Math Attack!How to Reduce Math Anxiety Brenda I. Mejias Academic Coordinator Student Support Services
Can You Relate? • Math is too hard for me. • I will never learn math. • I panic when I think about taking a math class. • I “freeze” on math tests and can’t remember anything. • I hate math!
What is Math Anxiety? • A feeling of intense frustration or helplessness about one’s ability to do math. • Feelings of tension that interfere with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of problems in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situations.
Math Anxiety is... • …about feelings, not ability. • … a “learned” feeling that can be “unlearned”. • … is very real and occurs among thousands of people.
Blocking out Tension Panic Paranoia Tune out Guilt Physical reactions Avoidance What are the Symptoms ofMath Anxiety?
Where DoesMath Anxiety Come From? • Early intense reaction • Unhappy encounter with a particular teacher • Singled out or humiliated in math class • Methods of teaching • Pressure from parents, teachers and peers • Event that caused you get behind
Math Myths and Misconceptions • The math mind or math brain • Gender and Race • Uselessness of Math • Math is logic, uncreative • Only important to get the right answer
What Changes Can YOU Make? • Face your anxiety • Free yourself from the past • Positive attitude - Set math goals • Effective Math Study Skills (future workshop) • Know your learning style • Relax, it’s only Math! • Try, try again. Don’t accept failure.
Why Study Math?How Can It Possibly Help Me? • To keep career options open • To be a careful consumer • savings, credit, shopping • To keep up with future trends • interpret graphs and charts, probability theory • To get personal satisfaction • home decorating, cooking, help w/ homework
How Do YOU Changethe Way YOU Feel? • Discuss your feelings • Math is an important part of the world around us. • Math teaches us how to think. • Math is not for the “magical few”. • Confronting problems and working to solve them greatly improves our self-esteem.
Why Set Goals? Goals create purpose. Purpose generates plans. Plans produce actions. Action builds habits. Good habits create SUCCESS!
Resources and References • Curtain-Phillips, Marilyn, M.Ed.. Math Attack: How to reduce math anxiety in the classroom, at work and in everyday personal use. (1999). • Martin, Donald. How to be a successful student. (1991). • Oxrieder, C. Ann and Ray, Janet P. You Number’s Up: a calculated approach to successful math study. (1982). • Sembera, Angela and Hovis, Michael. Math, a four letter word! A math anxiety handbook. 2nd edition. (1990). • Tobias, Sheila. Overcoming math anxiety. (1994). • Zaslavsky, Claudia. Fear of Math: How to get over it and get with your life. (1994). • Web Sites: • LeMoyne College - Academics Support • www.lemoyne.edu/academics_support_center/ • Coping with Math Anxiety • www. mathacademy.com/platonic_realms/ • Overcoming Math Anxiety • www.staff.albion.edu/math/qsc/mathanx.htm