6 Methods to Improve Confidence in Math

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The purpose of Student Attributes for Math Success (SAMS) is to increase student engagement, improve student preparation for post-secondary success, and improve mathematical understanding while decreasing math anxiety. These attributes are a critical component of and foundation for improving mathematical ability and overcoming math anxiety. To be effective, improvement efforts need to address a student’s mindset as well as an understanding that there is shared responsibility where student success is concerned between the teacher and the student.

6: Perseveres when faced with time consuming/complex tasks

The Learner should set aside the time necessary to be successful and be willing to work on problems that require time and thought, particularly problems that cannot be solved by mimicking a previously seen example. The Learner should successfully complete tasks that require organizing and implementing multiple steps, concepts, or techniques and recognizes when an approach is unproductive and makes logical modifications to that approach or switches to another approach. Learner should be convinced that effort is an important component of success in mathematics.

5: Pays Attention to Detail

The Learner correctly follows all parts of oral and written directions without needing additional reminders and makes few notational errors, e.g., accidentally changing digits, dropping or altering algebra symbols, incorrectly positioning points on a grid, etc.

4: Demonstrate Intellectual Engagement

The Learner should perceive mathematics as a way of understanding-- a belief that mathematics must make sense and is not a sequence of algorithms to be memorized and applied. The Learner should actively explore new ideas, posing questions about their meaning, significance, and implications as well as Recognizing patterns and deviations-- from previously learned patterns in data, diagrams, symbols, and words. The Learner appreciates that abstractions and generalization are important sources of the power of mathematics. Is willing to take risks and be challenges as part of the learning process. Contributes to and benefits from group problem-solving activities.

3: Understands Growth Mindset

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work--brains and talent are just the starting point.

2: Engages in Postitive Self-Talk

Students are mindful of what they say to themselves in regards to their math ability. They develop positive affirmations such as "I will succeed in this course!" or "I love math!" to counteract any negative feelings they may have about their abilities or about math itself.

1: Takes Responsibility for Their Own Learning

The Learner should attend nearly every class session and when absent, seeks ways to learn the material covered in class in addition to examining and learning from his or her errors and seeks help when needed. Sets academic goals, takes advantage of available resources-- class time, notes, textbook, assignments, tutoring services, supplemental materials.

Source: transitionmathproject.org


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