If your child is entering upper primary, then they might need these method maths to help them solve problems!
As children progress further into primary school, they will learn more complex math concepts and encounter more difficult math problems, including word problem sums.
It’s important that children have good problem solving skills and a steady math foundation to help them solve those problems.
However, another useful skill to have is math heuristics. Simply put, math heuristics are proven math methods that can aid students in problem solving complex math questions.
By having these math methods ready in hand, students are much more equipped to deal with any troublesome math questions in their way.
In this article, we’ll go through 2 method maths students must know in primary school. By learning these methods, students can overcome various math problems with ease!
Guess and Check Method
The guess and check method is when students make an educated guess about a math problem before checking if it fits the scenario.
They will then repeat the process until they find the answer to the problem.
Students can use this method when they face a problem that provides the sum of 2 items and asks to find 1 item’s total in particular.
For example, let’s say there are a total of 15 cats and birds in a park, with a total of 42 legs.
The question is: how many out of the 15 animals are cats?
Here are the steps to solve this problem using the guess and check method:
- Divide the total number in half to get a starting point
- 15 / 2 = 7.5 (Let’s use either 7 or 8)
- Calculate the cats’ total number of legs with that number
- 7 x 4 = 28
- Divide the total number with the cat’s number to receive the guessed total of birds
- 15 – 7 = 8
- Calculate the birds’ total number of legs with the guessed number
- 8 x 2 = 16
- Combine the total number of legs with the staring number 7 to see if it fits the scenario
- 28 + 16 = 44 (Too many!)
- Repeat the process with different starting numbers until you receive the correct total
If your child wants a faster math method, they can try out the assumption method!
This method is slightly more complex, as it is introduced in Primary 4, but students who understand its foundation can receive faster results!
Much like the guess and check method, students can use the assumption method when they are faced with questions that give a total of 2 items and request the number of 1 item in particular.
However, this method involves assuming that all of those items are the same item in order to find out the answer.
For example, if there are 15 mosquitoes and human pet busters in a room, with 54 legs altogether, how many mosquitoes are there?
Here are the steps to solve this problem:
- Assume all 15 are human pet busters and calculate the number of legs
- 15 x 2 = 30
- Divide the total number of legs with the assumption
- 54 – 30 = 24
- Replace 1 pet buster with 1 mosquito and subtract to find the remaining legs
- 6 (mosquito legs) – 2 (human legs) = 4
- Calculate the number of mosquitoes we need to get a total number of 24 legs
- 24 / 4 = 6 (the answer!)
You can also watch this tutorial to better understand the process!
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By learning these method maths, children will be more prepared to solve complex math problems!
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