# How to develop fast counting skills? Tips for all ages

In the past century, teaching methods for such professions as an economist, salesman, merchandiser, and teacher of primary school arithmetic are erased from the memory of society, like remnants of the Soviet past. But they had a lot of useful things. In particular, such exercises, which activated brain activity, developed logical thinking, using both hemispheres of the brain in order to find optimal solutions to mathematical problems and be able to count in mind quickly.

Separate elements of the techniques formed the basis of modern courses in mental mathematics and fast oral account training programs. Today it is a luxury - the ability to quickly count in the mind, and in the distant past, it was a necessary condition for social adaptation and survival.

## Why do you need to be able to count in your mind

The human brain is an organ that needs a constant load, otherwise the mechanism of atrophy is triggered.

Another feature is that all neural processes in the brain are simultaneously interconnected. So, lack of physical and mental activity, the predominance of static load, lead to distraction, inattention and irritability. In the worst case, a stressful condition can develop, the consequences of which are difficult to predict.

Knowledge of the world and the laws of social life, comes to the child as they grow up and learn, and mathematics plays not the last role in this, since it is she who teaches us to build logical connections, algorithms and parallels.

Psychologists and experienced teachers identify various reasons why a child needs to learn to count in his mind:

- Increased concentration and observation.
- Training short-term memory.
- Activation of thought processes and the development of literate speech.
- The ability to think differently and abstractly.
- Training the ability to recognize patterns and analogies.

## Oral counting techniques and exercises for adults

The range of tasks and problems of an adult person is much broader than that of a child. In a number of professions and in everyday life, people daily have to deal with mathematical tasks a hundred times a day:

- How much profit it will bring me.
- Do not cheat me in the store.
- Did not the dealers overestimate the margin on the purchased goods.
- It is cheaper to take a loan with a monthly interest payment or once every three months.
- What is better - an hourly payment of 150 rubles or a monthly salary of 18,000 rubles.

The list can be continued, but the fact of the need for oral account skills is undeniable.

### Preparatory stage - awareness of the need for oral accounts

Mental mathematics and any other technique designed to teach how to count at home in the mind more quickly and efficiently, teaches adults and children.

Their only difference is the sphere of application of knowledge. The developers of MM courses are trying to pick up puzzles for adults in such a way that they are in demand in their work.

*☞ Example:*

You have in your hands a futures contract with a date of execution on January 1, 2019 and you set out to figure out on which day of the week this event will occur (all of a sudden Friday). All operations are carried out with the last two digits of the year, in our case, it is 19. First you need to add to the 19th quarter, this can be done by simple division: 19: 2 = 8.5, then 8.5: 2 = 4.25. Decimal numbers discarded. We add: 19 + 4 = 23. The day of the week is determined simply: it is necessary to subtract from the received figure the product closest to it with the number 7. In our case it is 7 * 3 = 21. Therefore, 23 - 21 = 2.The expiration date of the futures - the second day or Tuesday.

It is easy to check by looking at the calendar, but if it is not at hand, this technique may be useful, and will lift you in the eyes of others.

### Methods of fast addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of different numbers

Examples with varying degrees of complexity require different amounts of time, although with constant practice the number of efforts is reduced.

Addition and subtraction in mental mathematics tend to be simplified. Complex and global tasks are divided into smaller and simpler ones. Large numbers are rounded.

*☞ Example of addition:*

17 996 + 2676 + 3592 = 18 000 + 3600 + 2680 – 4 – 8 — 4 = 21600 + 2000 + 600 + 80 – 10 – 6 = 23600 + 600 + 70 – 6 = 24200 + 70 – 6 = 24270 – 6 = 24264.

At first, it will be difficult to keep such a long chain in your head and you have to mentally pronounce all the numbers in order not to get lost, but as the short-term memory improves, the process will become easier and more understandable.

*☞ Example of subtraction:*

For subtraction, the process is identical. First we subtract the rounded number, and then add the excess. A simple example: 7635 - 5493 = 7635 - 5500 + 7 = 2135 + 7 = 2142

For multiplication and division, there are some small tricks, including those previously mentioned in the example with dates. In practice, the most common examples with percentages or proportions. The essence of their solution also comes down to fragmentation and simplification of the task.Some can be solved with just one click.

*☞ Example of multiplication and division:*

You put on deposit 36 000 at. e. at 11% and you need to calculate how much profit it will bring. The secret of calculation is simple - the first and last digit will remain the same, and the middle will be the sum of two extreme numbers. So 36 * 11 = 3 (3 + 6) 6 = 396 or in our case 396/100% = 3 960 y. e.

In most mental methods of multiplication and division, a mandatory and uncontested condition is the knowledge of the multiplication table up to ten. For primary school children, the oral account training program will be different.

## Oral Exercise Tips for Children

Children have tasks of a different order. In addition to tedious learning, they are also forced to multiply and divide apples and tomatoes, and if you ask why this is done - the teacher will say “right” at best, and the child will lose interest in the whole process.

It is impossible to change the education system in a month, but to help a child develop oral account skills is quite real.

### Preparatory stage

Explain to the child in an accessible language, why counting in the mind is not only useful, but also interesting. If you decide to work with him on your own, pick up illustrated materials from various sources and make a schedule of joint activities.It is not necessary to practice every day and many hours. This will not benefit. It is enough to devote twenty minutes to this three times a week, but at the same time that the child is used to it.

### Examples of exercises for children

Start with interesting tasks to "get involved in the game." Show how you can quickly get an answer to a difficult example and outrun all classmates. Develop leadership qualities.

*☞ Example:*

We use the multiplication rule of two-digit numbers with the same first digits and the last, giving a total of "10", to solve the example of "44 * 46". The first digit is multiplied by the one that follows it in order. We also multiply the last digits: 44 * 46 = (4 * 5 = 20; 4 * 6 = 24) = 2024.

In school, such examples are solved in the old manner, in a column. It takes a lot of time just to rewrite everything. Knowing the multiplication table for 4, this example can be solved in the mind in a couple of seconds.

### What is taught in school and can you believe everything

The classical school as a whole is skeptical of accelerated counting techniques, citing as an example children who, trained in methods of mental mathematics, then do not seek to think logically in other subjects, they want to do everything quickly, as they are used to, and not qualitatively.

But this is due more to the inertia of the educational program than to the real state of affairs.

*Video information*

Mental mathematics helps to activate mental processes, but does not call for throwing out notebooks, not to count them in a column, and books, not to read. The methods of oral counting are well absorbed by the child in parallel with the methods of writing, which are more often used in primary school arithmetic. He sees several solutions to problems and feels more confident than his classmates.

Unfortunately, when checking a test for a teacher, it is more important to see the correct “as in a textbook” course of the decision, not the child’s real knowledge, but here mental mathematics is already powerless.