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Tips to Sharpen Your Mental Calculation Ability

Posted by: Dr. Juvenal Pagac at 23/02/2021 3,285 views

Eventually, you will find yourself in a position where, without a calculator, you will have to solve a math problem. Mental math can be challenging even though you're good at math. You'll need an entirely different set of techniques and approaches that vary from what you were taught in school to solve problems in your brain. Luckily, you can boost your abilities and solve complicated equations in your brain if you learn the fundamentals and use mental math techniques.

Teachers should introduce a variety of appropriate classroom tools and tricks to help students develop their mental maths skills and gradually solve complex math problems in less time. To help develop mental math skills, here are the math tips:

Make it Straightforward

Sometimes, students may find it challenging to multiply or add large denominations. By momentarily moving the principles around a successful approach is to help them simplify the problem. For instance, if calculating 791 + 540 is a challenge, it is easier to add 9 to 800, which is more manageable to calculate. Now calculate 800 + 540, which is 1340, and remove the extra 9 to get the correct 1331 answer. You will teach students to follow this method with multiplication as well.

For instance, if calculating 791 + 540 is a challenge, it is easier to add 9 to 800, which is more manageable to calculate. Now calculate 800 + 540, which is 1340, and remove the extra 9 to get the correct 1331 answer. You will teach students to follow this method with multiplication as well. For instance, if the problem is to calculate 59 x 7, instead calculate 60 x 7, and then subtract the extra 7, so 420-7 = 413. It is much simpler for learners to measure with multiples of 10, so always advise them to round off numbers during calculations. 

Visualize in your Head the Equation

Visualizing the problem internally is the first step in solving a math problem in your brain. Imagine the numbers in your mind and the equation. Visualize the new numbers you're dealing with as you solve portions of the problem. Mentally or verbally repeating figures, in a whisper, can also allow you to recall more critical numbers in the equation.   

Subtracting by Adding

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Based on the relationship between addition and subtraction, this is a very significant concept. Once this technique is well understood, learners do not need to memorize removal information.   

With subtractions such as 13-7, 17-8, 16-9, and other fundamental subtraction details, where the minute is between 10 and 20, this concept is instrumental. 

From Left to Right, Add and Subtract

You were probably instructed from right to left to add and subtract, but doing it this way is much more mentally challenging. Instead, first, calculate the left numbers, then deduct the right numbers or add them together. The left number forms the left digit of your solution, while the second digit is the correct number.

Multiplications of Difficult Made Easy

For students, multiplying big numbers can be difficult. So how to simplify the figures and then multiply them is the most logical thing to teach. Below, some cool multiplication tips have been given that your learners should follow:

  • The simplest multiplication trick to note is only to add a zero to the end of the number while multiplying any number by 10. 62 x 10 = 620, for instance. 
  • You can divide the first number in half if one of the numbers is even, and then double the second number. E.g., by splitting 20 by two that is ten and folding 120 that is 240, 20 x 120 can also be solved. Then multiply the two responses; 10 x 240 = 2400 is the answer.
  • A simple trick to multiply any two-digit number by 11 is also available. All you need to do is to add the multiplicand's two digits and insert the answer in the middle. To multiply 35 by 11, for example, add numbers 3 and 5, which are 8, and add them between a two-digit multiplicand; the result is 385.

When Adding or Subtracting, Count the Common Zeros

You will find common zeros in the equation when adding them and delete them more quickly to solve an equation. E.g., you might remove the zeros to get 12-7=5, if you had 120-70, then add the common zero back on to get the solution or 50.[2] Another instance is that you could eliminate the common zeros to get 3+2=5 if you had 300+200, then put them back on to get the answer or 500.

Prodigy Presentation in Class

You can also try out game-based math tools that have a more significant effect than any other teaching method on developing the math skills of students. Prodigy is one such free online math platform designed especially for grades 1-8 students to help them master complex math problems while solving puzzles, winning battles, and exploring the world of Prodigy. Get a Prodigy for free at your school.

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