6 Ways Mathletics Can Help Students With Mathematics Anxiety

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Sweaty palms, heavy arms, headaches. That unpleasant feeling of tension and worry when we see numbers.

Mathematics anxiety is a very real, ever-present condition for many students and can have a lasting impact on students’ learning. According to a study cited by Professor Daniel Ansari, Canada Research Chair in Development Cognitive Neuroscience, 60 percent of Grade 8 students worry about having difficulty in math while 30 percent feel tense when completing math homework.

The Impact of Mathematics Anxiety

Were you ever in a stressful situation where you were so panicked that you couldn’t recall anything? This is what happens when students experience math anxiety.

When students are anxious, it interrupts the working memory. More of their brain power is used to deal with anxiety instead of trying to solve the math problem, leading to more errors in their work. This reduces their capacity and confidence to be successful in math. When left unaddressed, it becomes a cycle of fear and avoidance which leads to underachievement and more anxiety, making it even harder for students to overcome.

Teachers’ attitude towards math also impacts the way they teach in class. How confident do you feel about your math capabilities and teaching math in class? Did you experience math anxiety growing up? Your beliefs about your math skills and how to teach it greatly influence how your students learn the subject.

Why Are We So Scared of Math?

There is no one cause of math anxiety. Most of it is rooted in our very own cultural attitudes towards mathematics and the nature of our schools and curriculums, such as focusing on speed, timed assessments, and “correctness”, especially in public.

But it doesn’t always have to be this way. There are strategies parents and teachers can adopt to reduce children’s math anxiety and rebuild their confidence. Technology can also be a powerful tool in alleviating math anxiety. It helps offset the pressure associated with worksheets and makes learning more personalized to student’s needs, interests and learning styles.

Mathletics, a comprehensive online math platform for educators and learners, makes learning math fun and stress-free for students aged 3 – 16.

Here are 6 ways how Mathletics reduces math anxiety in students:

      1. Personalized learning for each student

      Mathletics makes it easy for teachers to ensure that every student in their class is accessing curriculum aligned content at their level of proximal development. Teachers can group students and set the right courses to ensure they are able to achieve success and make progress. Students are presented with a personalized learning environment that isn’t labelled with their curriculum level. This ensures students aren’t compared with their peers.

      2. Rewards and recognition to inspire confidence

      Every student is rewarded for their effort and can earn points and certificates, regardless of where they stand next to their peers. They can earn certificates by achieving 1000 points in a week. With the appropriate curriculum assigned to each student’s math level, this makes it more achievable for students to earn weekly certificates, boosting their morale and confidence in their math ability.

      3.Balance of assigned and independent work

      Mathletics provides students with the right mix of assigned work and independent work.
      Students have access to content which enables them to practice independently, choosing the tasks that they want to improve on.

      In the core Mathletics activities, a familiar traffic lighting system enables students to visually understand which activities they have mastered and which they need to come back to and practice some more. In addition, teachers can assign work to students, provide targeted and focused work aligned to lesson outcomes.

      4. Empower students to take ownership

      Mathletics gives students the opportunity and tools to take ownership of their own learning. Students can see their progress and are encouraged to work on activities they find difficult. They’re rewarded with more credits when they improve their scores, motivating them to master these activities.

      5.Confidential and direct feedback

      When mistakes are made, students receive immediate feedback and are shown the correct answer in Mathletics. They can also access support when needed and be guided through errors made in their activities.

      When working on Quests, teachers are notified of any students that have made 5 errors within one level of a Quest, enabling them to provide timely support. When students are working on Challenges, they can send a message, written or recorded to their teacher privately. By giving students a safe platform to ask for help without the request being visible to their peers, it reduces any added anxiety.

      6. Deepens understanding and fluency

      Mathletics helps students build strong foundational skills through the Understanding, Practice and Fluency (UPF) learning journeys. The UPF learning journeys follow a series of curriculum-aligned questions that continually adapt to match to their ability.

      Live Mathletics encourages practice to develop fluency in key mathematics facts. The ‘i’ button guides students through activities to provide support and increase understanding. Plus the use of ebooks and images within tasks, presents concepts in a varied way, helping all types of learners deepen their understanding.

 
 
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Categories Mathematics, Teaching strategies

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