Practical Mathematics: 4 Easy Skills To Aid Mental Calculations And Beat Non–calculator Exam Questions

 Here are four mathematical skills you can use in any situation when shopping or dealing with everyday numbers. In fact, having these skills can make you a better maths student – also will help to add, subtract, multiply and divide accurately. 

1. Easy Adding

E.g. 


Skill: Separating numbers into parts, then add

If you can see parts like 20, 20 and 10 (add to 50) and the other 50 make an easy 100. Also 7and 3 (=10) and 8 and 2 (=10) give 20. By doing this you can get 120 (100 and 20) without having to use a calculator. 

Easy subtracting 

E.g. 

Skill: Ensure last digits end with the same number (353 and 33), then subtract in parts
The idea is that same numbers result in zero, making calculation easier.  

Easy Multiplying 

E.g.


Skill: Separate on number (usually the smaller number) into parts, multiply each out, then add. 

Easy dividing 

E.g.

Skill: Identify a multiple of the divisor (24 is a multiple of 12 closest to 33), and simplify


Background

Many changes are happening in PNG's education system. Change in structure (in 2016) and change in curriculum (2015, OBE to SBE) are two significant educational changes. The changes must be equally complimented by good learning content (syllabus).  

Methods above are examples of creating effective learning contents, especially when introducing mathematics in class. 

Traditional mathematics and practical mathematics are still grey areas in PNG mathematics syllabus. The examples I gave above are illustrations of practical mathematics – you can do mental calculation using those skills when shopping or doing other everyday math. 

Traditional mathematics skills are those that you may require a pen and paper to work out the answers.  Our parents are very good at such working out. But, if we are to make a national of quick thinkers, we’ve got to introduce practical mathematics for everyday use – not just to help in tests and exams. 

Take above as examples of how mathematics in classroom can be streamlined to prepare students for life. 

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