# Mental Calculations

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by BHeaton92, Jul 23, 2015.

1. ### BHeaton92

Hi All, I am just starting to get a head start with planning for September. I am an NQT and have been given a lovely year 3 class. Week 2 I have to teach mental calculations... When I was in primary school all that I remember was doing mental maths tests and that was it really.

After looking at resources in TES, am I right in thinking I can go through using number lines etc.? and using these as jottings and teaching the children methods to be able to calculate problems mentally or have I gone wrong?

Any help would be very greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

2. ### musicandmathsNew commenter

I wouldn't start with number lines. Consider starting with much smaller numbers, and get children confident with manipulating these. Look at strategies such as adding/subtracting near multiples or near doubles. Make sure children can explain how they would solve a problem such as 17 - 9, or 15 + 16 (they may come up with more than one method, which is fine, because different children will respond in different ways, and it's useful for them to hear different ideas). The more confident children get with calculating with smaller numbers, the easier it will be for them later on. It may seem simple, but it worked for me this year. I spent at least a term concentrating only on mental calculation, and the children's confidence improved markedly as a result.

Keep activities short and interesting. Tackle concepts in a range of different ways, and have some fun with it as well. Lots of games/competitions for children to try and challenge themselves. Things like: "If the answer is 25, what was the question?", or missing number problems, or countdown style questions really got my class fired up this year.

3. ### BHeaton92

Hi, sorry for not thanking you sooner I have only just seen this message! I need to find a way of tes notifying me when I get a response.

That helps me so much, thank you. I think I was over thinking it because what you said just makes so much sense!

Thank you again.

4. ### Lara mfl 05Star commenter

Go to the top of the thread. Hover over the little flame icon to put the thread in you hotlist. Then you can easily spot when someone has replied- it should then appear in the Topics section of your hotlist., showing the number of new posts.

5. ### CeWilliam

You might find the NCETM website useful for tips.