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Estrategias de cálculo mental utilizadas por estudiantes del nivel secundaria de Baja California

Abstract
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It is well known that mental estimation helps students to develop number sense, and to improve numeric relations understanding. For this reason, the purpose of this research focused to describe Mexican secondary students´ abilities to solve mental arithmetic problems, as well as to identify mental strategies used by the best calculators´ eight-grade students. To accomplish this, we applied an adapted estimation test version (originally developed by Reys et al., 1982) to 248 students from eight private and public schools of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Results showed that Mexican students have few abilities to solve mental arithmetic problems, and that “rounding” and “front-end” were the most frequently mental strategies used. We concluded that, with this model, it is possible to identify good estimators, as well as mental strategies students use to solve arithmetic problems.