In Denmark, we used the test before and after we worked with problem solving activities in mathematics. We used the test in our 2nd grade class. For the first time, many of the pupils had difficulty in solving the exercises, but after we had worked for a period using the activities we decided at the workshop in Denmark, we could see better results. The pupils found it easier to understand the exercises and they had a better accuracy rate. We could see that it was especially the students who had difficulty in mathematics who benefited from our focus on problem solving activities. They improved more than we expected! In total we had a 25% better results the 2nd time.
Conclusion: All pupils benefited from the exercises and improved their results but the pupils with difficulties in math have improved most.
Wales - YGG Tirdeunaw
At our school we gave the pupils the test before starting Active Maths and then used the test again with the same 20 pupils 12 weeks after the training.
Pupils struggled to know how to tackle problems independently and always seemed encouragement and support. From the resources we gained at the training in Denmark we were able to give our pupils new strategies to help develop their confidence in Mathematical concepts.
When we sat the test the second time we saw our pupils results raise by at least 3 marks, and all pupils made some progress.
Conclusion: All pupils have improved, the most gains were by the pupils who found maths challenging.
We gave pupils a questionnaire after the maths test.
Here are the results. As you can see all pupils like maths, 17 are confident at maths only 3 still feel they are ok at Maths. 19 of the pupils enjoy solving problems. And everyone feels confident to solve problems in some form.
This has been a great start to our maths journey and developing confident students.
At St Mary’s we gave the same printed survey with four questions to 44 boys, from 4th and 6th class, about their thoughts on problem solving in Maths at the end of Year 1. There was an overall trend in both classes for the boys to have positive attitudes to Maths and to working on problem solving.
The vast majority of pupils in 6th class reported that they had improved, or improved a lot, in working with problem solving exercises now. Of the four boys who reported no change, two found it very easy and liked doing Maths very much, suggesting that they were already confident problem solvers at the outset.
Just one boy still found problem solving very difficult.
In 4th class, all but one boy reported an improvement in working with problem solving exercise.
The approach to problem solving was similar in both classes, with most boys reporting that they would start their problem solving exercises by “reading the exercise and finding the question”. This reflects the Maths teaching strategies promoted at school – such as RUDE: Read, Underline, Draw, Estimate – to tackle word problems.
Summary after problem solving test - Year 2c (17 students)
1. The easiest was the activity with the balls and the baskets almost all students have done It (13 right, 4 wrong).
2. Easy was the activity with the dices – only a few students have made a mistake (11 right, 6 wrong).
3. Calculation of the circuit (act. with the lawn), comparing the prices and dividing balloons wasn’t so bad, (8 right, 4 wrong, 5 haven’t finished because of luck of time).
4. The most difficult for students were problem solving act. Most students partly did it, the rest of the students didn’t do it at all, (4 right, 5 partly done, 8 no answer).
5. The most difficult was the activity with the calendar, (1 right, 6 partly done, 10 no answer).
6. Only 2 students did the party activity, 15 didn’t do it at all.
Summary after problem solving test – Year 2b (17 students)
1. The easiest was the activity with counting the pictures (14 right, 3 wrong), with the shells (12 right, 5 wrong) Calculation of the circuit (act. with the lawn; 11 right, 6 wrong), and counting the price (9 right, 3 wrong).
2. The act. with the balls and the baskets – a few students made a mistake (6 right, 11 wrong).
3. The act. with the balloons wasn’t easy (2 right, 15 wrong), with the dices too (3 right,14 wrong) and comparing the prices and the calendar (3 right,14 wrong).
4. The most difficult was the clock act., (1 right, 6 partly done, 10 no answer).
5. The party act. was done only by 7 students.
It wasn’t enough time for students to do this kind of activities.
Some of the activities were too difficult to our students and they didn’t have enough math’s knowledge at this level of education