# Mental maths strategies for addition is knowing shortcuts and strategies to get to the right answer.

If your grade 1 to 3 child is slow with equations, counts with their fingers or struggles with the step by step method of doing math, some mental math at home might just help. Here are a few mental math shortcuts you can practice with your child.

Mental math encourages actual understanding, not just memorization. if you are teaching 19 + 13 using carrying you are teaching a series of steps.

Some students understand this, but for some it is very confusing. They forget where to put the number or get confused which number to carry.

If you teach students to break down the numbers so 10 +10=20 and 9+3=12, then 20+12=32 it becomes very simple. The 1 in 19 becomes a 10.

**1. Counting forward**

Counting forward is easy to learn and speeds up calculations. The shortcut is to start with the biggest number and count up. Let’s take 4+3.

You want your child to start with the biggest number in their head the 4 and count up, 4,5,6,7.

This discourages kids from counting 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,..

They need to be taught if an equation looks like this, 2+6 that they start with the bigger number 6 and count up to 8.

**2. Doubles**

Learning to count with doubles saves so much time when equations get a little more complicated. Doubles are easy to teach as they are everywhere. Here are some examples of doubles.

Wheels 2+2

Toes, 5+5

Eggs 6+6

Fortnight 7+7

Doubles are easy to learn and there are many examples in real life and in the home. If a double equation becomes automatic they don’t have to think about the equation to solve it. they can simplify more complex equations.

**3. Doubles plus One**

Doubles plus one is about recognizing doubles and then adding on the extra number. For example 6+7 would be 6+6+1

The strategy is to double the small number and add 1.

**4. Making 10**

Memorizing all the different ways you can get to 10, 5+5, 3+7, 2+8, means that the combination of 10 is instantly recognizable. Once making 10 is automatic

There are many mental maths strategies that can deepen your child’s understanding if maths and how numbers work together. These four strategies will help your child do calculations quicker and understand how numbers work together.

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