Students often say they begin to suffer from a kind of “math anxiety” syndrome that usually includes multiple symptoms. They have the feelings of nervousness, annoyance, frustration and even hints of anger. In more serious cases, when students are offered closer assitance or other opportunities they tend to remain passive and somewhat afraid. When undergoing tests they may feel that they are totally alone in this kind of suffering. In reality, many students also experience this kind of condition. Here are things students need to be aware of:
- Many people are bad in math: We should accept the fact that people have different kind of unique strengths and weaknesses. However, many children feel that they are not especially talented in performing calculations and think mathematically. However, some who persevere despite the obstacles can often excel in most math-related tasks.
- Math isn’t always about looking for one exact answer: Sure, any simple mathematical equation would only have one answer. 2 X 2 is equal to 4. But as we progress on to upper and more complex levels of mathematics, the true goal changes into understanding how to properly measure and analyze math-related problems in our world. We could solve these problems with a variety of mathematical tools. Arguably, in the end it is all about finding about one exact answer, but students, who are finally start to show interests in math, are usually delighted to know that they can use multiple creative ways of solve problems. They could come up with the same answer using different approach and they see is as a somewhat interesting “puzzle game”.
- Girls can be really good at math: This is actually a rather old idea and it has faded somewhat in more recent generations. It was believed that girls are unable think mathematically when they are at the classrooms and exams. Of course, there is something about female brain that is wired very differently than men one, however mathematical ability can be practiced and nurtured effectively regardless of gender.
- People who are good in math don’t always know how to get answers instantly” Obviously, speed is important in early ages, when we studied about addition, subtraction and multiplication. These skills are the essential, building block skill needed at the very basic foundational level. For older students in high school, good instructors should provide enough time to explore for other solutions and find alternate methods.
- Having the ability of being flexible is an indication of effective math lessons. Students should celebrate their creative problem-solving ability when tackling math problems. However, it can be achieved only through conversation, group discussion and brainstorming.
- Math illiteracy is easy to solve: Math literacy is an essential life skill. Many people argue that they only need to properly read and write. We often have the kind of fuzzy notion any degree of mathematical competence should be considered optional. They will need math skills when they place order on carpet with proper dimension.