Having the ability to do mental mathematics means being able to do mathematical calculations in your head without using your fingers, a calculator or pen and paper.
Mental mathematics keeps our brains sharp. Like all our other muscles, our brain requires exercise. It gets stronger and more efficient as we challenge it to do more and more difficult exercises.
We use mental mathematics in our everyday life. For example:
- When shopping we need to be able to calculate the total cost of the items we are purchasing and to calculate the change due to us.
- Comparing values of products or services. e.g. whether you get better value by buying a larger jar of honey. Converting local currency to foreign currency
- Cooking – when you might need to half, double for quadrupal portions.
- Figuring out a score or a grade.
Mental mathematics also improves a our number sense. That is, the ability to understand the relationships between quantities.