I had a question this morning about mental math resources to help prepare students for the mental math in the grade 6 exam. This specific school was looking at vertical planning of mental math strategies to alleviate some of the mental math pressure in grade 6.
I love the idea of teaching mental math strategies one at a time so that students can build understanding of the strategy, practice it and then move on to the next strategy. Practicing strategies in a circular fashion (ie: bringing back skills that they know on a regular basis) also helps to keep it fresh. A cheap and easy way to practice mental math is to the pose the question aloud and ask the students to record their response on a white board. Students can flash their whiteboard to the teacher for a quick response. Teachers can check off students who understand/don't understand for further follow up. The teacher can also have direct formative feedback as to whether the class is ready to move on or needs a review.
For our grade 6 teachers with iPads, they could easily use the app Socrative student so that the data is sent to the teacher immediately and can be projected onto the screen/SmartBoard for whole class evaluation purposes. This allows teachers as well as the students themselves to identify misconceptions and peer problem solve.
Here are a variety of websites and printables that I found: Mental Math Strategies and Practice
- this website has a multitude of strategies for practicing mental math. It also allows you to select whether you want to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponents, and percents. Mental Math Strategies with Printable Practice
- this website has a variety of information on mental math strategies, it also has PDF packages that you can download and use for in class practice. Free Printable Mental Math
- another website with printable mental math questions. Great variety of tasks. It is UK based so be careful with the money questions. Here is a quote from their website that I love. Mental Math Website
- this website has online questions on a variety of topics (percents, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and decimals). Students can play either the game format or the test format. Mental Math Games
- this website has a variety of online games that students can play to practice mental math skills. Mental Math Games 2
- another website with online math facts. Less game style and more fact practice.
Finally, specifically for grade 4, here is a wonderful PDF package from the Prince Edward Island Deptartment of Education English programs that is complete with all the strategies you can teach in grade 4, as well as specific examples of each. It is a one stop shop for all you need to get started. I can only find it online as a PDF link so I've linked it here.
PEI has these resources for all grade levels, here they are below.
Grade 1 teachers! I found the same style of package but built for grade 1 at this site.
Grade 2 teachers, here is yours.
Grade 3 teachers... Check it out!
Grade 4 is listed above.
Grade 5 cannot be found online, post a comment if you find it please and I'm happy to share the link.
Grade 6 teachers guide can be found here.
ETSB teachers, if you are looking for more ideas about how to implement a mental math routine into your classroom, please contact me and I'm more than happy to come in and model some strategies, and practice with your students. Thanks!