# Category Archives: Math tricks and tips

## Benefits of Mental Maths

It’s true that most people don’t like maths. **This is because sometimes it requires a lot of thinking**. You have to work up your head a little than you would on other problems. Some math problems can be very frustrating if you do not know how to go about them. The funny thing is that we use mental maths like everyday when carrying out our daily activities. When we go to the market or the store, when we are paying for taxis and we require some change, when we are walking we calculate the amount of time we take over a certain distance and so on.

Math is a good way of exercising your mind. It also improves the level of your concentration because you cannot solve a math problem in your mind if you keep diverting attention. Mental maths is also good for young children. If you make your child get used to doing them, it is likely that he will not have math difficulties in school or elsewhere. It will improve his problem solving capabilities and create a positive **attitude towards math**s, as many children grow up disliking it.

Mental health also can also help you in school practical mathematics. This is especially good with children. If the child is able to work out math problems, he may be interested in taking further his knowledge in maths at a higher level, like in college. He can do analytical chemistry or engineering. He may further take a career that involves maths. Some of the careers he might take up include medicine and technology.

Mental maths also enables you to be able to operate most technical things in life. The use of the computer is now very widespread and at least every office now uses it. Computers simplify our work at a large extent and they are faster than using manual methods. Data processing and **communication** will require that you can perform simple mental maths in administering what you want the application to do for you.

Mental maths also increases your reasoning. **You will be able to connect events**. For example if you want to book a flight to a certain destination. The air fare is quite low but the accommodation is costly in the country. Then there is another option of traveling with a more costly ticket to a different destination where accommodation is extremely cheap. Simple mental maths will enable you to think outside the box. It affects most of your decisions in life.

## Mental Math Subtraction

When it comes to performance of **mental math subtraction**, excelling is not a matter of chance but rather of choice. The student must aspire to be good at it and find means through which to achieve this end. There are simple things which if overlooked can derail you from this goal and by exploring them; it becomes easy to learn how to solve these equations. Almost all errors that occur in subtraction involve the step where one has to borrow and carry digits. As such, if these mistakes are to be completely eliminated, then the aspect of borrowing and carrying has to be completed eliminated.

Zero is the easiest number to subtract is the easiest number to subtract. This is for the simple reason it does not require borrowing. As such, when carrying out **mental math subtraction**, it is advisable to end the second number with a zero. Consider the following examples:

- If 2 is added to 28, the answer is 30. Subtracting 30 from 53 mentally is also easy. The answer is 23. However, this has 2 units that are too small and as such, implies that more has been taken away from the problem.
- To compensate on this, the 2 should be added to the answer. Therefore that will be
**23 + 2 = 25** - As such, to ensure that 53-28 is carried out efficiently mentally the equation should be
**53 – 30 + 2 =25**.

Though there are students who might find this hard, the algebra behind it is quiet simple and straightforward. One should start with a – b then proceed to add another number n to the b which gives translates to a -b +n. this therefore means that the number is large by the n fraction. To compensate for this, one has to subtract n from the final answer and this delivers an equation like this: (a – b + n) – n. Note that n – n = 0. As such, this means that the **mental math subtraction** was carried out without necessarily having to borrow.

By using this method, 90% of the subtractions you have to deal with mentally are solved and needless to say with so much ease. This is especially true when handling some of those small subtractions that people come across on a daily basis. Though this is the case, it is important to state that for other complex subtractions, it might be considered efficient to use borrowing and carrying techniques.

## Mental Math Strategies

**All students need the ability to mentally **calculate math because it is important for them, especially so for those students who are blind or visually impaired. Quite a number of strategies in the calculation of mental math are available and students can learn this starting from when they begin to count and deal with simple numbers. One of the most important things for the students to understand before they start manipulating these numbers in their minds is the concept of complements.** These complements also known** as partners of numbers are useful in aspects such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

There are four basic approaches that teachers can use to help the students get the mental math strategies. One of these is decomposing numbers, which involves breaking down of different numbers into simple units that can be easily recomposed. The other approaches is **making numbers easier** to work with, substituting numbers and compensating.

When it comes to addition, the students can use some of the strategies such as adjusting numbers to make it easier for them to add. When handling large numbers, the students can simplify their addition by adding tens’ first, hundreds next and so on. They can also use the additive principle, doubles and facts for numbers that are up to 10 as well as derive other facts from these additions, for example, **3+2** is 1 less from **3+3**. In adding nine, the students need to **keep in mind** that the digit of the sum is one less from the value of the number added to it.

In subtraction, there are a number of strategies that students can use. Using the **concept of complements**, they can start subtracting the partners of numbers up to 10; continue to numbers from 20 and subtracting two digit numbers from 100 before moving to other larger numbers. The other strategy is to subtract numbers from smaller units that are closer to the subtrahend and then adding the remaining portion, **for example**, 9-3 can be done as 9-6 then adding the remainder, which is 3.

For multiplication, children will need to know that multiplication is continued addition and use this concept in finding answers. Associative properties of the factors in this calculation and the doubles are also important. Division requires the concept of partners. The students will also be required to deal with larger units within the factors and add the progressive products. These concepts are very useful in ensuring that the students find their way **around mental math**.

## Mental Math Multiplication

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**Mental math multiplication** is a generally easy and enjoyable task. You need to realize that this does not require you to be a math genius; neither does it require that you memorize the entire multiplication table. In fact, this is the easiest type of mental math, as al that is required is the thought that it is simply playing around with digits. By employing simple math tricks, you will find yourself enjoying and even wanting to engage more in this exercise. This article seeks to dispel the thought that **mental math multiplication** is a** complex activity**.

Using simple tricks, you can easily multiply two digits numbers by 11. for instance if you are seeking the product of 36 and 11, the simplest way through which you can achieve the **mental math multiplication** result is by first multiplying **36 by 10**. Thereafter, add 36 to the answer. If that proves a little difficult to you, you need not panic as you can alternatively apply this other trick for any other two digits number. Start by first writing the first digit, then the addition of the first and second digit then the third one. Are you confused? Sample this.

# 36×11 =? 3(3+6)6 = 396

Do you see how simple **mental math multiplication** is? Well, you are probably wondering what happens should the sum of the first two digits add up to a number that is bigger than 9. this is in fact the simplest multiplication calculation you can ever engage in, since all you need to do is simply add 1 to the first number, then follow it up with the last digit of the addition of the two numbers before finally adding the second number. **It sounds confusing theoretically** but this is how it looks like.

# 87×11=? 8(8+7) =957

see how simple it appears?

Another of the extremely simple **mental math multiplication** tricks involves solving the square of any two digits ending with 5. You would not believe it but it is easy. For instance if you are to find the square of 25, just take the first digit and multiply it with the next higher number that is 3. Add the product to 25. This in essence means

# 25×25=? (2×3)25= 625

The same case also applies to a number such as 75. If you have followed keenly, you must have realized that these are cheap tricks. You find out that they are simplifying what would have been an otherwise difficult situation.

Those are some of the simple tricks applied in **mental math multiplication**, in a multitude of others.

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