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When running for school board, one question was asked a number of times, especially in the debates and usually asked by students, “How will we provide more teacher/student interaction?” I assumed that students wanted a more personal experience in their learning until an article last week made me realize that a lot more was behind this question. The BBC News wrote, “Secondary school pupils are so scared of looking stupid in maths lessons they will not tell their teachers if they do not understand, suggests research.” The article continued, “The reasons pupils gave for not asking for help more often were that they were worried about looking foolish, were embarrassed or did not want to draw attention to themselves.” In other words, they lack confidence, which could be overcome if teachers had the time to spend more one-on-one with their students.
Are there other ways to build a student’s confidence in math? § Read the rest of this entry…
2011 will forever be significant in Elevated Math history. Our iPad app was launched along our website and blog. In Barbara Walters’ fashion, we decided to list the TEN MOST FASCINATING POSTS in 2011. Oh, ok. Fascinating is probably not the most accurate adjective, so how about if we list our ten favorites?
- Angry Birds Can Teach Math was one of our most popular posts. It showed how to teach parabolas and quadratic equations with the Angry Bird game. We followed this up with Use Angry Birds to Teach Math Pt 2, which includes a portion of the Elevated Math lesson.
- A Case for the Flipped Classroom is a subjective examination of one the hottest ideas for teaching math that came out this year.
- Making Math Relevant May Be the Key was also one of our most popular posts. It details how a teacher made math relevant to a class of potential drop-outs. § Read the rest of this entry…
A study published yesterday in the journal Cerebral Cortex suggests some potential treatments for math anxiety. See the Education Week blog.
In prior research, the author Sian L. Beilock found that just the thought of doing math problems can trigger stress responses in people with math anxiety, and adult teachers can pass their trepidation about math on to their students.
One of the earliest posts on this blog was on Handling Math Phobia. This subject is worth revisiting.
The study released yesterday shows that students who are anxious about math yet perform well have a high activity in the frontal and parietal regions of the brain when they learn a math problem is coming up. § Read the rest of this entry…
We all have heard kids say, “I’m not really good at math” or “Math isn’t my thing”, especially after receiving a bad test score. Could these comments be subtle signs that they are afraid of math? If so, we need to pull the child aside and ask some questions that might help shed some light on what they are thinking. Are they afraid of failure, or of not understanding, or are they afraid that they are not smart enough?
Then you might offer, “Do you know what helps me when I’m afraid of failing,” or “Do you know what I do if I don’t understand something?” Sharing your own experiences can really help.
For instance, I like to explain that I try to turn scary situations into opportunities. If I have a mountain to climb and start with the premise that the climb will be too hard and I’m not capable of doing it, then I’ve already defeated myself before starting. Working out a math problem is much like working your way up the steep face of a mountain. Sometimes your direction reaches an impasse and you need to backtrack. It’s the same with math problems. The journey can either be fun and tortuous, depending on how you think about it. This reasoning has worked with my daughters, and I’m sure it can work with others too. § Read the rest of this entry…