Teaching Tips

Math Anxiety – Prevention is Better than Cure

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The reason why most children become anxious about math is that they don’t understand it. This anxiety gets worse when their performance is compared with that of their peers who do better than them. Even Einstein had issues understanding complex math problems. The best way to prevent your child from experiencing math anxiety is to ensure that they understand the basics. Here’s how the Cuemath curriculum fights anxiety:

Conceptual Math Workbooks
These are carefully designed worksheets that cover school syllabus in a concrete, pictorial and abstract manner. The concept notes  in these workbooks focus on explaining the why behind the what before jumping into problems. There are activity sheets that give children a hands on experience of concepts. The pictorial questions are then introduced to help children visualize a problem after which, an abstract question seems fairly simple to solve.

Here’s an example of a pictorial problem from a grade 1 workbook:

Instead of making a child learn multiplication tables without complete understanding, pictorial questions are used to help them visualise them. Once children understand tables better, they can never be hit by anxiety.

 

Tab-based mental aptitude activities
Once children get the hang of the concepts, they are encouraged to practice mental aptitude activities. This helps to build their speed and accuracy.

In the example below, how many more fruits does the monkey have?

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Instead of teaching children addition the conventional way, this exercise helps them look at addition with a one-to-one correspondence.

Creative reasoning puzzle cards
Most of the time, children don’t get the chance to explore methods other than what is mentioned in textbooks. But the fact is that a problem can have more than one solution. Therefore, puzzle cards help children think and find their own unique solutions to a problem

Look at the given example:

Solution 1: In the rightmost column, the digit in the tens place has a pattern- 2, 4, 6, 8, therefore the next number should be 10. The digit in the ones place also has a pattern- 3, 4, 5, 6, therefore the next number should be 7. So, the number is 107.

Solution 2: Adding 21 to each number will give you the next number. For example, 23+21=44, 44+21=65, 65+21=86, and so on.

Can you figure out another solution?

Well-trained and certified teachers
One of the best ways to combat anxiety is to find a teacher who specializes in teaching math. A teacher who explains the why, what and how behind a topic will be able to tackle all the anxiety problems that arise among her students.

The best way to fight math anxiety is to make your child work on the basics. Cuemath’s curriculum is specially designed to facilitate this form of learning. You can learn more about this at a Cuemath Experience Session.

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Aishwarya Sinha Ray

Aishwarya is a math expert and works with the Curriculum team at Cuemath. She believes in bringing out the "why" of every simple mathematical concept that we have learnt. Her articles focus on basic math and she makes them interesting by including simple puzzles and fun facts. Follow her articles to understand how passionate she is about making math interesting for us.