Early Years, KS1

Strategies to improve mental arithmetic. Doubles.

When students master the mental calculation of doubles, or doubles plus a simple operation, their artihmetic skills are greatly improved, making the student more successful when facing tasks that will arrive in the next courses.

This is an easy strategy of simple application, ideal for short breaks and that works wonders. One way to use it is to work the doubles routinely some mornings. To do this, have each student take one dice (they can keep a pair always with them to work many other math tasks). The foam rubber type are cool because they do not make noise or bounce so much. Depending on the level of your studendoubles-recordts, use one or two dice. Then set a timer. Two or three minutes is usually enough. At the start, signal the students to throw their dice and write down on a sheet twice the result obtained. You can download our template here. When the time runs out students will count how many doubles they have calculated and will record the daily result on their doubles sheet.

After a few sessions, the students master the doubles perfectly. Make it more complex as you want, working triples, use several dice, doubles plus one or minus one …
The unmarked dice are ideal for variations of this type of routine. For instance, give one of these dice to each student in which there is two blank sides, another side with a +1, same with -1, +2 and -2 for example. The student will have to add this dice to another two normal dice and throw the 3 dice together. Then calculate the double taking into account that he/she must do a straight double if a blank side comes up or also add or subtract 1 or 2 to the double.

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