Mental Math: Making Tens
Date: 09/16/2003 at 19:47:15 From: Ralph Subject: my child's math homework She is learning mental math strategies, butthere are no explanations with her homework pages. There is mention of the "make a ten" strategy, but no examples. I have never heard of this, although it might be a new name for an old concept. Here is a sample problem: 89 + 24 Change one number to a multiple of 10: ______ Adjust the other number: ________ Add: _____________
Date: 09/16/2003 at 20:16:09 From: Doctor Achilles Subject: Re: my childs math homework Hi Ralph, Thanks for writing to Dr. Math. I think that "making a ten" refers to the following strategy. If you are adding 2 numbers together, you can mentally add 1 to one of them if you mentally subtract 1 from the other. For example, 46+55 is equal to 47+54. Or, a more useful example, 36+59 is equal to 35+60. 35+60 is a much easier problem to do in your head because you can see right away that the one's digit will be 5, then you just add the ten's digits 3+6, and get 9. So your answer is 95. For the problem 89+24, you can mentally change that to 90+23. That comes out to be 113. You can also add 2, 3, 4, 5, or even 10, 11, 13, or even 23, 24, whatever you want to one number in the problem AS LONG AS YOU SUBTRACT THE *SAME* NUMBER FROM THE OTHER. For example, the problem 87+34, you can add 3 to 87 and subtract 3 from 34. That gives you 90+31, which is easier to do. You can do the same thing with even more complicated problems, like 346+175, you can add 25 to 175 and subtract 25 from 346. That should give you 321+200, or 521. Another way you could have done the same problem is to first add 5 to 175 and subtract 5 from 346, giving you: 341+180, then add another 20 to 180 and subtract another 20 from 341, giving you 321+200. The way I usually do mental math is to look for whichever one of the two numbers I'm adding that is closest to a "round number" and then add or subtract from that number as much as I need to get it and then do the opposite to the other number. If you're curious, when you're doing subtraction, you can also add something to one number, but if you do that you have to ADD the same amount to the other number; similarly, when subtracting if you subtract something from one number you have to subtract the same amount from the other number. This explanation was not designed for an elementary school student, but I hope it has clarified the concept for you so that you can explain it to your daughter. Best of luck, and please feel free to let me know if you would like clarification on anything. - Doctor Achilles, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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