Here are some strategies to help your students stop identifying themselves as "bad at math."
Michelle Russell recently wrote an article for MiddleWeb called "When 'Math Hate' Curbs Your Teacher Enthusiasm." In it, she addresses the toll it can take on a math teacher to feel that their students "hate" math and are not engaged in what she's trying to teach them. She writes, "The negativity doesn’t stop with students either. Many times when calling home to a parent, I hear exactly the same thing. And sadly, even when talking to other teachers it’s not uncommon to hear 'math bashing.'"
It's tragic that so many people—children and adults alike—feel comfortable identifying themselves as "bad at math."
She offers some good advice for teachers to overcome these kinds of negative attitudes towards math, including:
"See past what the students are saying and understand why they are saying it. I think a lot of students say they don’t like math because they are struggling..."
"Attend professional development that you personally find exciting, interesting, and worthwhile. Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a three-day professional development experience with other math teachers. I left feeling re-energized and excited after spending so much quality time with other teachers who absolutely get it."
We’ve got some additional strategies to share for getting your students beyond 'math hate.'
We hope this helps. Now go forth and spread that math love far and wide!
Carnegie Learning is helping students learn why, not just what. Born from more than 30 years of learning science research at Carnegie Mellon University, the company has become a recognized leader in the ed tech space, using artificial intelligence, formative assessment, and adaptive learning to deliver groundbreaking solutions to education’s toughest challenges. With the highest quality offerings for K-12 math, ELA, literacy, world languages, professional learning and more, Carnegie Learning is changing the way we think about education, fostering learning that lasts.Explore more related to this author
If we praise students for speed or making things look easy, then the message we are sending them is: 'I’m only smart when I’m fast or when something is easy.' What if we changed our praise to focus more on effort and making hard things fun and less high stakes?