Good math students use rote memory

Students who excel at math use rote memory to solve simple arithmetic problems, while weak students calculate, concludes a new study, Why Mental Arithmetic Counts, published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Researchers scanned students’ brains while they were solving problems.

Higher-level mathematical skills are built on “arithmetic fluency, the speed and efficiency with which correct solutions to numerical computations are generated,” researchers wrote.

This “buttresses the Common Core’s call for ‘automaticity‘ of math facts in the early grades, writes Education Gadfly.

Brits ban calculators in primary school

Britain will ban calculators in elementary school to give children time to learn arithmetic.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “Without a solid grounding in arithmetic and early maths in primary school, children go on to struggle with basic maths skills throughout their school careers.”

Nearly half of British adults have the numeracy skills expected of children aged nine to 11, according to a government survey. They have difficult comparing prices and paying bills.

The quiz measures skills expected of the average 11-year-old:

The Government's maths quiz: How does your maths compare with the average 11 year old? average 11 year old?