Remember when your child came running home from school all excited to share his or her new found skills in counting to 100, adding single digits and solving animal word problems? What happens in a child’s life where one-day math is fun and the next is anxiety driven? Below are some simple, but yet helpful math test anxiety prevention tips that are sure to get you, child or student, back on a successful math track.
1. Acknowledge the student’s anxiety.
It’s important for the parent and math teacher to recognize and acknowledge that that test anxiety is for real. Sharing words like: ” I know you are feeling anxious or afraid to take the math test, but I will be here to help you do your best,” reduces many children’s concerns. Kids want to please us. They also fear to fail. When you acknowledge their fear or anxieties, you are acknowledging them as a person.
2. Reduce the embarring feelings.
This can be done by avoiding statements like, “You should have known this!” Statements like, “Test help me to help you.” and “You and I will work together to find the right solutions to solve math problems” will reduce math test anxiety faster than negative remarks.
3. Use chart, graphs, and pictures as often as possible.
Many math anxious student is visual learning. They often do better with pictures or visual math depictions in finding solutions.
4. Practice makes perfect!
Just like many things that we do in life; the more we practice the better we get. Use a variety of methods, teaching tools and strategies to help a child to learn math. Encourage practice in the car, bus, dinner table and other times when you are together.
5. Make math fun not work!
Teachers and parents who remain calm, confident and model a great attitude when helping a child solve a math problem are creating an environment that is less anxious and/or anxiety-free. Attitude makes all the difference!