**Math Tips, Tricks, and Mental Calculations**

**Frequently Asked Questions:**

**How does the class work?**

Students come to class for

**one hour per week, from 8:15 - 9:15 AM on Wednesdays, for 14 weeks**between August and December. In a typical class I teach students a new math trick showing them how to do a quick mental or other calculation, and we practice in class that new trick and review old ones.

We also have regular "pop quizzes" in class, and I give the students a review sheet that covers four days that upcoming week. (This sheet shouldn't take but 10 minutes or so to do each day.) Every few weeks I email to parents a quiz for their student to take, along with an answer key so the parents can score it easily.

We also laugh and do games like crossword puzzles and fun things in class!

**What are the goals of this class?**

There are three main goals:

**Goal 1: Performing Quick Mental Calculations**

The first objective of "Math Tips & Tricks" is teaching students how to perform these kinds of calculations

**in their heads**:

- multiplying and dividing numbers with decimals
- calculating percents
- multiplying and dividing numbers with zeroes
- manipulating fractions
- multiplying and dividing numbers by 4 or by 5

**Goal 2**

**: Sharpening Ratio/Fraction/Decimal/Percent Skills**

The second objective of "Math Tips & Tricks" is honing students' speed and proficiency in these essential math skills:

- converting decimals/fractions/percents
- solving ratios
- speeding up "long division"
- solving fraction word problems
- working out real-world math problems (unit pricing, interest rates, tipping, and so on).

**Goal 3**

**: Increasing Success with Higher Math Classes**

Here's the bottom line: The techniques and practice problems in "Math Tips & Tricks," if applied by students, will...

- make arithmetic faster,
- increase accuracy in problem solving,
- speed up math lessons with whatever program they use, and
- enable them to focus on
**concepts, not arithmetic**, in higher math classes!

**In a nutshell:**When students aren't spending long periods of time trying to figure out fractions, decimals, percents, ratios, and arithmetic, higher math classes like Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Trigonometry become much easier. When students feel confident about zipping through the math areas we cover in "Math Tips & Tricks," they can focus more on x's and y's, and less on arithmetic.

**My experience in working with math students for decades is that**

*lack of proficiency in arithmetic, and NOT formulas or x's and y's,*is the*number one reason*that students struggle to successfully complete higher math courses!**What do you expect from students?**

I expect students to...

- take notes,
- create flash cards from their notes to help them remember our math tricks,
- complete their (short!) home assignments,
- be prepared in class, and
- follow all guidelines in the
**student handbook**!

**Are there any prerequisites to signing up for the Math Tips & Tricks class?**

Yes:

**mastery of the multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction tables**. Students who join the Math Tips & Tricks class should already have their four operation tables (+, ‒, ×, ÷) mastered, meaning they can rattle them all off

**accurately and immediately**.

**What do we have to do to sign up?**

**Click here**for the sign-up checklist, and complete it. Basically, you'll need to (a) review the student handbook, (b) agree that your student will follow the guidelines, and (c) fill out an enrollment form online.

**(For the Math Tips & Tricks class, you don't have do steps 3 and 5 in the checklist!)**

**What did Babe Ruth keep under his baseball cap to keep his head cool?**

A cabbage leaf. (This has little to do with the Math Tips & Tricks class; I just thought it was interesting.)