The YAY MATH video project is a free service dedicated to meeting the growing need for math success in a POSITIVE, LIVELY, and CONFIDENCE BOOSTING way.

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The one part of this resource that I really like is that it is kid friendly. The math anxiety bill of rights and the math anxiety test are designed for students to use as resources themselves. This puts the idea of correcting math anxiety and fears in the hands if the students, which will make them more in control of their learning and their work. Since this website is geared towards the higher grades given the language the author uses, I think it could be adapted for younger students such as my second graders. The math Bill of Rights can become an anchor chart (with easier terminology) that can be reviewed with the kids during the first week of school, when norms and rules are designed. This is an easy way to integrate math into a regular school day, where students can become more interested in the content right from the start. This is also a great way to create a more relaxed and focused learning environment, by allowing students to accept their math anxiety. In this way, a teacher is essentially providing them with the tools they need to address it as they see fit or as they are most comfortable. To fit this into my placement, my mentor uses a number of anchor charts that give students guidance, such as how to not be stressed and how to deal with worries. They are posted around the room in places where the students frequent and I find that they are more likely to read the posters instead of listen to my mentor talk about the same information. Putting the math anxiety Bill of Rights will benefit my students, especially if they see that it is relevant to their own lives. In reading this resource, I also changed my perspective on how to deal with math anxiety. Letting students deal with things on their own is not something that I usually advocate. I think that at a young age, students are not able to make decisions about their lives but reading this article helped me see that if presented in the right way, a teacher can let the students handle their own problems with the proper guidance. This website offers exactly that, and can most definitely benefit students of all ages.
The attitude of a student towards math is what causes math anxiety, according to this article which gives reasons and preventative measures that teachers can take. Perhaps the suggestion that I can relate with the most is the corrective feedback on an individual basis. The article says how math anxiety can spawn from negative experiences regarding individual feedback, but in my language arts methods course, we have discussed meeting individually with students and the attitudes and approaches we must take when doing writing conferences. I see no reason why this cannot apply to math as well. The way in which I approached all of my mini lessons--and how I will use math corrective feedback in the future to prevent math anxiety--is by doing exactly what the article states. Instead of focusing on the wrong parts only, students must have their correct work acknowledged and praised just as much. For a math problem, if a student makes one error, pointing it out and talking only about that individually will cause the student to panic and worry each time they are doing a problem. Part of doing math is making mistakes, and having an irrational fear of doing so is created from our emphasis on what is "correct". The process must be discussed, including the right aspects so that students can feel more comfortable completing problems without anxiety and fears. This article pointing out this point makes me very happy, and I will take what I learned from this and my methods class on attitudes to fuel the math learning next semester.
Rebecca Siegel's curator insight,
October 1, 2013 9:24 AM
With the new Common Core coming into play, all lessons should tie into problem solving and exploring outside of the classroom. I hope to use this website to assist parents in helping their children (my students) discover math at home. By observing math around them, students will no longer think that learning math is just in our textbook, but that they can find it all around them!
Madeline Morgan's curator insight,
November 12, 2013 9:45 PM
Making math meaningful inside the classroom is very helpful but extending this to outside the classroom is important as well. For math homework in my future classroom I want it to be things that the students can do at home. This article gives great ways that parents can help at home to make math meaningful. The article gives examples of just being positive and practicing math skills with their child, but I really like the section that discussed how parents can use activites like baking, bills, and sports to work with their child on math. This sparked an idea for my future classroom by encouraging parents to look at everyday activities and having their child work on math y completing these simple everyday activities. An example of this could be when baking have the student get out and measure all the ingredients. The parent could ask the student why he or she got out that certain amount and how he or she knew that they got the correct amount. An activity like this is not only fun for the parent and child, but it is also a great way to show the student that math can be found outside of the classroom, it can even be found at home. By the student/child seeing that even their parent deals with math on a regular basis will open their eyes to math in a whole new way. By building meaningful math skills at home, this will then transfer into the classroom and allow the students to see that what they are learning is very important and meaningful.
Kay Clarke's curator insight,
December 12, 2013 6:44 PM
This post reminded me of one of our assignments in class this semester where Dr. Bote had us design homeowrk assigments that could get some parental involvement with how the assignments were designed. I thought this post had some great ideas about how to do this. With Curriculum 2.0 in MCPS, I've noticed that my 5th grade team has struggled with generating HW assignments that can realte to the real world. By getting parents involved, students may be able to start seeing math in the real world. I especially liked the "Talk Math" idea. As a future teacher, I think this strategy in particular will be something that I will call upon next year at Back to School Night when I address my parents. |
"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.
This article discusses how students who are active learners have more success with math than those who are passive. This makes sense because students who feel confident and in control of math will take a active role in their studies. Another technique for fighting math anxiety is aging cooperative learning groups. My mentor teacher has used groups and pairs to explore math, and I have observed that the students often are more active and more comfortable when this occurs. In addition, making math relevant has been shown to reduce anxiety because the students can make connections to their own lives, thus reducing stress from learning from textbooks. When I was reading this article, I realized that it also connects to things we have discussed in our methods class. Making math more meaningful by catering the methods of instruction to the different learning styles can include using manipulatives for kinesthetic learners and visual representations for visual learners. By making math more accessible in terms of the learning styles, math anxiety can be reduced.
When I found this website I knew that it was not geared towards math, but the ideas shown on this website can be used in all subjects in the classroom. While teaching math to the students I believe the way the students feel and the classroom environment as a whole has a huge impact on how student's learn. If teachers make connections with their students and are able to make them comfortable the learning and teaching will be much easier. From this article I really liked the section that said, "Tell stories. Everybody loves a story. Tell them—in a way that is natural and comfortable for you—and students will begin to see you in three dimensions, as a full human being interacting with them for their own intellectual growth." I love this and plan to use this in my future classroom and math classroom. As a student I always loved when my teachers gave me a story to compare my learning to. It always helped my thinking. In my math classroom when teaching, I want to give my students stories and real world examples that will help them understand. This will not only show the students that math takes place outside of school, but it will help them making meaning of what they are learning. Building a strong relationship with your student's it critical in order to teach them any subject. In math this is very important because student's usually have a poor relationship with math. For example, they do not like it. As educators if we can get students to build a healthy relationship with their teachers, peers, and the subject at hand the learning will come much easier.
Rebecca Siegel's curator insight,
November 29, 2013 3:51 PM
Thanks to Corinne, this interesting article sums up the most commonly asked question in math..."When will I really use this?" So many students find the traditional way of learning math to be boring and useless, feeling that it does not connect to the real world, myself included at times! These ideas need to be broken and this great article talks about how to cause students to fall in love with math, in turn, making it more meaningful and useful in their lives. Through our developing technology, there are so many awesome resources that can be used to create interest in students eyes including animations, videos, manipulatives, and overall just connecting the ideas being taught to real life situations for students.
Kristina-Maria Paspalis's curator insight,
December 1, 2013 11:43 PM
I found this great article on Rebecca's Scoop It page, and I am so glad that I did! I hope that by scooping it on my page, more interns can find this and engage in a reading that will enlighten them on how to make math more meaningful. I gained perspective by reading this article because I never really thought about how people say "Do the math", and how that compares to other subjects. I have been musically inclined my entire life, and not once have I ever heard my many private music teachers tell me to "do the music" during our lessons. I presume this is because music is something that cannot be done, and math is exactly the same way. You can't do something that you don't understand, and the key to understanding is developing at least some level of respect for it, if you will. Students must be given the opportunity to see the value of math for what it is instead of thinking about math in terms of worksheets and mindless activities. The key to falling in love with math as the article states, is having a context where you can develop your own understanding. Just like with music, everyone interprets math differently, but each person develops their own understanding of it based on this. I think this is a really deep concept and I am just beginning to scratch the surface of this idea.
Laura Jane's curator insight,
December 15, 2013 11:32 PM
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. |

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Although the videos and resources on this website are geared towards high school math, I think that all educators can learn a lot by watching his videos. This teacher takes math anxiety head on and tackles it in an unusual and creative way. Although I do not think that I would be able to dress up in costumes for math lessons, especially because math is in the middle of our day, I think the high positive energy and principles behind yaymath are great. I want to bring his kind of energy and positivity to my math lessons to help students feel comfortable and excited to learn math. In his TedxTalk video about math anxiety he stated that the first step to becoming successful at math, is overcoming the anxiety that many people associate with it. I think that he has done a great job in his classroom doing this and I hope that I can find something of this level that is more applicable to an elementary school math setting to work for my students.