Maths!!! arrghh, when my son (9) first started school Maths was one of his strong points, however he kept failing because although he could tell them the correct answer he couldn't tell them how he got it "I just know" wasn't good enough, now the impact of this is his very strong belief that he cannot do maths. He is actually just above average, but what a struggle to watch him do it, its excruiating, he can do complicated maths but simple addition, subtraction is painful. Has anyone found anything that can help him, he can do it he just believes he can't, we have the maths u see program and the right start maths books and anything else we can find. When we did 2 d nets he was great and got it straight away and then went on to make the nets and create 3 d samples, but get him to add 6 to 7 is mindblowing - all input appreciated.
No but am interested in how you resolve this. Have you read 'upside down brilliance, the visual spatial learner' by linda silverman? also 'they're not bringing my brain out' - a teaching ideas guide for gifted/visual spatial learners. these books are available at the library and probably have specific references that might help.
Thankyou for your responses, yes have both of these and others that I have obtained from the US, can't seem to shift his belief that he can't do it, even when he does get things right, we have started back on maths u see which is below his level of ability just so he experiences lots of sucess to see if that helps shift this belief.
One thing that I teach that seems to open the door or turn the light on is the "pairs" of numbers. This has come from a dyscalculia book.
This helped for children who are struggling and have the "I can't do it" mindset for even 7 + 2.
We started with the no. 10: The kids learn all the "pairs" ie. 9 + 1, 8 + 2, 7 + 3, etc. But we use games to learn them.
One game is called clear the deck. You have....4, 5 or 6 cards of each digit - eg. 5 no. 1's, 5 no. 2,s etc.
You deal the numbers out (shuffled) in a grid of 4 x4 and the child then looks for the pairs that make up 10 and removes them. U then replace the cards until they are all gone.
Another game is snap - where instead of needing 2 no's the same you need the pair that makes 10.
You can draw fun diagrams on a whiteboard. Basically anything that is fun that engages the child.
Most important to the child is they are never made to feel like a failure, everything must be done in a 'safe' environment. Even for clear the deck game, maybe to start with you write all the pairs down so he can refer to it.....eventually these can be covered up.... but there must be no stress to the child.....the minute there is stress, do what is needed to remove it.
Next I work on pairs of 9,8,7,6,5,4.....
The leap the child makes in confidence and maths ability once learning these is tremendous.
Maybe your son sees these inately and when screwed down to explain perhaps doesn't have the words to explain and then frustration sets in and the door slams?
The pairs are probably already known by your son, but what these games may do is remove the mental block/door he has placed there and give him a renewed enjoyment of maths.
It may seem really, really basic but 'learning' these, or in your son's case, enabling him to allow these to come out will possibly open up a lot more to him and hopefully allow his true maths ability to flow.
If you do decide to try these I would love to know how you get on! :-)
All the best
If they know all these pairs then you can encourage them to do 6 + 7:
They will know 6 + 4 = 10. They will know 7 = 4 + 3.
So if we take the 4 from 7 and put it on the 6 we get 10.
They will know that if 7 is made up of 4 + 3, then if we take 4 we are left with 3.
This will give them 6 + 4 = 10, 10 + 3 = 13.
Another way is if they know all their doubles:
6 + 6 = 12 so 6 + 7 = 13
One thing I wonder about your son....
My son is innate with his maths too and he is turning 9 next week. He will have his own way of getting there, and if I try to teach him a different strategy he gets all agitated and switches off. So with him I have to just present the problem to him and leave him to solve it. Of course there are things he needs to be taught but it is just filling a gap that allows him to then continue his own natural progress.
With him, it is unnecessary and in fact detrimental to teach him all the different strategies as they do at school. What I try to do is teach him how to explain it in words to his teacher if they ask him how he does it.
Thanks for sharing all these cool ideas Sue2. I've just made up a set of number cards for 'clear the deck' because it seems like something that would appeal to both DS4 (HG) and DD3 (??) and it struck me that you could also use the same deck for a variety on the familiar picture game of 'Memory' with the pairs being those that add to X ( or for a real challenge change X mid-game!)
Sue2 this is a really effective strategy. Early days but he really enjoys it and has even taken to just doing it himself with no assistance, and then deciding he will to sums with three numbers to add up to 10 etc etc.
We played quiddler last night which is a card spelling game and you total up points and he adds well when he doesn't think it's maths but as soon as he sees that Maths work coming he shuts off.
We've just started using the Family Math book. We had to order it via amazon as we couldn't find it locally.
It's essentially a whole book full of maths games - some using cards, some dice, some toothpicks, some with gameboards in the book, some you make yourself... And it has been great. They give an indication as to roughly what level the game is aimed at, and the games are grouped together in general maths-topics - so geometry games are together, and logic/reasoning games are together etc etc.
amazon link is