Three Reasons to Teach Mental Math

Mental math refers to using strategies that enable you to perform equations in your head, both efficiently and effectively. This does not mean visualizing the process of "carrying" or "borrowing" in your head, but rather using strategies such as doubles and making ten for addition, or compensation and expanding the subtrahend for subtraction.

 Here are three reasons why you should be teaching mental math in your classroom:

Reason Number One: Mental Math is generally more effective than learning processes like carrying and borrowing. When students learn to carry or borrow, they are simply learning a series of {confusing} steps. If a student forgets the steps, then the answer to the equation will likely be wrong. With mental math, students develop an understanding of the numbers and operations rather than memorizing steps. This will enable them to develop the skills needed to solve more complex equations later on.

Reason Number Two: Mental math encourages students to develop a broad understanding of number. Students understand what the numbers really mean, rather than seeing each number individually. For example, the "2" in 324 is seen as a "20" rather than a "2."

Reason Number Three: Mental math is fun! It is motivating for students to learn tricks that help them experience success. And who doesn't want to have fun in math class?!

 For more information on mental math and specific strategies to teach, click on the images below!

Have a great day!

Teaching in the Early Years

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