Teaching Students to Overcome Math Anxiety
Math anxiety can be a real problem! Here are some tips for parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to help students overcome this issue so they can reach their full potential in mathematics.
Students who suffer from math anxiety often feel like they can’t do anything right about math. They might get frustrated, give up quickly, or feel like they’re not “good” at math. According to EdWeek Research Center, 67 percent of U.S. teachers claimed that math anxiety was a challenge for their students
However, there are ways that teachers can help students to overcome their math anxiety and succeed in math class. By using positive reinforcement, providing opportunities for success, and assisting the students in understanding the underlying concepts, teachers can help their students to overcome math anxiety and perform better in math class.
Giving Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to help students overcome math anxiety. When a student does something well, it’s essential to know they’re doing a good job. Doing this can help boost their confidence and make them feel like they can succeed in math class.
One way to provide positive reinforcement is through the use of praise. For example, tell students that they did a good job when they did something well. This reinforcement will help them to feel proud of their accomplishment and make them more likely to continue trying hard in math class.
Another way to provide positive support is through the use of rewards. For example, you can give students a small prize when they do something well in math class. Doing this will help them to see that their hard work is paying off and that they’re being recognized for their efforts.
According to Joanne Gonzales, Content Manager for Craftwhack, “Positive reinforcement is one of the most powerful tools in your behavior-shaping arsenal, and it’s free.”
Providing Opportunities for Success
Another way to help students overcome math anxiety is to provide them with opportunities for success. It can be very discouraging when students feel like they’re constantly failing. However, if they have a chance to succeed, it can help them to feel more confident in their abilities and they can actually learn to love math.
One way to provide opportunities for success is to give students extra help when struggling. If a student is having trouble with a concept, give them time for additional practice or explain it differently. This will help them to understand the material and feel more confident in their ability to do the math.
Another way to provide opportunities for success is to let students work on problems at their own pace. Some students work best when they’re given a problem and allowed to figure it out on their own. Others need a bit more guidance. Allowing students to work at their own pace can help them to feel more successful and less anxious about the material.
Helping Understand Concepts
Finally, it’s vital to help students understand the underlying concepts. Math anxiety often comes from a lack of understanding. Students who don’t understand the concepts are more likely to get frustrated and give up.
According to George Tsagas, Owner & Founder of eMathZone, “Students need to be able to see that they can do the math before their anxiety starts dissipating.”
One way to help students understand the concepts is to teach the material in a several different ways. For example, some students learn best by listening to a lecture, while others learn best by doing hands-on activities. Other kids might learn best by using sports to learn math. Providing a variety of fun ways to learn the material can help more students understand.
Another way to help students understand the concepts is to provide them with practice problems. Practice problems can help students see how the concepts are used in real life and allow them to apply what they’ve learned.
By using positive reinforcement, providing opportunities for success, and helping students to understand the underlying concepts, teachers can help their students to overcome math anxiety and perform better in math class. This will benefit both the students and the teachers, as the students will be more likely to succeed in math class, and the teachers will have less stressed out students.
What are your top tips for overcoming math anxiety?
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