# Tag Archives: students

## 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.