Arithmetic Action

Arithmetic is Greek for “art and skill with numbers.” Math is Greek for "method." Humans practice their Arithmetic skills using Math methods. Traditionally, we manipulate numbers and symbols with pencil and paper using techniques that are hundreds of years old. Yet surprisingly, in an age of advanced mathematics, the most common math mistakes, even for professionals, continue to be simple arithmetic errors!

Topic Text Video
Mental Math Materials
Mental Math Cover
* The front cover lists the major topics: Addition Attaches, Subtraction Steals, Multiplication Magnifies, Division Dissolves, Exponentiation Expands, and PEMDAS Prioritizes.
* The back cover answers the question: Why Mental Math?

2 pages

Mental Math FunBook
Mental Math generally refers to arithmetic done in one's head without pencil and paper. This FunBook contains tips and tricks to improve speed and accuracy with numbers. But it also expands the concept of "mental" by weaving stories and movement into traditional techniques. This handout starts with the Table of Contents and ends with the Answer Key.

64 pages

Mental Math Slides
These slides summarize the main topics from the Funbook and are suitable for overhead projection.

11 pages

A Tale of Two Snowmen
The standard saying is "Two negatives make a positive," but it's not always true. In three situations they do. In two situations they don't. Do you know which is which?

1 page

Elevator Addition
Comparing addition to sorting grain, this technique makes adding tall columns of multi-digit numbers a snap!

2 pages

7:02 minutes

Borrow & Spend Subtraction
Subtracting multi-digit numbers can be as much fun as shopping. But when you're short of cash, it's nice to have generous friends.

2 pages

7:34 minutes

Times Table Tricks & Tales
Master your Times Tables, the key to "fast addition." Click for Teaching Notes.

12 pages

Popcorn Multiplication
Multiplying multi-digit numbers is like popcorn popping at the movie theater. Yummy!

2 pages

10:14 minutes

Smash & Add
Impress your family and friends by multiplying 11 times any 2-digit your head! Then show them the trick!


1:49 minutes
Same-Ten Trick
Magically multiply any numbers that begin with the same digits and whose last digits add to ten. 225, 336, 447, 558, 999, 10105....

1 page

Rainbow Division - Part 1
Follow the rainbow to the pot of gold for long division of multi-digit numbers. Can you guess which one of the four basic operations ( + – × ÷ ) is not used in long division?

1 page

5:49 minutes

Rainbow Division - Part 2
Traps & Tips: Learn what to do if numbers don't "fit" or if you guess too high or too low. Round & estimate to improve guessing. What is "short" division? Explore three ways to handle remainders.

2 pages

8:07 minutes


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