Mental math refers to doing math calculations in your head without the use of tools such as calculators, pen and paper, or abacus.
Mental math helps us function in our daily lives in situations such as:
Shopping – adding tax or figuring out a sale price
Cooking - using proportional thinking to alter a recipe
Calculating a tip
Converting from one type of unit into another - such as ounces to pounds or kilometers to miles
Using a foreign currency
Figuring out a score or a grade
Comparing values of products or services (such as private tutors versus a Mathnasium Math Learning Center)
Mental math actually keeps our brains quick and sharp. The brain, like the muscles, gets stronger and more efficient with use.
Mental math also greatly improves a person’s number sense, the ability to understand the relationships between quantities.
There are many great strategies for improving mental math abilities. Some of them are cool tricks like multiplying by 9 will always have a product that the digits when added together have the sum of 9.
9x 4=36 3+6=9
9x 45=405 4+0+5=9
9x765 =6,885 6+8+8+5=27 2+7=9
9x 10,231=92,079 9+2+0+7+9=27 2+7=9
Other mental math strategies are just applying the knowledge of relationships such as knowing that 25% is the same as 1/4.
At Mathnasium of Littleton we teach mental math as well as math using paper and pencil. If your children feel frustrated at school or their math homework is taking too long, they might need to improve their mental math skills. Give us a call and we can talk about it. 303-979-9077. Or click the button below for more information!
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