Dec 22, 2022 | Red Deer

I wasn’t planning to post a blog this week because of the craziness of preparing Christmas gifts for the students. Making personalized pencil cases – using my Cricut machine – for all students is exhausting but so fun and exciting at the same time 😊 But after a session earlier this week, seeing how powerful mental math is, I feel excited to write this blog.



This second-grader has been with us for just a bit over three months. She did mental math back-to-back in the same session: halving and finding missing numbers. I didn’t take the video on halving (forgot .. lol), but this reel on how she did mental math to find the missing numbers, shows how fluent this student was. And how does mental math benefit a young learner? Is it necessary to do mental math though?


Reasons why doing Mental Math is essential

The top reason is that it leads to fluency. This is because they can connect the relationship between numbers, and able to see the magnitude within the context. Take a look at this video. Too many kids, even high-schoolers, are lining the numbers in two stacks to find what is 100 – 42; this is because they rely on algorithm all the time, even for a simple problem. And why they do that? It’s because they cannot see the connection between the two numbers other than one is bigger one is smaller. They are very used to use the procedural way to solve problems, instead of using understanding.

And why fluency is important? Well, imagine if you are a newcomer in Canada/Alberta and you’re not fluent in English. You will feel lost and helpless. I’m talking about living here, not just visiting as a tourist. How can you thrive or even just survive? We “live” in math, it is used in our daily life. And at school, math is not just taught in one grade or one semester, but we need to learn it from K all the way to grade 12. Also unlike other subjects like History, math builds upon itself. That’s why being fluent since young is critical – it will help a student a lot in their math learning journey.

Fluency leads to confidence. When solving a math problem, rather than doing finger counting, using paper and pencil, or a calculator, it is faster to use their own brain. Quick and painless. And no matter what activity they do, or what subject they learn, feeling confident will help a student successful.

As mentioned, when a student is able to do mental math, it means they understand math. This makes homework, math tests feel like a breeze – and of course learning more complex concepts becomes easier. In short, understanding math leads to less frustration, increased success and higher grades!

So that’s it – being able to do mental math (better sooner rather than later) plays an important role in your child’s lifelong success! If your child cannot do mental math to solve simple math problems, it’s better to make them start learning now.


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