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# Learning issues

Learning mental computation fits within the broader topic of learning mathematics.

**Memory load**

Students' working memories are limited.

**Number sense**

Mental calculation sits within the broader goal of number sense.

**Pattern and structure**

Mathematics is a study of pattern. The organisation of a pattern is structure.

## Memory load

Our working memories are limited. Working memory load has implications for mental strategies since each additional step in a solution strategy requires more information to be held.

## Number sense

Number sense means understanding the relative size of numbers and the quantities to which they refer. It also involves applying the four operations and estimation flexibly to solve problems.

## Pattern and structure

Recognition of pattern and structure – in and between situations – is critical if mathematics is to be seen as a coherent way of viewing the world.