Students who don’t have cognitive strategies that enhance flexible thinking and number sense are at a disadvantage. Build equality and community through strong mental math skills. Mental math is a mathematical framework that includes number sense, computational fluency and the application of number concepts through purposeful and varied practice, not just rote memorization.
How do we teach these skills in ways that are engaging and promote a deeper understanding of number sense? We do this by having students look for and recognize patterns; through direct teaching and practice of strategies in lessons and directed number talks; and with a wide variety of games and activities that give the students the opportunity to master these skills. When students are equipped to work with accuracy, fluency and flexibility in thought, we create a more even playing field where all students are able to learn and contribute in our math communities. As students build their proficiency and confidence a ‘collective effervescence’ develops in the classroom which leads to greater satisfaction and joy in doing the math.
Join Donna Prato to see how you can help all your students advance their mental math abilities.