Saturday, 26 March 2011

Maths exams, and the second law of thermodynamics

A seemed to have a good time at the sleepover party. She arrived home on Sunday at about 1pm, shuffled upstairs, collapsed on her bed and fell asleep for a couple of hours. Indication of a good party in anyone's terms.

We had a bit of a lazy start to the week, with both of us struggling to feel motivated about anything. But things improved as the week went on.

With maths, A has now reached the end of her online course, and has 10 exams to do (these are each one page of varied questions covering what she's learnt throughout the course). She was less than enthusiastic about sitting 'exams'(!) but I'm hoping they will show her how well she's actually doing with maths. Usually I sit with her so that we can discuss any problems as they come up and look at different ways of working things out. She seems to need this - her confidence in her own ability in maths is so low, I think it reassures her to know she can check things with me. I suggested with these exams that I leave her to it, and she does as much as she can on her own, then I'll come through and we can talk about any she's had difficulty with. She completed the first one on Friday, getting 29 out of 30, and needing no help whatsoever.
I don't think its registered with her how good this is - she focused in on the one error (which was just a careless extra nought, rather than a mistake in calculation), and then started wondering "do they make the first exam really easy, then gradually make them harder?" (which they don't). So, basically not acknowledging that "I did really well"!!!
Its like banging my head against a brick wall sometimes - she seems to be clinging on to this notion that she's really crap at maths (which she clearly isn't!) I guess all I can do is keep finding ways to show her that she isn't.

On Friday we watched the first programme in the Wonders of the Universe series that I've been recording. We both learnt lots, mainly about entropy. I did physics GCSE at school, and it was never as cool and interesting as Prof Brian Cox makes it - maybe if he'd been my teacher I would have actually passed!

This afternoon A is off to a Guide patrol get-together, where they will be cooking pasta together. Apparently they get a badge for boiling pasta - A was as bemused as me at this. Still, I'm sure they'll have a laugh, which is what its all about really :-)

4 comments:

A said...

Hi I was wondering which maths course you dd is doing?

K said...

Hi A,

the one she's just finishing is http://www.studyladder.co.uk/ - you can get some access for free, but I paid for the year (about £50 I think).

The next one I'm looking at for her is
http://www.conquermaths.com/free/index.php
and I know a lot of HEers like
http://www.khanacademy.org/

Hope you find something to suit :-)

Kx

mumonhomework said...

Hi K!
I have just read your article in Juno magazine which is what brought me over to your blog!
Brilliant read, thanks for sharing, i have been in similar situations with my DD & DS doing their GCSE's!

K said...

Hello!
Glad you enjoyed the article :-)
Just had a look over at your blog - love it! Although it's possibly a slightly scary glimpse into the future for me!
x