# Can Shortcuts in Math help Students who are Struggling to keep up?

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Use simple shortcuts to help students understand math. Introduce mental math tricks to help students succeed.

*Make math easier with these easy and effective strategies… *

Math can be difficult for many students. The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) define what students should understand and be able to do in their study of mathematics. The aim of these standards is that all students should learn important mathematical concepts and processes with understanding. They recognize that while learning specific content in mathematics is important, developing the skills of thinking and reasoning are equally important. Unfortunately, the grade-specific standards do not define the intervention methods or materials necessary to support students who are well below or well above grade-level expectations. Teachers must learn interventions skills in order to help these students.

Interventions have become an important way for teachers to ensure that all students succeed in today’s high stakes testing environment. Easy and effective math tips can help teachers identify who may benefit from intervention and address the needs of those students. Listed below are four categories of math shortcut strategies teachers can use to make math easier for their students.

**1. Addition**

** **The order of the numbers in an addition problem does not affect the answer.

- When zero is added to the original number, the answer is the original number.
- When 1 is added to the original number, the answer is the next larger number.

**2. Subtraction**

Teachers can teach students these shortcuts to help with basic subtraction:

- When zero is subtracted from the original number, the answer is the original number.
- When 1 is subtracted from the original number, the answer is the next smaller number.
- When the original number has the same number subtracted from it, the answer is zero.

**3. Multiplication**

These multiplication shortcuts can be taught to the students:

- When a number is multiplied by zero, the answer is zero.
- When a number is multiplied by 1, the answer is the original number.
- When a number is multiplied by 2, the answer is equal to the number being added to itself.
- The order of the numbers in a multiplication problem does not affect the answer.

**4. Division**

Teachers can teach students these division shortcuts:

- When zero is divided by any number, the answer is zero.
- When a number is divided by 1, the answer is the original number.
- When a number is divided by itself, the answer is 1.

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