# DailyDirt: Doing Math In Your Head

### from the *urls-we-dig-up* dept

Math might not be the easiest subject for some students, but there might be different ways of teaching it that could make it more tolerable for kids. The more we learn about how our brains process math problems, the better we can teach ourselves how to tackle math education. There’s a lot of concern over how Americans can compete in a global economy if our kids don’t have some pretty basic math skills. Maybe some of these findings will help students pick up some much needed math skills.

- Learning how to use an abacus could actually be useful. Japanese students have demonstrated that using a mental image of an abacus (no actual abacus needed) can help them perform some incredibly fast mental calculations. [url]
- American kids don’t do well on international math tests, but the bright side is that we’re slowly learning what might be the best remedies. Understanding *why* kids don’t do well on math tests is an important part of coming up with a solution, but looking at the bad test results is pretty scary…. [url]
- Doing a few algebraic word problems before bedtime might help alleviate some math fears in children. Or they could inspire math-related nightmares that haunt kids like Freddie Krueger. You decide. [url]

If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

Filed Under: abacus, bedtime math, education, math, teaching, tests

## Comments on “DailyDirt: Doing Math In Your Head”

“Learning how to use an abacus could actually be useful. Japanese students have demonstrated that using a mental image of an abacus (no actual abacus needed) can help them perform some incredibly fast mental calculations.”

The abacus can help you do calculus and also help with converting different basseses of numbers to the standard Base 10 that we use.

Learning math is extremely important for most professions and to get through college quicker as some places use your SAT Scores to determine which gen-ed classes you need to take.

## Re: Re:

I had no idea you could do more than addition & subtraction with an abacus. You got me curious. I’m going to have to go do some research.

## bedtime math..

sounds like a great idea.. if parents can do the math…

## Mental math

I had a middle school teacher who started every class with 4 or 5 ‘mental math’ problems. We were not allowed to touch pencil and paper or a calculator. We had to do basic math in our heads and then write down the answers. I got very good at doing math this way and think this would be a good teaching method for students today.

## Re: Mental math

Now I have an image of a girl in a one-room schoolhouse imagining herself as an ice-skater doing figure 8s.

## learning basic maths...

To learn basic maths – the first step must, of course, be:

1) Learn how to count.

How many people or resources do you currently think are teaching people and children to count incorrectly/inconsistently?

For (an easy/quick) example: check a number wall chart somewhere and see if it counts from 1 to 10/100 or 0 to 9/99.

If its the former, then it’s doing it WRONG – our numerical symbolic system functions as base-10:

0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.

10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19.

20, etc..

We don’t count from 1 to 10 – (we start with nothing/0).

Anyone who is taught or thinks in such a manner is already starting off on the wrong foot… Basic addition and subtraction becomes fairly easy once the numerical system is understood, with multiplication and division becoming easier with that foundation.

## Old news

That oriental abacus-induced magic was featured on a major American news program perhaps 10 years ago.

## learning basic maths...

True dat.

I have fantasies of base 1, where we count from 0 to 0.

Understanding *why* kids don’t do well on math tests is an important part of coming up with a solutionthey dont study hard enough !!!! ‘do the math!!’

## Learn Mathematics

I was really much happy to find this article. I just picked up to bookmark it for long time recommendation. All presented tips can be much useful for those students who can’t understand easily Mathematics.