I remember my paternal and maternal grandparents doing calculations without pen and paper. As farmers, they would indulge in a lot of calculations day in and day out.
After the calculation, they would ask us to cross-check the results, and their calculations’ hundred percent accuracy always amazed us. Not just straight calculations, they could multiply by 1.5 and 2.5 in the quickest manner possible. They were faster than calculators because they were extremely good at mental math.
Incredible, they were!
How could they do that?
They practiced mental math skills in school. In those days, there used to be a lot of emphasis on mental math. And once again, there is a lot of buzz around mental math. Parents are analyzing and dissecting it to get under the skin of mental math and discover the secrets of mental math and its burgeoning popularity.
While educators are trying to sensitize about the benefits of mental math.
What is Mental Math?
Mental math is a skill that empowers you to do calculations in your mind without any pen and paper.
A person skilled at mental math can do mathematical computations faster than a calculator.
How to get better at mental math?
We often find parents dwelling upon how to do mental math faster. How to learn mental math tricks. Let me tell you, it’s not rocket science.
Here are the five mental math tips that you should know:
Tip 1: Make it simple
Make it easy and simple. Start with easy calculations because children may find calculating large digit numbers overwhelming. So, the mental math strategies should include simplification of the problem. How will you simplify the problem? By shifting the values provisionally.
Step 1: Add 3 to 237
Step 2: 240+480= 720
Step 3: Subtract 3 from 720
The same can be applied to multiplication
Step 1: Add 1 to 89
Step 2: Multiply 90 with 6
90×6 = 540
Step 3: Subtract 6 from 180
Calculating with multiples of 10 is easier for students, so shifting numbers makes it easier for them to do the calculations.
Tip 2: left to the right rule
Another popular mental math trick is learning to add and subtract from left to right. Left-to-right strategy is used to calculate 2 or 3-digit numbers.
Step 1: 30+40=70
Step 2: 3+9= 12
Step 3: 70+12=82
Answer 33+49= 82
Once the child is able to absorb this, they start enjoying it and can solve problems in a jiffy.
Tip 3: Memorizing multiplication tables
Mathematicians feel memorizing multiplication tables helps in recalling things quickly. And it comes in handy in solving multiplication problems. Spencer Greenberg, a mathematician and founder of ClearerThinking, stresses memorizing these basic “building blocks” of math.
He says it helps in solving simple problems embedded within more difficult ones.
Tip 4: division hacks
I remember my class teacher teaching us some division tricks. She taught us that:
- A number ending with 0 can be divided by 10.
- Any number ending in a 0 or a 5 is divisible by 5.
There are other tricks as well:
1. If you have to divide a number by 4, check the last two digits of the number. If the last two digits are divisible by 4, that means you can divide the entire by 4.
Example: 394324/4 = 98581
2. If you have to divide a number by 9, add the number, and if the total sum is divisible by 9 that means that the number can be divided by 9.
Tip 5: Practice
Practice. Practice. Practice. There is no substitute for practice. And mental math is all about practice. The more your practice, the better you become.
Mental math is about doing math in your head. You can easily improve your skills by using simple tricks. Once you master them, you can move towards advanced tricks.
You can take the first step with Moonpreneur’s MoonMath, a holistic learning solution that offers Mental Math, Vedic Math, and much more. The best part is children love it. Book a free mental math trial class today!