Friday, February 24, 2012

Mental Math

One of the pod casts I am following this semester is called Mental Math. Mental Math provides helpful tips to doing math equations in your head. In the most recent pod cast I have viewed I have learned how to divide numbers by .5 in my head. For example in you are dividing a 10 by .5 it is the same as multiplying by 2, this is the case for any time that you are dividing .5 by a number.  I think learning tips like this are extremely helpful for any prospective teacher. While it is important for students to learn how to write out algebraic equations and to be able to show their work to support their answers it is also important that students understand tricks for more real world applications. Often teachers focus a lot on how you got your answer and what many teachers seem to lose is that there is more than one way to come about the answer to a math problem and not one single way is correct. 

When students come into a standardized test they are not being judged on the work they can show, there is not partial credit so it would be relevant for a student to know the fastest way to get to an answer. In an age where standardized testing is relevant but changing we as teachers need to be preparing students to be able to do these things.  As a student who struggled with math a lot in elementary school I know that one of the major problems I had was with simple operations when problems got too big. If there were multiple steps for an equation I often made simple errors. For other students who have the same problem watching videos that are made through Mental Math could provide them with shortcuts that might eliminate these types of simple errors.

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