Math Anxiety
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Finding the Beauty in Math | MindShift | KQED.org

Finding the Beauty in Math | MindShift | KQED.org | Math Anxiety | Scoop.it

Math has a bad rap, writes math professor Manil Suri in a recent New York Times op-ed, and would be better geared to students as a playful and stimulating subject of ideas. Unfortunately, that’s not at all what our culture currently embraces.

 

“Sadly, few avenues exist in our society to expose us to mathematical beauty,” Suri writes. “In schools, as I’ve heard several teachers lament, the opportunity to immerse students in interesting mathematical ideas is usually jettisoned to make more time for testing and arithmetic drills. The subject rarely appears in the news media or the cultural arena.”

 

While research suggests that improving self-efficacy and providing math-positive role models can help spark interest and stave off math anxiety, what some mathematicians and teachers are looking for reaches beyond surviving or tolerating math class, but helping connect students to mathematics beauty. Suri wants students to “fall in love” with math, and suggests that maybe our entire approach to math is upside down, and deserves to be righted.

 

But how does a person fall in love with math? For too many, math class conjures up anxious worksheets filled with rows of unanswered problems. Students go along, seeming to perform the steps required — plug in the formulas, solve for x — without ever understanding what they’re doing, or why.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Esther Kang's insight:

This article speaks about how students may be more anxious about math because they are just not in love with it.  The key to engage students in math, according to the article, is to grab students' hearts. More than making it relevant, students need to know that math is accessible, anywhere and everywhere, with or without textbooks, with or without teachers.  Students need to discovery the beauty of math as they can discover the beauty in art and music.  A method the author suggests is to engage them in a question how the "origin of numbers".  When students know that there is more math to than what is on their worksheets, they will be more interested in math and seek deeper. 

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Conquering Math Anxiety - The Power of Yay Math: Robert Ahdoot at TEDxAJU

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TED...
Esther Kang's insight:

"It's not the math itself that we hate, we hate that we don't know it. And that's what I try to tell my students."  This TED talk speaks to all the people in the world that suffer from this "math anxiety".  He says that we need to really see the beauty of math first.  I think that is so true that if students are able to see how useful and beautiful math can be, students will learn to love math and develop the desire to learn math.  

The speaker touches upon the "blanking out" sensation where students just forget their train of thought because of the fear of being judged by their peers or teachers.  We see this in our classroom many times and we have experienced this as students ourselves.  He says that math is supposed to be "fun, funny, authentic and unscripted".  When students are able to enjoy their learning, this learning will become something that they are not fearful of, but be something that they love to do.

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Julie Price's curator insight, December 15, 2013 11:02 AM

This is a very powerful talk that every educator should watch. I never thought about the physiological affects that anxiety has on our body and how it affects our ability to do math. He talks about the problem of people "blanking out" and the implications it has for students. I see this happen to my students frequently throughout different math lessons. I never made the connection before watchng this video that "the blanking effect" had to do with math anxiety because I thought that when students were rasing their hands they were not nervous. One of the most important points that I think he makes in this video is that math needs to be positive and fun to help alleviate students stress and allow them to feel comfortable. "If anxiety and fear equals no math, then laughter and fun equals yay math." He also states that math needs to be genuine and authentic for students. This goes along with what we have been talking about this semester in our class. Genuine and authentic math not only engages students, it helps relieve their stress and anxiety

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The Causes and Prevention of Math Anxiety

A great article by noted author Marilyn Curtain-Phillips on the causes and prevention of math anxiety.
Esther Kang's insight:

This article speaks to us to re-examine our teaching methods in mathematics.  It says that timed math tests, deadlines and pressures from the teacher cause math anxiety.  I see that this is even apparent in my first grade classroom.  There were couple of students who seemed to show outstanding talent in math, however, I noticed that they could not finish their timed math tests in time.  They quickly lost all interest in it and I fear that these students will think that they are not good at math just because they cannot finish the timed math tests in time. 

 

This article also states that there are multiple ways to teach a math concept and we should use multiple ways to cater to all learning styles.  I think this is very important because although there might be a method that I am used to and know that it worked for me to learn a math concept, it might not work for all of my students.  Therefore, I need to always check my teaching style and see if the lesson I am teaching can really help all students.  If students are confident in what they are doing, they will not develop an anxiety to it.

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Pictures Help Students Understand Math

Pictures Help Students Understand Math | Math Anxiety | Scoop.it
How can pictures help students understand math? It seems that there are some hurdles set up in math education like math anxiety, and the push to learn material (...)

Via Mel Riddile
Esther Kang's insight:

This article talks about how pictures can help students get rid of some anxiety about math. That is because pictures will help with mathematical imagery, and that is what's missing for students.  They cannot grasp the concepts easily because they cannot picture how it relates to anything in life.  This concept relates to why we use manipulatives in class.  In my first grade class, we always encourage students to use all kinds of counters because those help students to be less stressful.  Manipulatives can help students transfer the possible stress that they have to do all the math inside their heads to the manipulatives so they can do it easily.  I will definitely use more pictures and manipulatives in my future classroom. 

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Math anxiety causes trouble for students as early as first grade | UChicago News

Math anxiety causes trouble for students as early as first grade | UChicago News | Math Anxiety | Scoop.it
Esther Kang's insight:

I am student teaching in first grade and this really hit me.  The study conducted showed that mathematical anxiety mostly impacted the higher achieving students because the anxiety harmfully impacted the working memory of these students.  While lower achieving students developed an easier way to solve their problems like counting with their fingers, higher achieving students were used to using working memory to solve their problems which influenced their problem-solving skills.  The article discusses a way to relieve this mathematical anxiety is to have students write about their mathematical fear and stress.  This procedure is called "expressive writing" where it helps students "download" their stress on paper and minimize the influence of anxiety on their working memory.  I think this is a great method to remember if there comes a time that a higher achieving student seems to be too stressed or worried about math, or any other subject for that matter.  

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Finding the Beauty in Math | MindShift | KQED.org

Finding the Beauty in Math | MindShift | KQED.org | Math Anxiety | Scoop.it

Math has a bad rap, writes math professor Manil Suri in a recent New York Times op-ed, and would be better geared to students as a playful and stimulating subject of ideas. Unfortunately, that’s not at all what our culture currently embraces.

 

“Sadly, few avenues exist in our society to expose us to mathematical beauty,” Suri writes. “In schools, as I’ve heard several teachers lament, the opportunity to immerse students in interesting mathematical ideas is usually jettisoned to make more time for testing and arithmetic drills. The subject rarely appears in the news media or the cultural arena.”

 

While research suggests that improving self-efficacy and providing math-positive role models can help spark interest and stave off math anxiety, what some mathematicians and teachers are looking for reaches beyond surviving or tolerating math class, but helping connect students to mathematics beauty. Suri wants students to “fall in love” with math, and suggests that maybe our entire approach to math is upside down, and deserves to be righted.

 

But how does a person fall in love with math? For too many, math class conjures up anxious worksheets filled with rows of unanswered problems. Students go along, seeming to perform the steps required — plug in the formulas, solve for x — without ever understanding what they’re doing, or why.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Esther Kang's insight:

This article speaks about how students may be more anxious about math because they are just not in love with it.  The key to engage students in math, according to the article, is to grab students' hearts. More than making it relevant, students need to know that math is accessible, anywhere and everywhere, with or without textbooks, with or without teachers.  Students need to discovery the beauty of math as they can discover the beauty in art and music.  A method the author suggests is to engage them in a question how the "origin of numbers".  When students know that there is more math to than what is on their worksheets, they will be more interested in math and seek deeper. 

more...