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Help For Managing Math Anxiety: A discussion board assignment

How to survive... and thrive...when faced with taking a math class.

Class Discussion Board - 4 week assignment

This is a 4-week assignment that is designed for students to learn about math anxiety and investigate techniques for managing it.  Each week there is an activity and then a discussion board assignment where they are to post about the given prompt, read at least three of their classmates posts and reply to at least one classmate's post.  The assignment works best when a test is given about the same time as the 4th week assignment begins.

In the first week’s assignment, students take the Math Anxiety Survey – Revised (MAR-S) to assess their level of math anxiety.  After taking the survey they will post on the discussion board about their experiences with math or other anxieties.

For the second week, because anxiety for math can be partially due to inadequate study methods, this assignment includes a learning style inventory with tips provided for each learning style, in addition to reading about and using a relaxation technique of their choice before studying.  The students will then post about the study tips they feel will be most helpful to them and their experience using the relaxation technique that they selected. 

The third assignment has the students read an online article that discusses methods for reducing math anxiety.  After reading the article their assignment is to research math anxiety reducing techniques on their own, in hopes that they will continue to be proactive in managing their math anxiety.  The post for this assignment is to share the URL of a site they found helpful and talk about three anxiety reducing or study skill techniques they plan to use over the next week while preparing for their next test. 

The last assignment asks students to reflect on this assignment and talk about what they plan to do in the future to reduce their math anxiety.

Discusson Board Introduction

This forum is a place for you and your classmates to discuss your thoughts and experiences relating to math anxiety.  (Here you may want to add instructions for posting and replying if this is the first time your students have used the discussion board.)

Week #1 - What does math anxiety feel like to you?

Assignment:

  1. Using a minimum of 2 sentences, post about how you experience math anxiety, if you do, or post about other times that you have felt anxiety related to school. To create your post, click on the word "Reply" that's in the middle of the page on the right. Some things you might consider talking about in your post are: did you feel sick to your stomach, did your palms sweat, did you blank out during a test, etc. How do you feel when you sit down to do your math homework, do you feel anxious or stressed?
  2. Read at least 3 of your classmate's posts, then choose at least one that you would like to reply to. Please reply to a student that has either no replies yet or only one or two replies.
  3. Come back later today or in a day or two to read any comments you might have received on your post and on your reply to another classmate.

Week #2 - Learning Styles and Anxiety Reducing Techniques

Assignment

1.   Take the Barsch Learning Styles Inventory at http://valenciacollege.edu/east/academicsuccess/spa/BarschLearningStyles.cfm .

2.   Read the Learning Tips for your learning style that are at the bottom of the page.

3.   Read the article on relaxation techniques at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/relaxation-technique/SR00007

4.   The next time you are ready to do your math homework or prepare for a math test, use one of the relaxation techniques from page 2 of the Mayo Clinic website given in step #3 and also try out one of the learning tips from the Barsch website from steps #1 & #2.

 5.  It's time to post about your experience.  First, write your learning style in the Subject line.  In this post, discuss the learning tip and relaxation technique that you used before working on your homework. Did you find either or both of them helpful? Will you use them again? Are there any other tips or techniques you'd like to try? Do you think it would benefit you to seek out more information on your own about learning styles, study techniques and methods for reducing anxiety? If you do search on your own this week, please share anything that you find interesting and helpful to you - include your source (such as the URL) too.

6.   Come back later today or in a day or two to read any comments you might have received on your post and on your reply to your classmate.

Week #3 - Investigating math anxiety

Assignment

1.      Read the article at http://www.counseling.txstate.edu/resources/shoverview/bro/math.html

2.      Search online using the words "math anxiety". Find a website that you find has good suggestions for reducing your math anxiety.

3.      Post the URL for this website.

4.      Discuss in your post, three things that you will do between now and the time you take your last tests and finals to reduce your math anxiety. Why/How do you think these activities will help you? What will you do to make sure you fully implement these activities to give them their best shot at working.

5.      Read at least 3 of your classmate's posts, then choose one that you would like to reply to. Please reply to a student that has either no replies yet or only one or two replies.

6.      Come back later today or in a day or two to read any comments you might have received on your post and on your reply to your classmate.

 

Week #4 - What I'll do to reduce anxiety in the future

Assignment

I hope this activity helped you in some way. Thank you to everyone that shared their personal stories and helpful information.

1.      For this last post, write about what you will do in the future to help you reduce your math anxiety: include study tips, relaxation techniques, etc. If you don't have anxiety for math, discuss what you have learned and/or tried that will help you reduce anxiety in other situations.

2.      Read at least 3 of your classmate's posts, then choose one that you would like to reply to. Please reply to a student that has either no replies yet or only one or two replies.

3.      Come back later today or in a day or two to read any comments you might have received on your post and on your reply to your classmate.

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