I utilize several techniques to assist my students with their anxiety and "fear" of math.
The first day, they journal about their perceptions and past experiences in math. These give me an overview of my class atmosphere. I then share how studies in nueroscience show that anxiety potentially affects their learning. I give them a sheet of positve affirmations (see attached) and ask them place the sheet at the front of their binders. If a student experiences doubt or verbally expresses "I can't do this", "I am stupid" etc, I ask them to read their yellow sheet :-)
I also use breathing and visualization techniques. Initially, I would only do this the day of assessments to assist with test anxiety. However, after very postive feedback from my students over the years, I have chosen to begin every class period. I utilize the time to focus the students, encouraging them to be present and more relaxed. I intend to collect feedback at the end of the semester through my anonoymous student evaluations.
Several colleagues shared the link (and the attached article) during the week of accountability because they knew of my passion for using meditation with my students. These resources encouraged and finalized my decision to begin every class period with a mediation.
I'll be interested to see what your students have to say at the end of the semester. Please update this CATS when they do :)
Many folks who do not teach math and dev ed do not understand the math anxiety that students have. For many folks, this is a very different concept to bring to a class. I am looking forward to seeing how students do with this and their feedback. How do you deal with students who do not like to meditate and have no desire to do something like this? I.E. They just want to come to class and get through math.
I place the links and articles in my canvas sites on the nueroscience research etc and discuss in class the scientific studies that demonstrate the benefits of conscious breathing and stress reduction on their ability to focus, learn and apply congnitive skills. I encourage the students to participate but it is not required. However, I ask them to sit quitely to not distract from anyone who has chosen to participate. I agree, it will be interesting to see the feedback.
Great start to your CATS, Terri! What I like most is that you are really attacking a basic phobia that so many of our students have, K-20! If only our students' math teachers (before they get to us) did the same . . . I also like how you rely on brain-based research!
Math anxiety is such a huge problem for our students. I love that you are working on this in your classes. I look forward to your results.
This is really great for your students. I am interested to see what the students have to say in their feedback and hopefully they will continue to use your techniques.
Hi Teri - the CATS website shows you updated this and I was wondering what update you did. Thanks!
Becky, I actually didn't update it. I just entered into the CATS to gather information for my letter of intent and see what data I needed to complete the cycle :-)