9 Important Mental Math Tools And Resources

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Mathematical estimation without pen and paper is sometimes incumbent, which necessitates the comprehension of mental math skills. Calculating without the use of gadgets, using one’s mental potential turns pivotal, as it is needed practically time and again. 

Germane training resources employed at a tender age can be instrumental for kids, nourishing their brains. That being the case, it is often demanding to discover a befitting choice. Being mindful of the same, we will enlighten you with some handpicked mental math tools and resources. 

Mental math – A skill or a method? 

Mental math

Mental math is a mixture of various cognitive methods that improve the flexibility of thought and numerical awareness. Putting that better, it is the blend of various methods that an individual might use to form a relation between numbers and calculate through various mathematical operations. 

It is a kind of mental calculation that does not need external aids like calculators, mobile phones, pen, and paper, etc. This improves the efficiency, precision, and flexibility of the human mind to perform calculations swiftly. Moreover, mental math is quite essential when it comes to customary education and daily life. 

Along with this, mental math may assist children in better understanding arithmetic ideas as well as getting to the solution more quickly. All in all, it is a collection of abilities that enable individuals to do mathematical calculations “in their heads” rather than using a pencil and paper or a calculator. Rounding numbers and estimating computations are two other essential abilities that mental math incorporates.

Mental math resources- That succor as you exercise

Mental math resources

Resources are crucial to induce a new concept. While giving you illustrations of problems, some valuable insights are also made available. Further, As pupils continue practicing with mental math problems, they may face some stumbling blocks, which can be conquered with proper recourse. Here we expressed some nifty resources:

1. Books 

Mental math is required to master quick math. While various tricks and strategies need to be learned, a book can be a superlative take in. Facilitating both classroom pedagogies and self-study can assist aspirants to make sure to grasp relevant notions better. Accessing handy tricks from such resources get further effortless with audiobook versions, where the aspirant can easily grasp by listening. 

Furthermore, there are many manuals available that can help students learn many tricks to fast calculations without the use of any other medium. Some of them are:

The Best Mental Math Tricks

This book by Presh Talkwarkar teaches students the various tips and tricks which they can employ to calculate complex numbers in their minds. The book is a collection of methods that can help students solve daily problems like calculating percentages, square numbers, cube roots, and much more. The book also comes with practice problems and solutions to test the understanding of the student. 

Mental Math: Tricks To Become A Human Calculator

The book by Abhishek V R focuses on how it takes a lot of effort to become a master at doing math in your head. More than the capability, this book aims to boost memory which is the key requirement when it comes to mental calculations. The book has been divided into various sections, depending upon the different difficulty levels and operations. It teaches students to mentally add and subtract large numbers, along with checking the calculation with accuracy. All these also help in overcoming the math anxiety that a student might have.

2. Reading Programs/Courses

For those who may need formal and organized pedagogies, they may opt for some effective mental math programs by finding a handful of courses online or from well-liked institutions like that of Meritstore open online course. Getting trained with Vedic math, Algebra and Abacus can also aid mental maths skills since these preach with relevant strategies to expedite number questions. Some reading programs or courses that you can go for are:

Be A Mental Math King

Suitable for children, as well as adults, this course aims to teach children to do mental math without the help of any calculator, pen, or paper. The course would also help children increase their calculation speed, and develop good memory by easily calculating tough math problems with the help of tricks and strategies.

The Secrets Of Mental Math

Consisting of 12 lessons, each lesson teaches the various mathematical operations and how to form fundamental strategies to perform the various operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It also has lessons that focus on speed, and guesstimation, where kids are taught about accuracy and precision.

3. Apps and Quizzes

When mobile phones become easily accessible, favorite games and apps are just a click away. Thus, maintaining various mental math apps with quizzes and games can turn up into a functional resource. Some app picks can be :

Math Training For Kids

Suitable for students from the age of three, this app is filled with games to preach operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to players. Available for multiple devices, this app ensures practice.

Photomath

Available in both android and iPhone app stores, this app lets the user take a picture of a math problem and get its step-by-step solution. Scrutinizing how the question is solved, one can effortlessly grasp various tips to resolve similar questions. 

4. Computer Games 

Games on computers can be an enticing option for kids to grasp. Selfsame is the case with regard to mental math. With a dazzling interface, games ensure creating enough exhilaration to boost learning. Here are some picks you can look at:

Sushi Monster

Being a fun game to magnify math facts fluency, players need to solve a series of addition and multiplication sums to feed monsters with sushi.

Spacematics

This space arcade game needs the players to deal with math components. They need to make out quick answers to the quizzes at every turn to overcome challenges.

5. Forums

Forums dedicated to mental maths are created by many educators and trainers who assist the students in upgrading their academic performance by helping them employ various tools for mental math calculations. These can be either free or paid communities, where students can learn the various concepts to develop a stronger base for mental maths.

Physics Forum

Although a forum dedicated to physics, this has many threads which deal with plenty of questions and solutions by various users about mental math. From deeper understanding to certain shortcuts, users talk about tricks and different strategies that can help individuals make faster and better calculations in mind. 

Art of Memory

Threads in this forum talk about how to learn mental math the fastest way, and how to calculate swiftly and accurately. Users here talk about the various reasons why one should become fast with mental calculations. They also share ideas that can help others become masters at mental maths. 

Mental math tools – That take your skills up a notch!

Following tools can assist an individual build their mental math aptitude. Mental math keeps your brain quick and sharp, all the while enhancing your number sense, the capability to comprehend the association between two quantities, and so forth. Some of the most promising tools and resources employed in mental math learning encompass:

1. FlashCards

Flashcards

For those who need recurrent practice, flashcards may be the one to choose. While these make the learners recall facts rapidly, pupils build a conceptual comprehension with facts in various contexts. Some edges like portability and versatility make these cards nifty tools in mental math.  Try making Flashcards with various math tips and tricks to see them working. Further, you may show children a flashcard – and ask them to answer the question as soon as possible. 

With the help of great memory, that would come through the help of flashcards; students would be able to understand better the operations and strategies that they can use to perform certain calculations mentally. 

2. Grids 

Math Grids, also known as coordinate planes, consist of small squares in them. Most often used to mark x-axis and y-axis, these make interpreting problems easy with pictorial representation of the query or the result. 

For instance, if x=y, then a straight line passing through the first and third quadrant can lead to visual learning. Grids can help the students conceptualise mental math concepts better – and boost productivity, memory, retention ability, and reasoning skills. This also helps in a great way as students with consistent practice can visualise a grid in their minds to solve such questions mentally. This ideally means that they would not need a grid physically present every time; just imagining it would work for them! 

3. Abacus

Abacus

Being an age-old estimator for accurate calculations, Abacus has a set of benefits for students by letting them make calculations faster. This is what mental math evidently needs. Additionally, students can relish other edges like improved focus, visual-spatial abilities and cognition. Operating these reckoners can be grasped effortlessly with some well-liked training programs. Initially, a student would practice on the abacus to learn and master it. However, eventually, they can only imagine it in their minds and solve complex problems using various mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and much more. 

4. Manipulatives

Manipulatives

Manipulatives are an excellent tool for learning that comes into use during the early years of learning. These everyday objects can turn into amazing mental math manipulatives that can help students become better at mental math. For example, when a student is taught addition through beans, later, they can imagine those beans in their minds, to again add mentally, and give the answer accurately and rapidly. 

Moreover, it helps children visualise and understand the correspondence of various mathematical concepts. 

Don’t just muddle through! – Utilize these tips to augment your mental math expertise 

When pupils don’t have access to a calculator or working-out papers, they must be confident in their ability to do simple arithmetic calculations in their brains. To do so, these tips can be rendered beneficial for you. If you can acknowledge these tips, you may not take much time doing calculations. 

1. Rounding up to the closest tenth of a per cent

Calculating numbers and rounding them to the closest tenth might seem a bit challenging at first! But, with the help of mental math, it can be made easy. For example- if you want to calculate what is 988+242, all you need to do is round off both the numbers to the closest tenth value. Here, you will calculate 990+240, which comes out to be 1230. Next, you would have to subtract 2 (since you added 2 to 988 to get 990) and add 2 (since you subtracted 2 from 242 to get 240), but here adding 2 and subtracting 2 would give us 0, which means you do not have to do any further operations.

Therefore, 988+242=1230. This can be easily done for even bigger numbers. One just needs to get the hang of this method, and any kind of mathematical operation would feel like a cakewalk!

2. Work your way from left to right

While solving a mental math problem, answer multi-digit sums from right to left – beginning with the ones and borrowing or regrouping the numbers as necessary. However, to perform things mentally, you may need to work the opposite way around and not have to worry about keeping track of borrowing and regrouping the numbers as you would otherwise.  For example, adding 223 + 215 will quickly give you the answer: 438. In case of carrying forward numbers, just add it to the digit before them, like 160 + 290 = 450. 

3. Dissect the issue into its constituent parts

When you look at any of the mental math procedures, you may question why they seem to include several steps more than a traditional textbook approach. If pupils try to figure things out in their thoughts, wouldn’t this make things even more confusing?

Contrary to popular belief, however, this is not true. Student achievement is significantly increased when they break a considerable difficulty down into a series of more minor problems and then work their way through them in an organized manner, rather than leaping to a final answer.

The most effective approach to teach it is to use it yourself as you work through a problem and demonstrate how to use numbers. Think aloud and openly draw attention to each step you take to arrive at a final answer before proceeding.

Mental math habits that outshines your little one

If your child just needs more practice with mental math, you may encourage them to do so by employing several methods, such as:

1. Tricks and strategies should be practiced

Instead of recalling the solutions to equations, mental calculations include the use of specialized strategies developed to address certain issues. Don’t be hesitant to teach arithmetic ideas to your kid via the use of flashcards, online videos, and entertaining and interactive math game websites, among other methods.

2. Put It to Use in Your Everyday Life

Allow your kid to mentally add up the costs of some of the goods in their supermarket cart, or ask her to calculate how much a box of fruit snacks will cost if they are on sale for 10 per cent less than their regular price. Younger children could benefit from a more straightforward assignment, such as calculating how many more apples you need to buy if you want five but only have two in the basket. 

3. Hands-On Play is an excellent option

Create strategies to teach your kid to add, subtract, and divide using everyday things, such as buttons or beads, to engage their interest. Place 30 pieces of macaroni on the table and ask her how she would divide them into three bowls if each bowl had to contain the same amount of macaroni. 

Conclusion

Escalated comprehension of mental maths concepts among young individuals increases the likelihood of having a favourable attitude toward mathematics. Being Pivotal, grasping and practising these logical processes is extremely vital while dealing with mental calculation. It is salient to remember that the amount of time spent on mental math exercises has little to no influence on whether or not the exercises are successful. What matters is how often they are performed, not how quickly they are completed. Playing hands-on games, activities, or solving Worksheets is an amazing way to learn and uncover mental math concepts. Contemplate the above-shared tools and resources to expedite your exercise.


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