Maths Olympiad. I'm so helpless..... :?: :?:

oceandeep
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Postby Guest » Wed May 20, 2009 9:20 pm

insider wrote:
Best is to set probably 10% tough questions and the rest must be level-appropriate.


Yes I agree with this. There is no need to set an overall difficult paper just to sieve out the top 10% of the cohort's bright sparks. It does not make sense to overly destroy confidence.
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Thank you

Postby von72 » Thu May 21, 2009 5:20 pm

Dear all,

thank you so much for taking time to share your views and valuable advise. It really encouraging!! Appreciated so much!!

And to Vanilla Cake, thanks for sharing those articles!!

Will go grab the Andrew Er's bk and start our practice!!

Love for all...... :thankyou:

von72
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Postby fridayeducation » Sat May 23, 2009 2:30 am

As a tutor,

I recommend Andrew Er too. (: All parents should grab theirs. If your child can cope with his questions, your child can score. I've done Andrew Er when I were in primary school. He has the key concept questions all in there. (:

Good luck parents!

fridayeducation
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