We all do at least some mental calculations on a daily basis. And, for complex ones, we have to use a calculator or computer. But do you know that by practicing some tricks, one can train the brain to solve a numerical problem effectively? In this blog, we have shared some tips that you can teach your kids to improve their number sense, i.e., the ability to understand the relationships between quantities. By learning them he/she can foster love for mathematics, which can be beneficial throughout the life. Moreover, they can help them improve problem-solving skills and reasoning abilities. Take a look at these tricks:
1. Visualize the equation in your head
The first step toward solving a mathematical problem in your mind is visualizing it. Decide what equation will go well with the question and picture the subsequent steps in your head. While it may seem complicated, remembering the numbers mentally or verbally will help you to figure out an accurate answer.
2. Ignore the common zeros
Whether you are adding, subtracting, or multiplying, on finding common zeroes, you should first keep them aside and add then put them with the result. For example, if you have to find the difference between 12000 and 9000, then you can remove the zeroes to get 12-9=3, and then place the common zeroes back to get the actual result as 3000. Similarly, if you have to multiply two numbers with zeroes in the last, then first multiply the non zero units present at the left side and then put all the zeroes in the right. For instance, if you have to find the value of 20x70, then you could do 2x7=14, then add the zeros to get 1400.
3. Round numbers up while calculating
You can round numbers up to convert it into a multiple of ten by adding or subtracting a value to it. This will make it easier for you to solve complex numerical problems. For example, if you have to add 497 and 209, then you can add 3 to 497 to make it 500, and then add 209 to it to get the result as 709. Now, you need to subtract 3 from it, and the actual answer will be 709-3=706.
4. Add and Subtract from left to right
All of us are taught to add and subtract numbers from right to left. That’s a good technique while you are using pen and paper, but when doing the calculations mentally, it’s better to do it from left to right. For example, when you are adding 67 and 29, then start with the first column digits i.e., calculate 60+20=80, and then 7+9=16. Now, add 80 and 16, which becomes 96.
5. Memorize building blocks
At school, we all memorize the multiplication tables upto 20. But as we grow up, we forget most of them. But by knowing them, we can solve many mathematical problems instantly. So, if you’ve forgotten these tables, focus on learning them again. Besides this, you should also focus on memorizing the common fractional values, such as 1/6 is 0.166, 1/3 is 0.333, and 3/4 is 0.75.
6. Remember multiplication tricks
Multiplication is probably the toughest part of doing mental calculations. But do not worry as there are many tricks that you can practice to make them simple. One of the most common rules of multiplication is that when a number is multiplied by 5, the answer will always have either 0 or 5 at last. Another rule is that when a number is multiplied by 12, it’s always 10 times plus two times that number. For example, when multiplying 12 and 7, the result will be the sum of 10*7=70 and 4*7=28. That means the answer will be 70+28=98.
7. It’s okay to approximate
When doing mental calculation for a large number, it’s a practical idea to make an informed estimate, and not worrying about getting a perfect answer. For example, you can easily estimate the annual growth rate of a particular project by looking at the statistical data of the last few years. There is a famous story related to this. During the Manhattan Project, physicist Enrico Fermi wanted to know the strength of the atomic blast. So, he just placed some pieces of paper on the spot. By measuring the distance the paper traveled, he estimated the power to be ten kilotons of TNT. Well, his estimate proved to be fair as the exact value was 20 kilotons of TNT.
These were some simple tips that can effectively enhance your mental mathematical ability. You can find a good collection of such tricks online. In case you are finding it difficult to help your kids in mathematics schoolwork, then feel free to ask us for homework help. Our mathematics experts have immense experience in solving problems of any difficulty level. So, by availing their service, you will let your kids hone their mathematical skills to the next level.