Different Types of Mental Strategies and How to Teach Your Children to Calculate Mentally

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Mental math is an important aspect of our lives. It is becoming more and more important nowadays as workload and competition increase at schools and in the job market. Mental math has proven to be an important skill when it comes to solving problems both inside and outside the classrooms. There are different types of mental strategies that you can use to improve your child’s memory and problem-solving skills.

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Good mental calculation is assessed by having multiple strategies that can be applied to meet the task at hand. Different numbers suit different strategies just like different approaches suit different situations. Mental strategies aren’t carried out like written algorithms. Instead, children need to select and adjust them in order to suit the calculation or problem at hand.

Mental calculation and estimation are two things that are very important for everyday life. The combination of good mental estimation and calculation with great calculator skills has proven to be more valuable to citizens of the world than good written computation skills. Mental calculation and estimation are also important because they teach students to discuss and practice number properties and build number sense.

Mental Strategy through Multiplication:

Multiply Using Single Digits

Instead of multiplying larger numbers, break them into smaller components that make it easier to calculate. For example, 3 x 14 is easier to calculate if you double 14, which is 28 and add another 14 which gives you 42, the answer. It can be broken down even further by doubling 14 to equal 28, adding 10, which results in 38 and then adding 4 which ultimately leads to the answer 42.

Multiply Using Powers of 10

Calculating larger number by multiplying them with 10. For example, 15 x 6 can be calculated by adding the product of 5 x 6 (which is 30) and 10 x 6 (which is 60). The answer being 90.

Mental Strategy through Estimation

It is really important for students to learn to estimate mentally along with being able to calculate mentally. Estimation requires rounding off to convenient numbers, mental calculation, and knowing whether their estimate is likely to be too small or too big.

How to Teach Your Children to Calculate Mentally

There are a variety of methods to incorporate mental math problems into everyday situations. For example, you could ask your childs help in counting change, doubling a recipe, double-checking shopping receipts, or keeping score at Scrabble. All these activities involve using the basic knowledge of mathematics and applying it to a situation in order to solve a problem.

Children need regular opportunities when it comes to practicing mental computation and discussing mental strategies. Discussions on mental calculations in the classrooms play a key role in developing new mental strategies. Most children understand how operations and numbers work through intuition. But other children need to be clearly shown. Focused teaching helps with the development of mental strategies.

Help promote the habit of mentally estimating the correct answer to a problem. Promoting estimation builds confidence and self-esteem. Remember to involve your children in all math calculations around the household. If you’re building something and need to take measurements, involve your children in this process. Involving your children in everyday activities develop their mental math strategies during mental maths class . Although its good to encourage mental math, don’t put too much pressure on them. Allow them to learn at their own pace. They will learn better this way. Children learn better when they have an interest in the subject so don’t badger them. It is also wise to enroll your child in additional mental math classes. Additional classes will help them excel at school and later in life.

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