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Interesting articles which originated from a reader in the Chinese daily about Maths questions for P1.(click on the links to see the questions)
http://www.asiaone.com/print/News/Educa ... 59460.html
How far should schools push students?
Adding, subtracting and multiplying are seemingly not good enough for primary one students anymore. One school has given its sevenyearolds algebra exam questions allegedly meant for higher level kids. AsiaOne Education
Mon, Apr 14, 2008
AsiaOne
How much mathematics do primary one students have to know?
Adding, subtracting and multiplying  the typical maths curriculum taught to these sevenyearolds  are seemingly not enough, at least for one school.
According to Lianhe Wanbao, a parent had wrote in to the morning version of the Chinese daily about several of Pei Chun Public School's maths questions (see example below) from a midyear exam held two years ago.
He reportedly felt that the problems given in the exam were too difficult for primary one students.
The parent told the the Chinese daily that algebra was only taught to Secondary two or three students during his schooldays.
"Taking into account the mentality and inference abilities of these sevenyearolds, besides making wild guesses, how else can they handle (these difficult questions)?", asked the parent.
The same parent also said that such maths problems will bring frustration to both the children and their parents, continued the report from Lianhe Wanbao.
He expressed that parents who are afraid to lose out will invariably go all out to sign their kids up for more tuition, thus causing their children to suffer.
http://www.asiaone.com/print/News/Educa ... 59461.html
School's response
Pei Chun Public School explains why "hard" algebra sums were given as exam questions to primary one students. AsiaOne
Mon, Apr 14, 2008
AsiaOne
According to Pei Chun Public School, the questions were not beyond the primary one students' understanding ability.
When questioned by Lianhe Wanbao, the primary school said that the maths problems highlighted by a parent in the previous report were indeed similar to its past exam questions.
The school's Head of Department (HOD) for Mathematics said that the study of mathematics should not only stick to the stipulated curriculum, but should also train a student's inference ability. As such, it was difficult to pinpoint which chapter or section of the curriculum the problems were testing.
"This question (see graphic below) tests simple mathematical reasoning," he told the Chinese Daily.
Although students only learn algebra in primary six, primary one students can also solve the problem if they understand what they have learnt in their daily maths lessons and have a keen mathematical ability, he continued.
Exams are structured neither to bring down a student's confidence nor to allow all students to get a 100 per cent score, said the HOD.
Every school will set questions with different levels of difficulty with the aim of differentiating students of varying abilities, he added.
http://www.omy.sg/news/localnews/200804 ... _1704.html
小一考代数几何 学校刁难孩童
小学一年级的数学考题，竟有代数和几何学题目，学校是否太刁难7岁孩童？
一名家长日前投函《早报》言论版，说他偶然看到公立培群学校前年年中的数学试卷，发现部分考题对小一生来说难度相当高。他列出其中两道题（见制图），指它们涉及代数和几何范围。
他记得自己是在中二、中三才学代数和几何学。“以7岁童的心智和推理能力，面对这样深奥的题目，除了随便乱猜之外，还有什么办法可以应付？”
他表示，这类题目令小孩和家长很苦恼。“家长因怕输，让儿女拼命恶补，在学习的道路上，我们的孩子实在太苦、太苦了！”
《新明》测试：仅11%小一生全答对
《新明日报》记者拿这两道考题，分别测试了43名小一和小二生，结果27名小一生中，只有3人全对，只占约11%；而16名小二生中，也只有5人答对。
接受记者测试而答对的小朋友说，在学校接触过类似题目，所以不觉得难。大部分答错的小朋友，都得经过一番解释，才恍然大悟。
校方怎么说？
学校说，题目考推理和智商，但并非超出小一生的理解能力。
公立培群学校受询时表示，单看所举的两题，确实和学校前年教学试卷的考题相似。
该校数学部主任陈老师表示，学数学不只专注课程内容，也锻炼推理技巧，因此很难说上述两题到底在考课程的哪一章哪一节。
“第一题测试简单的代数推理，虽然小六才学代数，但即使小一生，只要理解平时所学，数学感觉敏锐，是有能力回答的，数字也没超出小一生掌握的范围。”
他说，小一生都学过三角形，第二题要他们算三角形总数，属智商题，很难说在考课程哪个部分。
“考试不应摧毁信心，但也不是让所有人拿满分，每间学校都会出难度不同的题目，目的是为区分能力不同的学生。”
P2 Math  General Discussion
Academic support for Primary 2

tianzhu  Councillor
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Re: Interesting article on P1 Maths
by jedamum » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:17 pm
actually such questions is very common in most primary one assessment books.
i believe the school should have taught them too.
i believe the school should have taught them too.

jedamum  Councillor
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by EN » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:54 am
Hi
Such difficult questions are common in school However, not all school teachers take their time to explain to the students on how to solve it. I was looking through my son workbook and I make a remark to him as I was impressed that he manage to tackle such a difficult question. He told me that when he struggles to answer the question, he asked his teacher for help. The answer that he had gotten from his teacher is to just copy the answer on the board. No explanation was done. I can't lay the blame on the teacher though. Glancing through the exam score during parents teacher meeting, the marks of the student range from 8  97. With huge variance between the top and the bottom marks & majority in the 5060s range, the teacher main concentration is to ensure that all kids have basic knowledge to move on.
Speaking to another teacher in one of the elite school, she cited the reason why some of the question posed in the exam is extremely difficult. It is to differentiate an average student to high ability & the gifted.
Hi Tianzhu
I saw in another thread on the P5 & 6 Math. I practically weep when I look at the questions. Wonder how can I help to guide my children when they reach that level.
Such difficult questions are common in school However, not all school teachers take their time to explain to the students on how to solve it. I was looking through my son workbook and I make a remark to him as I was impressed that he manage to tackle such a difficult question. He told me that when he struggles to answer the question, he asked his teacher for help. The answer that he had gotten from his teacher is to just copy the answer on the board. No explanation was done. I can't lay the blame on the teacher though. Glancing through the exam score during parents teacher meeting, the marks of the student range from 8  97. With huge variance between the top and the bottom marks & majority in the 5060s range, the teacher main concentration is to ensure that all kids have basic knowledge to move on.
Speaking to another teacher in one of the elite school, she cited the reason why some of the question posed in the exam is extremely difficult. It is to differentiate an average student to high ability & the gifted.
Hi Tianzhu
I saw in another thread on the P5 & 6 Math. I practically weep when I look at the questions. Wonder how can I help to guide my children when they reach that level.

EN  KiasuGrandMaster
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by lizawa » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:35 am
Speaking to another teacher in one of the elite school, she cited the reason why some of the question posed in the exam is extremely difficult. It is to differentiate an average student to high ability & the gifted.
This is very true. A small number of questions ( 1  2) are really high order questions in PSLE. You learn the technique only if you are exposed to Maths Olympiad questions. Even in the top P6 class, the Maths SA1 marks range from 60  100. Average is about mid 80s.

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by matrix0405 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:14 pm
Some question are really IQ questions (out of syllabus); if your kid is exposed to the same type of question before, then he will be able to handle ... more on experience than intelligence.

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P1  Math
by tamarind » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:25 am
Anyone came across any P1 maths problems which are interesting, or ridiculous, or not age appropriate ?
I came across this maths problem in the P1 assessment of Nanyang Primary School.
There were 51 passengers in a bus. Some passengers alighted at the first bus stop. How many passengers alighted at the first bus stop if 39 passengers were left in the bus ?
Are the teachers trying to test the students' English or Maths ?
I also think that it is not reasonable to expect 7 year old children to know how to do 51  39. I am talking about an average child. Not those gifted ones or those who have been through countless enrichment classes.
I went through MOE syllabus for P1, don't see anything about teaching subtraction of 2 digit numbers. What is Nanyang primary school trying to do ?
I came across this maths problem in the P1 assessment of Nanyang Primary School.
There were 51 passengers in a bus. Some passengers alighted at the first bus stop. How many passengers alighted at the first bus stop if 39 passengers were left in the bus ?
Are the teachers trying to test the students' English or Maths ?
I also think that it is not reasonable to expect 7 year old children to know how to do 51  39. I am talking about an average child. Not those gifted ones or those who have been through countless enrichment classes.
I went through MOE syllabus for P1, don't see anything about teaching subtraction of 2 digit numbers. What is Nanyang primary school trying to do ?

tamarind  KiasuGrandMaster
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by EN » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:56 am
Hi Tamarind
I came across this question when I was revising math with ds. This qs is found in one of his revision book. I remember this question so well, because I mark his answer wrong & he argued why he insist his is right. When I reread the question, I found that I misinterpret the question, peek through the answer behind & he is right.
The talk that I have with a teacher from elite school is that, the school will purposely set a few questions that requires higher level thinking. It will help them to segregate the students who has high ability, from those who don't.
Having 2 kids from two different types of school, I agree with the elite school method to identify the high ability students. Some school exam questions are quite simple for average students. It will result in majority of the students getting full marks or near to prefect score. Identification of high ability students will not be based on ability to do math but ability to be conscientious to not make any silly or careless mistake.
By the way, P1 in neighbourhood school covers up to 100. And yes, they are expected to know 5139 by 3rd/4th semester.
I came across this question when I was revising math with ds. This qs is found in one of his revision book. I remember this question so well, because I mark his answer wrong & he argued why he insist his is right. When I reread the question, I found that I misinterpret the question, peek through the answer behind & he is right.
The talk that I have with a teacher from elite school is that, the school will purposely set a few questions that requires higher level thinking. It will help them to segregate the students who has high ability, from those who don't.
Having 2 kids from two different types of school, I agree with the elite school method to identify the high ability students. Some school exam questions are quite simple for average students. It will result in majority of the students getting full marks or near to prefect score. Identification of high ability students will not be based on ability to do math but ability to be conscientious to not make any silly or careless mistake.
By the way, P1 in neighbourhood school covers up to 100. And yes, they are expected to know 5139 by 3rd/4th semester.

EN  KiasuGrandMaster
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by jedamum » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:47 pm
EN wrote:By the way, P1 in neighbourhood school covers up to 100. And yes, they are expected to know 5139 by 3rd/4th semester.
Yes. They will be taught borrowing and bringing forward and number bonds addition and subtraction for 2 digit numbers.
tamarind wrote:Anyone came across any P1 maths problems which are interesting, or ridiculous, or not age appropriate ?
I came across this maths problem in the P1 assessment of Nanyang Primary School.
There were 51 passengers in a bus. Some passengers alighted at the first bus stop. How many passengers alighted at the first bus stop if 39 passengers were left in the bus ?
tamarind,
I'm glad that you find it ridiculous.
I thought that was the norm....cos a peek at some of the P1 assessments reveals numerous similar questions.

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by MMM » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:08 pm
During SA2, I gave my girl the past year papers of various schools. Particularly for maths, the std differs widely. Eg. in "top schools", it is observed to be alot more tricky that sometimes as parents, we need to digest the requirement before we can guide them. Whereas in others, the questions are alot more straightforward.
Dun want to name schools here, but it's true eg. for some neighbourhood schools, she found the paper easy and score around 90+ but for top schools, she only get an avg of 7580.
Dun want to name schools here, but it's true eg. for some neighbourhood schools, she found the paper easy and score around 90+ but for top schools, she only get an avg of 7580.

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by sleepy » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:03 pm
Is it necessary to buy exam papers set by elite schools?
Doing assessment books not sufficient?
I noticed assessment books have varying standards to cater for different abilities too
Doing assessment books not sufficient?
I noticed assessment books have varying standards to cater for different abilities too

sleepy  KiasuGrandMaster
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