To do mental maths you need mental images of numbers

numberspersonsmallIs this what maths seems like to you?

When I was a small child I was great at mental maths, I took my GCSE a year early (that was unheard of in those days) and packed in 3 “A” level Maths in the next 2 years.  I was pretty dreadful at literacy but great at maths and nobody ever asked me how I did it.  I then did a degree in Maths and became a Software Engineer.  Still nobody asked me how I did it – I had always had good mental images of pictures and numbers, but none of words.

Years later I found out the key to success in mental arithmetic, you need mental images of numbers – its quite obvious really, but nobody tells you.  So to all those children who are struggling with maths, including learning those monotonous times tables, learn to visualise numbers and all maths will become so much easier.

I and our international network of #empoweringlearning coaches teach people every day these simple skills.  I can assure you that mental maths will always be difficult, whatever scheme you use, if you are not visualising numbers – after all its called mental maths isn’t it? So why don’t we ask small children if they can picture numbers, it would save masses of time and much heartache – if they are not picturing numbers we can teach them simple and easily.

Topics like rotating images will probably be one of the subjects in maths that is easy, because you can picture the images moving around.  On the other hand algbra, with things like 2x+3y seems as if it is from another planet, to someone who normally thinks in pictures.  Try thinking of it as 2 cats plus 3 dogs and it will be easier, as however hard you try you can’t make cats into dogs.

Feel free to add your tips for making maths easy for a visual brain.

Do contact us if you need assistance olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk

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