Algebra Math Anxiety

Algebra Math Anxiety - Teacher’s View about Math Anxiety

Student's often experience math anxiety with algebra. It does not make sense to say; “I don’t do well on tests” as an excuse for doing poorly on a test from a student. This “crutch” supports a middle school approach of failing to require students to pass a basic mathematical skills test before moving onto the next grade level. Why are so many students entering high school without knowing their multiplication timetables? Teacher’s are frustrated when students arrive and cannot respond to the question of “5 x 7=?”

Algebra Math Anxiety - Outcomes

Students remember ‘Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” (PEMDAS) but do not remember that the “P” also includes all grouping symbols ( ), { }, [ ], and even fraction bars. They know that the m=multiplication, but because the “m” comes before “d”, they always multiply before they divide. Likewise, because the “a –adding” comes before the “s-subtraction” they routinely add before and subtraction. The problem and key informational piece is the multiplication and division goes LEFT TO RIGHT! Whose is at fault? Their elementary teacher is mostly responsible and the public school administrators are mostly to blame. Administrators will blame the politicians. They claim to comply with the rules in order to meet the need of the law. This is a fifth grade mathematics standard. Well, it cannot be proven without a doubt if their respective teacher taught it to them. One thing is sure –they never mastered it because of this silly mnemonic.

Student Frustration and Viewpoint concerning their Math Anxiety or Fear of Tests

Students say they don’t do well on test based on the history of their previous academic success. If a student is a good student and does well on tests in English and Social studies then this illogical conclusion concerns with math tests does not hold true. If there is a true phobia then it should apply to every subject and not just mathematics. There has to be some factors that are different in the math class from the other subjects. Obviously, if a student arrives in high school and has experienced failing every math test since the sixth grade, then the evidence states that they do not do well on tests. Their personal experience supports their beliefs.

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