Why Publishers Should Help Kids Combat Math Anxiety
Laura Jane's insight:
This TED talk addresses a fequently overlooked issue, the gap between acknowledging students' math anxiety and teaching through the textbook. I highly recomend this TED talk for ideas of how to use the textbook in a more authentic way, to help alleviate students' anxiety surrounding math.
Math Anxierty Now Extends to Parents Who Have to Help Kids With Math NBC 6 South Florida Math anxiety used to mean a student's fear of math. Now it could refer to what parents feel when their kids ask them for help with their math homework.
This article reminded me greatly of an anecdote that Dr. Bote shared in class. A parent of one of her students was sending her notes constantly, saying that the homework she was sending home was stupid, a waste of time, etc. Upon finally meeting with him in a conference, she came to find the root of the problem: that he couldn't do the math himself.
Homework is frequently given at a "challenge" level, aiming to further students' thinking. However, so frequently, the students are relying on their parents to help them to get to the answers. By giving homework that is out of reach for a student, we are doing more harm than good, as we are tying in a third party: parents.
1. Don't make all the decisions Allow choice. Encourage students to make decisions about how they learn best. Create opportunities for them to pursue their own interests and practise skills in a va...
Laura Jane's insight:
This article offers 10 pieces of advice to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. This is something that I've struggled with throughout the semester. So frequently, I catch my mentor teacher threatening to give a bad grade, write a note to mom and dad, or make a phone call home. However, we should shift the feeling from dreading getting in trouble with their parents to feeling personally responsible for their choices.
One recomendation that stuck with me is the emphasis on open-ended questions. I did this many times this semester and was amazed by the result. Letting students know that there is no right or wrong answer is refreshing, and makes them feel more motivated to try their best.
Another recomendation that I liked was to encourage goal setting and reflection. I hope to have my students make goals at the beginning of the year, and re-visit them periodically. I like the fact that this allows them to check in and acknowledge their own learning, instead of constantly relying on teacher feedback.
As Ms. Dichter already stated, this article draws an interesting comparison between our belief that math anxiety doesn't start until sixth grade with the overwhelming reality that we're seeing symptoms of anxiety as early as first grade. This SchoolBook article gives an interesting example, a 7-year-old girl named Zoey, who excels in reading, but struggles in math. The pressure that her parents put on her largely contributes to her anxiousness. The article gives a multitude of ideas for how to combat math anxiety, even beginning as young as first grade. Constantly providing reassurance, demonstrating patience, and exhibiting that it's okay to not get something on the first try are all suggestions that I hope to implement in my own classroom.
As Corinne and Rebecca have already stated, this article delves deeper into the recurring question: "When will I actually use this??" So frequently, I catch myself being unable to explain how to perform a mathematical operation because it was so ingrained in my head HOW to do it, but now WHY we do it. It's hard to think of ways to mix up math, because it is one thing that has changed very little for hundreds of years. This article discusses that students perceive the traditional paper and pencil method of learning math as boring... Who can blame them?? We have way to many resources, and technology is too readily available, for our math lessons to be outdated and monotonous. This article offers many ideas for making students "fall in love with math," and I think the first step is for us to fall in love with it ourselves, as teachers.
A great article by noted author Marilyn Curtain-Phillips on the causes and prevention of math anxiety.
Laura Jane's insight:
As someone who has always felt comfortable with math, this article offered great insight as to how and why students suffer with math anxiety. This article stresses the importance of nipping math anxiety in the primary grades, as it only gets worse as students get older. One approach mentioned that I really liked was the importance of paying attention to the classroom environment as a whole. If your students feel comfortable in their learning community, as if they won't be shamed if they get a wrong answer, they are more likely to feel at ease and open minded as they enter into unchartered territory (fractions anyone?)
One suggestion that the article mentioned that I plan to implement in my own classroom is to incorporate "relatable things." By using cartoons, humor, and picture in your math instruction, you can help your students to make connections with things that seem less intimidating. By encouraging them to make that connection, you can alleviate some of the anxiety associated with math struggles.
Something mentioned in the article that I already see in my classrom is putting students into cooperative pairs. We frequently encourage my students to "think-pair-share" with each other. This is a very real world approach, which is why I think it works so well. Although college students certainly dread doing group work, it is what we will be expected to do in the work force. Very rarely is a singular person expected to master a task completely independently. By allowing students to use resources around them, in this case other students, we are allowing them to participate in a deeper and more authentic learning experience.
Counsel & Heal Studies Say Female Math Anxiety is a Myth Guardian Express A stereotypical belief held by the majority of the public shows that gender biased societies believe males are superior in math to girls and women, often outperforming them...
What an interesting [and sad] article. As a woman, an educator, and a human rights activist, I firmly believe that all people should have the same educational opportunities, regardless of race, gender, of SES. This article brings up a point that I hadn't previously considered: comparing boys and girls when it comes to math. Men are typically, and unfortunately, perceived as the superior gender, better equipt for tough math and science work. This stereotype is ingrained in our heads from a young age, simply in giving boys legos and puzzles, while girls get dolls and play kitchens.
As a young girl, a lot of math anxiety can be contributed to the subliminal feeling that they are less capable of being strong math performers than their male colleagues. Interesting perspective on something that should not even be an issue in 2013.
What happens when parents and teachers—figures of towering importance in the world of children—pass on negative views about particular academic subjects? [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more!
I love the perspective of this article. Children truly are sponges, absorbing the opinions and ideas of those around them while they are learning how to create their own. If adults, parents and teachers alike, are passing on their negative perspectives and attitudes toward a subject, how can we not expect our students and children to pick up on that? Although many adults aren't completely comfortable with math, it is important that we encourage our students to push through that frustration, and ultimately support that higher level of learning. Good read, passing this onto my mentor teacher.
Thanks Julia for this great flipped classroom idea! My placement school just got a class set of iPads, and I think that a flipped classroom activity would be a great way of integrating technology with learning. My mentor teacher doesn't usually teach math in any non-traditional ways, so I believe my students would see the flipped classroom model as a new and exciting way to learn. This article offers many ideas for implementing the flipped classroom, focusing largely on student-centered learning. Maybe I'll try this in my full takeover!
I have used Kid Snippets videos with my class before, and they think they are hilarious!! The premise is that adults act out kid's words on a given topic. This particular clip shows a "teacher" trying to get a student to understand that 10-1=9. Even though the student has no idea what the answer is, and is continuing to get the problem wrong, the teacher doesn't know how to redirect him to better understand his own thinking. I think that, even though this video is meant to be funny, there's a lot of truth behind it. It's a frustration that we face daily as teachers... We have to revert to a very basic state of understanding in order to try to help our students to better understand these complex topics. I think that showing this video to a group of students would show them a practical issue through humor. They will see how it feels to be the teacher, and I think that role reversal deepens learning on all levels.
Deseret News Low math, science scores blamed on boring curriculum Deseret News Test scores for American students in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) for 2012 were released Tuesday and revealed considerably lower math results...
This article stresses the importance of making math education authentic and engaging. Many people believe that the low math [and science] scores can be accredited to the fact that our curriculum lacks authentic applications. If we want students to think of math as practical and useful, we need to make it more authentic and relevant. Showing students how they use math in their everyday lives is critical. The article offers many suggestions for making real world connections in everyday math teaching, which I hope to implement in my own lessons.
Video of Amanda August, Grayslake D46 Curriculum Director explaining the focus of Common Core Math: Video Segment Transcript: Amanda August: "But even under ...
Laura Jane's insight:
Interesting take on the Common Core. Breaking it down in a way that parents and educators alike can understand.
This short clip emphasizes that it's not so much about the end result as it is about the process.This lead me to feel a bit of a disconnect between the goals of the common core and the actuality. The standardized unit tests that we give our students frequently have 3 or 4 step quesetions, where you first answer the question, and then go on to share your thinking and reasoning. When grading these, if the first part of the question is wrong, all the rest of the corresponding questions are consequently marked wrong.
I think that this video's definition of the goals of the common core are what we SHOULD be moving towards... But the disconnect is coming in the implementation. How can we allow our students to describe their process when they're realistically just being judged on the corectness of their answer?
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