1. One of my darling daughters was being quite goofy in this video so hopefully you can understand what she is saying (singing!) when she explains how she does addition in her head! This video is just to show what is possible for kids to be able to do but is usually NOT taught in the U.S.

I will eventually be adding videos that explain the process of teaching mental math step by step. This should be started in first grade (or whenever a child has the facts to 10 memorized). All other arithmetic can be done without memorization if you only get your facts to 10 memorized well. We don't "drill" in this house. We "figure" - something that seems to be a lost art.

I promise you, my kids are not math geniuses! I truly think the majority of children could do math in their heads if they were taught these methods. So don't think it's impossible for your child!

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2. This video is of my 6 and 8 year old daughters showing how they do multiplication in their heads (before they have the facts memorized). It is very important to not rush into memorizing multiplication facts too early. If you jump right into memorization, then you miss this critical stage of "figuring." They are having to do a LOT of thinking about number bonds, place value, addition, commutativity, distribution, and other math concepts. All of that develops their mathematical thinking skills - something very much needed in today's world.

Unfortunately, in the rush to have children ready for their standardized tests, schools move directly to multiplication tables and flash cards instead of allowing students to THINK, THINK, THINK through problems they don't yet know the answer to. Don't let that be your child.

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3. This video shows the first step in learning to do mental math. This teaching technique can be started as soon as children have their facts (number bonds) to 10 memorized. (VERY easy to do with Cuisenaire rods! check out my other videos!)

Once children learn to add and subtract using "making tens" strategies for problems within 20, they can then take that knowledge and extend it to numbers within 100 and even within 1,000. I first learned this method from the Singapore Math curriculum. Too bad math isn't taught this way in the U.S.

I've seen it with my own children. This concept is the key that opens the door….

(Sorry about the pencils! Apparently my camcorder's screen crops in a bit!)

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4. Making math stories will draw in those children who are more imaginative, artistic, or social. This is a great way to teach mental math! Make it fun!

Make sure to watch the first couple videos on my "Mental Math" channel before watching this or it won't make a bit of sense!

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5. Here is the first way to explain how to do mental subtraction. It is basically the opposite of the way of how mental addition is taught. The next video will show another way to teach subtraction, which may be easier for some problems. Both ways should be taught and children can choose which they like best.

Three manipulatives are shown as options for teaching this concept. Feel free to substitute your own manipulatives. The important thing is that the children have something to TOUCH as well as look at when learning how to subtract this way. Enough times of doing it with manipulatives and they will begin to internalize the structure of the method and won't need them anymore.

(Sorry about the pencils! Apparently my camcorder's screen crops in a bit!)

Please see educationunboxed.com for more videos!

# Mental Math

Education Unboxed Plus

These videos explain how to teach mental math strategies with Cuisenaire Rods. Also see my Addition/Subtraction and Multiplication/Division channels!

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