Pupils need to be able to carry out calculations efficiently and confidently but using standard algorithms isn’t always the most efficient way to calculate an answer. In fact, they need to use number sense when deciding how best to carry out a calculation.
Allowing pupils to discuss their methods reminds pupils about the most efficient ways to calculate different questions.
Although pupils don’t always need to use formal algorithms that doesn’t mean that they need to calculate everything in their heads; informal jottings and the use of a number line can be very helpful for pupils. Also, when working with larger numbers, it can be more efficient to use the standard algorithms.
However, whichever method pupils use, it is It is important that they create estimates first using a calculation that can be performed mentally. This can be used to check their answer against.
Also, when working with decimals, pupils need to first be familiar with the connection between decimals and fractions. Using rules such as, multiply by 10 and then divide the answer by 10 can be confusing. Seeing 5.3 as 53/10 and linking this to division so that 53/10 is also seen as 53 ÷ 10 (which equals 5.3) makes much more sense.
Calculation Options Decimal Addition and Subtraction
- 35 interactive slides each containing 4 cards that are flipped to reveal a calculation.
- Printables and answers are included to minimise preparation time.
- Each slide has accompanying notes with suggested ways to work out each calculation.