Oh, and whatever you do... don't tell Mrs Morris, our maths subject leader. She'll go crackers if she hears we've been learning non-standard methods!
Weird arithmetic method 1
Write down five of these numbers & add them up by counting the dots (or imaginary dots). It works best with the digits 1-5 (the rest are a bit too complicated to be honest). Try these calculations: 97+5 (count the imaginary dots on the 5-digit); once you get into the groove with it, you can add small numbers without really thinking about it. Try 48+5+3+4+3. See how you can just count the dots without really thinking. Mr Brooks' mate Richard taught him this when they were twelve!