What happened to doing arithmetic in your head?

Recently I have been tutoring more and more and I am finding it slightly alarming how many of my students rely on a calculator for every little calculation. Maybe I am a little old fashion and I feel silly even saying this but I remember when I took algebra I wasn't allowed to use a calculator. Often problems didn't have any numbers to work with which was a great way to learn the concepts being taught in algebra. Is it necessary to be able to add and subtract and do simple multiplication and division in your head? No, probably not, but then again being able to do arithmetic in your head actually is widely helpful in seeing how to simplify math problems. How can you expect to be successful in higher levels of math if you barely have a grasp on arithmetic? Any one with suggestions on how to catch students up on their basic math while tutoring students in higher levels of math would be appreciated!


Lauren B.

Enthusiastic Chemistry and Math Tutor

300+ hours
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