Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by Editorial Team
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Are you often struggling with panic and restlessness when solving even simple maths equations? And, do multiplication tables break you out in a sweat and give you hives? If this resonates with you, it is possible that you have ‘maths anxiety.
Math anxiety is a vast issue for students, one that obstructs the brain’s functional recollection and commences a self-perpetuating cycle of math avoidance, low accomplishment, and uncertainty. The severity of math anxiety varies from suspicion of mild tension to intense anxiety. Along with this, there are a plethora of signs and symptoms through which detection can be easy!
In this post, we will talk about the various aspects of math anxiety. Lastly, we bring forth 10 books that will help you get rid of your mathematical anxiety – and be good at math.
What Is Math Anxiety?
Anxiety, in general, is a sudden increase in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and fear-like feeling. Math Anxiety can be thought of similarly. It is defined as the negative emotions and tension that can occur while working with numbers or solving mathematical problems.
Mathematical anxiety should not be treated lightly. It is a serious disorder – and you have to learn to handle it properly. Parents cannot comprehend much about children’s problems. They feel that they are giving excuses and find them annoying.
However, on a brighter note, you can solve these situations peacefully and intelligently, when you use the right methods and techniques.
What Causes Math Anxiety?
Mathematical anxiety can be a little disturbing for students. Not being able to perform in class with peers can negatively affect their self-confidence. It creates a much deeper effect than just not being able to score well. Here are several reasons that can cause mathematical anxiety:
1. The Stress-Induced By Time Boundaries On Tests
Having a time limit in the exam or any normal test implies that you have to finish the question paper in a given time. This results in distress and anxiety. In such a situation, children tend to forget concepts that they have studied and start panicking. This can incite the fear of failure in them. If not dealt with, it might lead to serious consequences later down the line.
2. The Fear Of Social Humiliation
Social Humiliation is the fear of embarrassment. If a student has been criticized for giving a wrong answer, it can make his/her uneasiness worse. When social pain related to maths occurs, episodes of public shame and discomfiture may be witnessed. Thus, it’s well-considered that teachers should be extremely patient with their students. They should motivate them to thrive better and should always be there for them.
3. Influence Of Teachers
There is no recipe to be a great teacher, that’s what is unique about them. Walter Lewin, a dutch astrophysicist and retired professor of physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology often quotes “Teachers who make physics boring are criminals’, which applies to every subject. Thus, the influence of teachers also plays a great role to cure or incite maths anxiety in students.
Best 9 Books To Help Deal With Mathematical Anxiety
1. Transforming Math Anxiety To Math Agility – Dilip Datta
Math anxiety isn’t an undivulged concern for students these days. This book by Dilip Datta comprises all the observations, researches, and experiments conducted by a math teacher. It illustrates how the teacher is genuinely concerned about his students with anxiety issues for this specific subject, MATH.
In this publication, he works with students suffering from math anxiety and assists them in overcoming it by adhering to certain professional methods. The book consists of certain arithmetic calculations – and how to make them easier for students to comprehend and learn. It also incorporates case studies and descriptions to assist the person afflicted with the disorder.
2. Overcoming Math Anxiety – Sheila Tobias
In her book ‘Overcoming Math Anxiety, Sheila Tobias believes that math avoidance is not the fault of our nerves or our intellects. She believes fear is instilled in us by society. In this book, she puts up a proper analysis of why children are so afraid of maths. She talks about the things that make math as a subject difficult.
Here, Tobias potentially illustrates well-incorporated research – and asserts that math anxiety is a political issue. Later, the writer provides many solutions, puzzles, and strategies that can help overcome anxiety. She suggests the students practice math every day, even for half an hour. She believes this will make the child more confident and lead them toward advancement.
3. Math Anxiety Strategies – Brett Berna
Brett Bernard, a math educator, and Math Anxiety Survivor wrote this book. In his book, “Math Anxiety Strategies”, he talks about his arithmetic experiences, the causes of math anxiety, and how to deal with it effectively. This book primarily focuses on the strategies that can help individuals fight this disorder.
It is an excellent book for educators, students, and parents who are dealing with math phobia – or who want to help someone who is. Lastly, he brings forth a list of strategies, when implemented, can help the students overcome their fear. These include: practicing math every day, studying smart, staying organized, attending classes, utilizing all resources, solving test papers, and so on.
4. Mathematical Mindsets – Jo Boaler
Mathematical Mindsets provides teachers and parents with practical ideas and activities to educate all children, encompassing those who believe they are awful at math, that math can be fun and rewarding. Jo Boaler, a Stanford researcher, math education professor, and math learning expert, investigated why students dislike math and frequently fail math classes.
She’s observed thousands of students in middle and high schools to learn how they learn and to discover the most efficient approaches to help all students reach their math potential. This book has helped myriads of students across the globe to banish their mathematical anxiety through creative math, inspiring messages, and innovative teaching.
5. Conquering Math Anxiety – Cynthia A
In this book, the author proposes an extensive, multifaceted procedure strategy to curtail math distress and avoidance. The author delivers suggestions on particular techniques, as well as leisure exercises. The book’s main emphasis is to motivate students to take action.
Hands-on activities assist readers in scrutinising both the elementary spurs of their difficulty and other attainable solutions. Numerous activities are followed by illustrated representations finalised by other students. The free attending CD comprises recordings of influential relaxation and visualisation exercises for curtailing math anxiety.
6. I’m Trying To Love Math – Bethany Barton
Does mathematics give you hives? Do you suddenly start perspiring whenever you see more than a few numbers on your question paper? Well then, “I’m trying to love math” is just the book for you! In this book, Barton brings forth the concept of music, spacecraft, even baking cookies! She illustrates incredible examples catering to the needs of individuals suffering from this disorder. Reading it might change your point of view regarding math. Now, you will no longer find math questions dreary and will be able to solve them with more confidence and efficiency.
7. Succeed With Math – Sheila Tobias
Sheila explains how to succeed in math. Tobias explains the necessity and use of arithmetic skills in business and provides ways for gaining math competency. This book offers ideas as to how you can best support and improve your child’s learning.
Furthermore, the author has attempted to call attention to the essence of the problem as well as effective solutions through these instances. The book includes the students’ thoughts and reactions to the approach in their own words to make the book all the more vibrant and fascinating. It also provides practical strategies and activities to assist parents and teachers in encouraging the child to progress and do better at math.
8. Everything You Need To Ace Math In One Big Fat Notebook
This is the perfect book for kids between 11 to 14 years of age to overcome their mathematical anxiety. The book brings forth the concept of math anxiety and how worrisome it can get, if not worked upon. It also incorporates a notebook series that students can utilise to make notes or practice mathematical calculations.
It is a revolutionary math study guide, which encompasses tonnes of arithmetic concepts, such as fractions, decimals, ratios, statistics, probability, expressions, equations, percentages, geometry, and so on. The book’s author has done an amazing job of brainstorming strategies and ideas to deal with mathematical anxiety and fear significantly.
9. The Neverending Math Test: Working to Understand Our Strengths and Limitations – Jeff Hoffart, Riva Zietsoff, and Tosca Killoran
Have you ever felt, “I am useless? I’m so dumb that I can’t solve a simple math problem?” If yes, you are not alone. The book’s authors start on a refreshing note asserting how every individual suffering from mathematical anxiety is not alone. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses.
They also mention how math anxiety isn’t a person but a social problem. However, when handled with concern, the anxiety and the fear can be dealt with. The authors provide a list of strategies and techniques that will help benefit the students – and acknowledge the areas they need to improve. All in all, it is an exceptional book to let off anxiety and restlessness in students.
One of the most widespread explanations students are so scared of Mathematics and why they flunk in the subject is because of peer pressure, which is a hardship for most to deal with. With mathematical anxiety comes self-doubt. Students at a young age develop a lot of self-doubt on their skills and start believing they are incapable of withstanding the burden of accomplishment at school and other levels. Math trauma manifests as restlessness or panic, an extensive fear of being wrong. This uncertainty curbs access to life roads for many people, encompassing school and career options.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,