Using Mental Math to Solve Two-Step Problems: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tiffany Price

Tiffany has many years of classroom teaching experience and has a masters degree in Educational Leadership.

In this lesson, we will discuss how to mentally solve multi-step math problems. You can solve the math problems provided in two easy steps. We will complete a few examples for practice.

Using math is not only necessary in life, but it can be fun, too. It may seem like you only use math in math class, but there are many everyday scenarios that you will encounter that require mental math, or doing calculations in your head. As you go through your day, you will come across ''math moments'' when you won't have a pencil and paper. In this lesson, you will learn how to solve two-step math problems using mental math. Let's take a look at the scenarios below.

Scenario 1:

It is Halloween and you go trick-or-treating with your brothers and sisters. The air is crisp, you love your costume, and you are ready for candy! Before you leave, your mom gives you 5 pieces of candy to start filling up your bag. At your neighbor's house, you receive 4 more pieces of candy, but then you eat 6 pieces of candy from your bag before going on to the next house. How many pieces of candy do you have left?

The final answer is 3 pieces of candy. This is how you solve this math problem in two easy steps:


Scenario 2:

You are at the library, and you love reading. The awesome thing about the library is that you can check out several books at a time! As you browse row after row of bookshelves, you pick up 12 books that look pretty interesting. You take them back to the table to decide which books you really want to borrow. After a few minutes of flipping through each one, you decide to put 5 back, but on your way to the checkout counter, you pick up 3 more. How many books do you have now to checkout?

The final answer is 10 books. Here is how to solve this problem:


Scenario 3:

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