Engaging Reluctant Math Learners
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A Passion for Math: Elly Schofield at TEDxClaremontColleges

Elly is a student studying math. And she's mad. She's mad about how math was taught to her growing up and why nobody told her that being good at math has not...
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Teachers 'flip classroom' to cope with math anxiety

Teachers 'flip classroom' to cope with math anxiety | Engaging Reluctant Math Learners | Scoop.it
The word pre-calculus is frightening, itself. But for some math is more than scary, it's a pain.
Michelle Jin's insight:

Math can cause physical pain? I did not know that a student's brain can register math to be something that will pose as a threat to him or her. This article and video from ABC news was enlightening in many ways. Not only does it show personal accounts of students who struggle with math anxiety, but it also presents how teachers and school administration have recognized that math anxiety as a serious issue that needs to be addressed. 

 

Some Chicago school districts are trying to alleviate some of the pressures of math anxiety by implementing "flipped learning." This technique included classrooms where much of the math instruction was done with recorded videos so that students could watch them at home. This freed up time at school where students can use class time to work through "homework" where they can support with specific problem areas or concepts. I thought that flipped learning was very unique and innovative...I definitely want to learn more about it and how I could implement it in my classroom successfully if it would meet the needs of my students. 

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Michelle Jin's comment, December 15, 2013 6:22 PM
Found a video blog that provides much more information on Flipped Learning! Check it out: http://jonbergmann.com/video-blog-about-flipped-learning/
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Anxiety Attack: Conquering the Fear of Math

Anxiety Attack: Conquering the Fear of Math | Engaging Reluctant Math Learners | Scoop.it
Two professors say we've got to stop sending messages to young children — especially girls — that math is something to fear. Humans are actually hardwired to think mathematically, they say.
Michelle Jin's insight:

I definitely appreciated reading this article! It was able to describe math anxiety in an informative and comprehensive way. Math anxiety can involve physiological arousal, negative thoughts, escape/avoidance behaviors, and subsequent poor performance. I had no idea that 66-90% of Americans have experienced these feelings of tension and fear with math! I guess I was not the only one.

 

Upon reading this article, I was also shocked of the wide range of negative impacts math anxiety has, even on a national scale. 2/3 of our high school graduates do not have the math proficiency to compete in the global market? Wow...I had no idea! Another consequence of math anxiety: social stereotyping. Whether it's gender bias or even parents who transfer their own fear of math to their children, the consequences of math anxiety are widespread and potentially serious. 

 

To be honest, prior to making this Scoop It! thread, I did not know much about math anxiety or how to deal with it. And although I can't say that I know all the ins and outs of math anxiety, I can say that I definitely feel like it is an issue that I am much more aware of and want to continue to learn about so I can better serve my students. 

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TiCS%20Final_Maloney&Beilock_2012.pdf

Michelle Jin's insight:

This scholarly article was written by members of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. They present some surprising insights into math anxiety and its onset, risk factors, and remediation. 

 

Reading this article provided a lot of information about the causes and developmental trajectories of young learners with math anxiety. I found that the "Alleviating math anxiety" portion of this text to be most helpful in finding solutions to tackle this common fear of math. One example of lessening math anxiety in students is to encourage and strengthen basic numeral and spatial processing skills. This is due to the fact that deficencies in basic  math skills could predispose students to become anxious in math. Therefore, identifying at-risk students early and helping them build up these basic skills could defer them from experiencing math anxiety in the first place.

 

Some other solutions offered in this article include "regulating negative emotions." This could mean expressive free writing before a student takes a math test, or reappraisal or reframing techniques (having students see math tasks as a challenge rather than a threat). This could also mean telling students that their physiological responses such as sweaty palms and rapid heartbeat could benefit their thought processes and subsequent test performance. While I hope that none of my students experience math anxiety, I feel more prepared in how to prevent it from happening or help my struggling students see their math skills as strengths in any situation. 

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Math Attack!: Joan Horton, Kyrsten Brooker: Amazon.com: Books

Math Attack!

~ Joan Horton (author) More about this product
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A book discussing math anxiety and what to do about it. Hmm...I would definitely like to find this in a local library to read it to my kids!

Michelle Jin's insight:

I found this listing in a search on Pinterest. It automatically interested me when I realized that it was a children's picture book based on math anxiety. For my classroom, I could see myself reading this at the beginning of the year or even suggest it to individual students that I can see experiencing math anxiety. I thought that It would not only help to make light of a possibly negative situation for the students, but it would also show them that they are not the only ones that struggle with math! In fact, some author thought it was so common, that she wrote a book about it!

 

I also thought that reading a book on math anxiety would be an easy way for students to get a foot in the door with loving math. Some features of this book that could help facilitate that would be it's vibrant illustrations and humurous rhyme schemes. This book could also reach many students who love reading, but don't think that math is a subject that they do well in. The endpapers also feature a multiplication table - a clever add-in since the main "conflict" that the protagonist in the book struggles with is the answer to her teacher's question, "What is 7 x 10?" If students saw that math anxiety is something that many people face, they are more likely to listen to how many people have also overcome math anxiety and be successful in math.

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Michelle Jin's comment, December 15, 2013 5:38 PM
Just found a youtube video of a children's librarian explaining the reasons why she likes this book, and even reads aloud a small portion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIRNGAO1H6Y
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Math Student Family Tree

Math Student Family Tree | Engaging Reluctant Math Learners | Scoop.it
Michelle Jin's insight:

At first glance, I thought that this image was just created for humorous purposes. However, as I read over each description of what a "frightened of math" student looked like, and the contrasting descriptions of "engaged with math" students...I couldn't help but be reminded of how many of my own students seem to resonate with first category of students. 

 

What is also scary about the truth of this infographic, is that many of my own college friends also seem to fall into many of the "frighted on math" descriptions. I myself always identified myself with the "Hesitant" student description: "Math is always easy if you just follow the steps that your teacher gives you!" As a future teacher, I want to be able to address the different fears of all of these students - Indifferent, Presumptuous, Abnoxious, Embarrassed, Scared, Hesitant, and (especially) Terrified. It is important to know the rationale behind why students are so afraid to do math, and I think that this infographic - although its information is not exhaustive by any means - does depict a clear and concise picture of possible students and their negative inclinations towards learning math. 

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