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  • 1.  IMPACT in Action #4 - Math Anxiety

    Posted 07-23-2021 08:41:00

    Math anxiety can interfere with a student's learning. Research has shown that a disproportionate number of pre-service  elementary education students have math anxiety.

    What types of activities do you use to address this?

    Linda Dart-Kathios
    Middlesex CC
    Lowell MA

  • 2.  RE: IMPACT in Action #4 - Math Anxiety

    Posted 07-28-2021 10:08:00
    Hi All,

    I'll get this discussion going. One of the ways I address this is to have my students speak about how they approach mathematics and their previous experience with learning math.


    Linda Dart-Kathios
    Middlesex CC
    Lowell MA

  • 3.  RE: IMPACT in Action #4 - Math Anxiety

    Posted 08-13-2021 10:41:00
    Hi.  Not every school or program can do this, but to the extent you can substitute individual summative assessment student projects instead of exams that rely on speed and memorization, you can reduce a lot of math anxiety.  

    For pre-service elementary education students, a student project could be to pose a real-world problem requiring elementary students to collect real data, organize it, and interpret it.

    Jerome Tuttle
    Online adjunct instructor
    Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design
    Denver CO

  • 4.  RE: IMPACT in Action #4 - Math Anxiety

    Posted 08-14-2021 09:42:00

    Dear Jerome,


    I agree that for many students mathematics tests produce anxiety. The video



    gives an example of a gateway Quantitative Reasoning course in which there are no tests. Instead assessment is project based.


    Stay safe

    Stay engaged

    Stay connected




    Gregory D. Foley, PhD

    Morton Professor of Mathematics Education


    Department of Teacher Education, Patton College of Education

    Department of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences (courtesy appointment)

    MATH 1060: Quantitative Reasoning course co-coordinator


    Chair, Executive board, Ohio Mathematics and Science Coalition (OMSC)

    Author, Advanced Quantitative Reasoning: Mathematics for the World Around Us

    Author, Precalculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic

    Faculty adviser, Ohio University Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OUCTM)

    Faculty adviser, Ohio University Nepalese Student Association (Nepsa)


    321D McCracken Hall, Athens OH 45701-2979 USA


    Web site:


    Quantitative literacy is a matter of life and death. A person's numeracy affects their comprehension, decisions, and outcomes related to health and personal finances, and consequently impacts their life expectancy.


    This email may contain confidential material. If you were not an intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete all copies.

  • 5.  RE: IMPACT in Action #4 - Math Anxiety

    Posted 07-28-2021 10:24:00
    For many semesters, I have shared this article with students as a way to get the conversation going. Earlier in the semester though, on the first days of the class, I do an activity called the Blob tree for students to tap into their current feelings/perceptions about math. We also do a fill in the blank anonymously with Math is ____.  All of this is meant to get students thinking and talking about their feelings about math, which leads to conversations about how their feelings could affect their future students. During the semester, there are other videos and articles, lately from Jo Boaler's YouCubed site and various Ted Talks (this and this). Also important are the weekly journals. Though the journal prompts don't explicitly address anxiety, students write about their feelings and I have the chance to respond or just listen. The other important thing is patience and reinforcing their growth mindset through the types of tasks that have already been discussed in the previous IMPACT in actions.

    Chris Sabino
    Associate Professor
    Harold Washington College
    Chicago IL

  • 6.  RE: IMPACT in Action #4 - Math Anxiety

    Posted 07-29-2021 16:53:00
    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your input. The sites you provide are wonderful resources.


    Linda Dart-Kathios
    Middlesex CC
    Lowell MA

  • 7.  RE: IMPACT in Action #4 - Math Anxiety

    Posted 08-12-2021 15:35:00
    Edited by Manisha Ranade 08-12-2021 15:35:57
    This is currently my topic of interest. I'm teaching Mindfulness techniques in the classroom to alleviate Math anxiety (in college students, not young kids). It works for any anxiety and helps calm the mind, be more receptive as well as increases emotional resilience. It works because when students (or anyone) are under stress, they get into fight or flight state which saps their energy. By teaching them relaxation methods that are easy, non invasive and accessible, we can empower them. Few years ago, I completed a Yoga therapy training, when I was struck by the mind-stress-body connection. So, I'm using it now. I keep the instructions very simple, give them lots of choice, but just having them focus on the breath for a minute or 5 minutes makes a huge difference in their anxiety. Students wanted to learn too. I have a teaching tips video on reducing stress recently posted on AMATYC.
    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Manisha Ranade
    Santa Fe College
    Gainesville FL

  • 8.  RE: IMPACT in Action #4 - Math Anxiety

    Posted 08-18-2021 23:30:00
    Edited by Violeta Kovacev-Nikolic 08-19-2021 00:03:05


    When I started teaching statistics at our college, I adapted a few journals/discussions which tend to the affective domain. The first one aims to get to know the students, then I have them learn about growth mindset and grit, and there is also a reflection on the first exam. It can help if we emphasize that everyone makes mistakes; sometimes, I allow a few additional points for corrections on the first exam. It also helps to promote the study cycle; it tells students that they can succeed with good planning and organization, hard work and effort, and focusing on knowledge (rather than the grade). (We had a workshop on this with Manisha in one of the recent faculty meet-ups).

    The mindfulness strategy is vital for all of us - thank you so much, Manisha, for promoting mindfulness!... I look forward to learning about mindfulness and have truly enjoyed the workshop that you hosted.

    Many thanks again,


    Violeta Kovacev-Nikolic
    Full-time faculty
    College of the Canyons
    Santa Clarita CA