WHAT IS MATHSQUIZ.ORG ALL ABOUT?
The primary purpose of the website is to provide online quizzes to allow children opportunities to practise core parts of the maths curriculum.
Practise, if you are a musician or sportsperson, is not a hard concept to grapple with. However, it is sometimes the case that teachers plough on with teaching whatever is next in the maths scheme they are following – without taking enough time to revisit previous learning. Revisiting is essential.
Whilst we can’t revisit everything, there is a set of core knowledge and skills that children need to have in order to be able to solve problems.
In each term (or block) the quizzes focus on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and at least one other maths topic.
A final set focus on Year 6 revision.
mathsquiz.org really does provide the opportunity for intervention, practice and assessment. All with no marking required – the marking is done by the computer. Children can look at their quiz at the end and see what went well and what didn’t.
In addition to the above, the site provides simple opportunities for teachers to enable children to revisit key content from earlier years, which is crucial, but can be hard to facilitate.
To this end, the quizzes are not named by year groups, but by stages.
S1 = Y1, but it does not mean that many Y2 and some Y3 children should not be doing that quiz.
VARIED QUESTION FORMATS
The format of questions varies within each quiz. This makes mathsquiz.org somewhat different from many of the other online maths resources that exist. Typically, these resources are about typing in an answer, which is usually a 'working forwards' answer.
mathsquiz.org is largely about practice and consolidation.
A considerable number of the questions are designed to support the concept of intelligent practice.
TRY SOME PRACTICE QUIZZES
The best way to see how the quizzes work is to try taking one!
Effective Maths schools: £250 per annum
Schools that do not subscribe to Effective Maths: £400 per annum
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much practice do pupils need to do until they will retain the target area?
Daniel Willingham, the influential American cognitive scientist, says:
“The unexpected finding from cognitive science is that practice does not make perfect… Practice until you are perfect and you will be perfect only briefly… What's necessary is sustained practice.”
What is sustained practice?
“By sustained practice I mean regular, ongoing review or use of the target material (e.g., regularly using new calculating skills to solve increasingly more complex math problems, reflecting on recently-learned historical material as one studies a subsequent history unit, taking regular quizzes or tests that draw on material learned earlier in the year).”
This is one of the reasons that mathsquiz.net has been devised – to enable simple opportunities for pupils to revisit core prior learning and, for Year 6 pupils, simple revision. The fact that the sustained practice is delivered through PCs/tablets can be highly motivating for pupils.
How does the scoring work?
Most items score one mark.
If there are multiple items on a page, then partial scoring is used. This means that if a pupil answers three out of five questions correctly s/he scores three marks.
How are results stored?
This is up to you. There is no central facility for storing results.
In Key Stage 1 it would be sensible for teachers to record results in a mark book.
From Key Stage 2 onwards, pupils should also take responsibility for recording results. They can take a screenshot of the final slide with their score, or download the detailed report and save that. (They will need to be taught to name documents they save appropriately – but they can also be taught to sort these documents by date and see their most recent scores.)
From Key Stage 2 onwards children can make a table in the back of their maths exercise books and transfer results in to the table. It is highly effective for pupils to take responsibility for tracking progress.
Can pupils use the quizzes at home?
Each school is given a simple username and simple password. Pupils can access the site wherever they are.
What is the range of question formats used?
Common formats are used such as:
dragging items to a match
clicking on a correct answer
arranging from smallest to largest and vice versa
type in the answer
Should pupils have access to concrete resources and working out paper?
Who is best placed to supervise pupils when they are taking the quizzes in school? A teacher or a teaching assistant?
This really does not matter. The practice quizzes are designed to enable learning to take place. That is why pupils have two opportunities to respond. So long as the person supervising the session has a good knowledge of the content being covered – and knowledge of effective teaching strategies to help pupils overcome barriers – there is strong potential for very good pupil progress within sessions.
(Pupils that score 100% on any of the quizzes – timed or practice – can be challenged to look at their detailed report, which shows their time, and beat the time.)