Lamenting poor Maths skills at all Year levels

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I asked Year 10 students to complete a simple introductory exercise in Scratch requiring them to draw their initials on a standard (x,y) grid (simple coordinate geometry). Quite a few struggled with this exercise – even when I provided them a planning sheet to work out the coordinates on paper. We encounter this issue at all levels, to such an extent that we need to avoid programming problems that require anything other than rudimentary knowledge of mathematics. Shame really as this constrains their ability to understand screen design (pixel counting, absolute and relative placement of elements), SQL selections (relations set theory), Boolean algebra and calculating efficiency of algorithms at more senior levels. Even simple problems such as double a number between 10 and 30 then subtract 7 require Year 10 and 11 students to pull out their phones/calculators…

 

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