Teaching Tip: Reducing Math Anxiety

  • Demonstrate that you are enthusiastic about math.
  • Use students' mistakes as a teaching tool, not as a basis for criticism.
  • Take the emphasis off of tests and try to avoid timed tests.
  • Deconstruct the idea that math is an unlearnable, difficult subject. Emphasize that math is a sequential subject that can be learned skill by skill.
  • Show students that they can be creative when learning math. It is true that facts must be learned as is. However, students should be taught that problems can be solved in a variety of ways.
  • Demonstrate that math is very useful in the lives of your students. Point out the everyday applications of math such as estimating prices and totals when shopping, using fractions when following cooking recipes, and using measuring skills for sewing or woodworking. Point out that higher math is important in fields such as science, electronics, business, and medicine.
  • Help your students organize their notes to prepare for an exam.
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