# Low Attainers in Primary Mathematics: The Whisperers and the Maths Fairy

By Jenny Houssart | Go to book overview

1

The children

It was my second week of working with children from the original Year 5 set. Within the set, the third of three sets, they were grouped by perceived ability into five groups. The teacher asked me to sit with one of these groups and to give particular help to one girl, Julie. He added that I would notice the difference between her and the child sitting the other side of me, Sean.

Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to introduce some of the children I worked alongside and to give a feel for their approach to mathematics. Subsequent chapters deal with particular types of mathematical task and most of the children introduced here are mentioned again in later chapters. I was often asked by the teachers to work with certain children and this chapter starts by introducing the group I worked with first. Some children from other classes are also introduced in order to indicate the types of children present. Before the children are introduced, the background reading section deals with some existing work on children in bottom sets as well as tackling the issue of labels and terminology. The chapter concludes that children in bottom sets can be different in many ways. It is difficult to make general statements that apply to all these children. Even to say that they are low attainers in mathematics is problematic for some children, who do not appear to have given a clear indication of their attainment.

Background

Who is in the bottom sets?

All forms of ability grouping carry the danger that certain groups of children might be over-represented in lower sets or streams. This

-8-

If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes

#### Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

#### Cited page

Low Attainers in Primary Mathematics: The Whisperers and the Maths Fairy

• Title Page iii
• Contents v
• Acknowledgements vii
• Introduction 1
• 1 - The Children 8
• 2 - Maths Talk 24
• 3 - Mental Work 41
• 4 - Number Equipment 57
• 5 - Practical Work 74
• 6 - Written Work 91
• 7 - Calculators and Computers 109
• 9 - Assessment Tasks 145
• 10 - Conclusion 163
• Index 177
Settings

#### Settings

Typeface
Text size Reset View mode
Search within

Look up

#### Look up a word

• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
• Bookmarks
• Highlights & Notes
• Citations
/ 183

### How to highlight and cite specific passages

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

## Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

## Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.