The Arizona local who defined math anxiety

Math anxiety is a feeling of tension and nervousness that occurs when you are faced with a math problem. A person who is suffering from math anxiety may experience physical symptoms such as rapid breathing, increased heart rate, sweating, nausea, and headaches.

Math anxiety can be caused by past experiences with mathematics or by the fear of failing. Some people are simply born with a fear of numbers, which can make it difficult to learn how to do simple arithmetic or perform complex calculations.

Have a look at a discrete mathematics question paper from Southern New Hampshire University at this URL. For someone who has Arithmophobia or any form of math anxiety, the abstract symbols and concepts in the questions can cause severe physical and mental distress. 

Who defined Math Anxiety?

Photo By Balfour Walker: Shelia Tobias as pictured in 2015.

Sheila Tobias is a math teacher and author of the book Overcoming Math Anxiety. She was born in New York City but grew up in Brooklyn. She graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and education.

Sheila Tobias began teaching math at an elementary school in Harlem as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program in 1967. In 1980 she moved to Tucson, Arizona, and became a professor of women’s studies at the University of Arizona. In 1978, Sheila Tobias took her first step toward becoming an author when she wrote some articles about math anxiety for Scholastic Magazine’s Teacher magazine. This led her to write Overcoming Math Anxiety: A Program For People Who Hate To Do Math. Tobias died at 86 years old in a nursing home in Tucson in July 2021. 

Do you dread math? Do you feel like there’s a disconnect between your mind and the problem at hand? You’re not alone. Even people who consider themselves good at math will experience this anxiety from time to time. And if that describes you, I’m here to tell you that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. The fact is that most of us have been conditioned to shy away from anything involving numbers or symbols. In today’s post, we’ll talk about why this happens, how it affects our brain chemistry, and what we can do about it.

Make sure you have a good teacher

If you find a good teacher, it will make all the difference in the world. There are many ways to tell if a teacher is good. Here are some things to look for.

A positive attitude toward math

If they’re enthusiastic about what they do, it’s easy for them to convey that enthusiasm and excitement to their students. They’ll also be more likely to be patient with you when you struggle with something.

Patience with your questions

A good teacher will figure out how to explain a complicated concept in multiple ways so that everyone can understand it.

Willingness to help

A helpful teacher will have the willingness to help you understand what’s going on in class by explaining things more than once. Having a sense of humor helps too. 

A note for parents and teachers

‘You’re so smart!’ – According to a new study, this encouraging response may potentially do more damage than good to children’s math skills. According to the study, encouraging youngsters with replies based on their characteristics or intrinsic skills may reduce their arithmetic interest and success over time.

Take notes in class

The first step to reducing your math anxiety is to take notes in class. Taking notes during a lecture will ensure you remember the key points of what you hear. And it can also help keep you focused on the material being presented. Additionally, taking good notes will make reviewing them much easier later on.

Taking notes is a skill that takes some practice and patience to master, but with these simple tips, it should be easy for anyone.

Write down everything that’s said in class. Write slowly enough so that when someone reads your notes back to themselves, they don’t feel like they’re reading gibberish.

Use different colored pens/pencils for different topics. This way all the related topics will be grouped, so they’re easy to find later on. Laptops have surpassed pens and pencils as the most often used school supplies. However, students who write their notes by hand may benefit in the long term. According to recent research, they had a better median GPA than their counterparts who typed their notes.

Avoid comparing yourself to your classmates

One of the most common ways people get anxious about math is by comparing themselves to others. Comparing your math abilities to classmates, family members, or friends can be discouraging and prevent you from doing your best work in class.

Instead of focusing on how well other people are doing in class, focus on yourself and your learning process.

Don’t fall for the “Math Is Hard” myth

Math is a skill. It’s a language you’ll use throughout your life, at work, and in social situations. Math is a logic puzzle. It is a tool for understanding the world around us. Just like any other skill, when you learn how it works and practice using it in different situations, you’ll become better at using math as well as gaining confidence in your abilities.

Use mental math as often as possible

It is well known that arithmetic enhances brain power, but it has also been shown that subjecting the brain to rigorous activities such as math problems, puzzles and crosswords, and more can lessen the odds of brain cell shrinkage, which leads to types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, including arithmetic in young children’s foundational years can assist build and strengthen their brain muscles, sharpen memory, and increase focus.

Mental math is the ability to do calculations in your head. You may not be able to do it perfectly or quickly, but you can get pretty close. And that’s good enough for this exercise.

The best way to train yourself in mental math is by doing it often. If you’re trying to figure out how much money should come off a few of your checks each month, try doing the calculation in your head before pulling out a calculator. If you’re trying to decide how many gallons of paint will cover an entire wall, try doing the calculation in your head before looking up online calculators.

Practice visualization

Visualization is a cognitive strategy that can help you remember information and learn concepts. The idea behind visualization is that you connect what you’re learning with a visual image in your mind, so when you want to remember or recall the information, it’s easier for your brain to retrieve it. Visualization can be especially helpful when taking an exam because it helps organize your thoughts and helps keep them organized during the test. 

To reduce your math anxiety, it’s important to understand what causes it in the first place. One common cause of high levels of stress when doing math is simply not understanding how things work or how they should work together as a whole. This leads some students down paths where they waste time trying out different combinations until something works.

We hope that you found these tips helpful. They can make a big difference in your math anxiety, so don’t be afraid to try them out and see what works best for you. Remember that there’s no right or wrong way to approach this issue. It’s all about finding what works best for your unique situation.