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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Mathematics Problem to Solve

We had a girl in a few weeks ago and her results have been preying on my mind. We tested her using Standardised Tests. On the reasoning test she achieved a Standardised Score of 138 – which is 99%. She struggled on the mathematics test and achieved a Standardised Score of 83 or 13%.

Children have difficulty leaning mathematics for a variety of reasons. Her mother explained that the girl had difficulty with telling the time and working out change in shops. We noticed that she used her fingers when she was doing a subtraction exercise.

She attends a very good school where the majority of children constantly achieve well above average SATs results. Her parents are professionals and she is an only child.

What can be done? The 11+ examinations are only a few months away. The first objective must be to try to build her confidence and improve her self esteem. It would help her to revise and possibly learn some arithmetic facts – her tables and number bonds.

Perhaps too we simply need to think about a little touch of mathematics anxiety. Perhaps even test worry?

How many 11+ papers has she done? What are her scores at school?

What a worry for her parents!

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