How To Teach Mental Math To Kids And Get Them Excited About Math
Since technology has progressed and invaded our lives, solving mundane calculations has become easy. We have apps that make it easy to convert between the Imperial and Decimal systems without breaking a sweat. We can even access the basic scientific calculator on our smartphones. So, it seems like a waste to devote time to learning math.
But learning math is a life skill. Math will enable children to develop a problem-solving attitude by making them think analytically with good reasoning abilities. Going through life without knowing math is like selecting a dress with our eyes closed. The world is mathematically driven, and understanding math helps us to navigate it easily.
Where does mental math fit in all this? How important is teaching mental math? To understand that, let's look at mental math and its importance.
Teaching Mental Math
Zara is on sale, and you need to calculate exactly what the price of the colour set will be so that you stay within your budget. The child wants an after-school treat on the day you forgot to bring your purse. Scrounging around, you collect your loose change and need to calculate if it is enough to buy the treat. Did the greengrocer return the correct change? To get all these answers, you need mental math. And thus, when children learn it from a young age, calculations become second nature. It helps them to improve their number sense. Studies have shown that while mental math may not be a requirement, it allows children to make quick, accurate calculations in their heads. These children then find more complex math content easier. It also makes them confident individuals as they grow up.
Generation X and Millennial parents will often share horror stories about doing math under the watchful eyes of their parents. It often led to an unhealthy fear of the subject and resulted in the student dropping it at the first chance. But now is the era of gentle parenting. We are much more oriented towards providing the best for our children in a progressive and understanding manner. This means that our children, or Generation Alpha, are much more engaged in learning math and developing a love for the same.
Build Your Child's Basic Math Foundation
Your child will be more quickly able to identify and resolve issues inside and outside of the classroom the more familiar they grow with how multiplication tables or equivalents look. And for this you will need to build their foundation regarding the same. Use games like Math-O-Rama or Take the Cake from The Pretty Geeky to build your child's math foundation.
Read Math Based Story Books
Invest in some well-acclaimed math based storybooks like Sir Circumference, Each Orange had 8 slices, The Grapes of math etc to build maths knowledge. This has a double benefit. Your child's math foundation is strengthened along with their reading capabilities.
Mnemonic … what? Remember BODMAS? The bracket of Division, Multiplication, Addition Subtraction. That's a math mnemonic. A math mnemonic is a tool, formula, or rhyme that helps your child recall the mathematical order of operations. Using mnemonic devices—cues like rhymes and acronyms to assist in recalling information—can benefit children with trouble with essential fact fluency. According to recent studies, learning processes and long-term memory of information are improved by singing, moving, and generally enjoying a subject. When mnemonics are used for teaching an apparently complicated subject like math, all of these conditions are met.
You can use The Pretty Geeky's creative STEM game Take the Cake to teach mental addition and subtraction. It uses several mnemonic aspects and provides your child with hours of mental math practice without a single worksheet.
Introduce Math Problems
If the content is interesting, many children will be more responsive to math drills and practice. In other words, children's enthusiasm to learn will significantly decrease if they don't find the maths problems relevant. Making math word problems is a simple but powerful technique to add life to content. For example, let's take two maths word problems –
Problem 1: A went to the shop and bought 4 x things and 10 y things. How many things did A buy?
Problem 2 : (Insert your child's name) went to market with mamma and bought 4 apples and 5 oranges. How many fruits did we buy?
Which of the above problems do you think will appeal to your child? Of course, the second one because it is more relatable.
Encourage the Use of Math Games
Consider employing math games that offer a variety of challenges linked with various skills as an alternative or a supplement to exercises and worksheets. Many math websites and applications encourage kids to respond to questions repeatedly in an exciting atmosphere, which helps them develop various abilities crucial for mental math. Since these apps may be used on any computer or mobile device, some students will likely choose to practise from home.
If you are worried about the effect of extended screen time on your children, opt for non-screen games like The Pretty Geeky's mental math games which impart the same knowledge but without the harmful effect of the screen.
Have Some Fun with Estimation Games
Never underestimate the value of playtime with your child. Play estimation games with them to help them get into the habit of solving simple equations mentally by adding or subtracting things. You can try The Pretty Geeky's Math-o-Rama which teaches kids concepts of addition as they go around slaying Ravana's heads and helping Lord Rama win.
Make Fact Fluency Interesting
Mental maths is all about efficient recall and reproduction. And this is greatly aided by fact fluency games. What are fact fluency games? Remember learning the 7 time tables by rote? Yeah, that was a more primitive form of fact fluency application. If you knew the multiplication tables by heart, it was a given that you would somewhat Ace your exams. But those days are passe. Now you can enjoy diverse fun filled games like Half a Doodle create fact fluency in your children.
With a little understanding and a little patience, teaching mental maths can go from being boring and drab to fun and creative. Children flourish under positive attention and interactive play. With the help of The Pretty Geeky, you can now provide your child with a solid foundation when it comes to maths.
So, visit The Pretty Geeky today and see for yourself how we can help your child on their path to success!