math anxiety

<p>I am posting this here for most possible responses.</p>

<p>D2 graduated( high school) in 2008- finished at pre-calc with a B I believe- however- this was using new- new- new- math- which didn't stick/cover what she needs in college. ( She did also pass physics and got an A in chem jr yr- so she is capable of that form of reasoning)</p>

<p>Didn't take math in 2009- because her gap year/work/travel, didn't take math freshman yr in college- because she couldn't pass the placement test for college level math.
( It had been recommended to her to take the placement test while she was still in high school & in the math class- but you guessed it- " It's fine mom- I am too busy")
Finally got her approved for disability services at her the end of the year ( because she kept- forgetting)- </p>

<p>She is planning on taking math at the community college this summer- but the one closest to us- has a poor disability services program ( I used to work there) and still will require a placement test for placement.</p>

<p>Main issue- how to find out where her holes are- and how to help.
( I will hunt out tutors- but anxiety level demands that we don't have to go through too many-she also has too much anxiety- still -around me helping her with school work)</p>

<p>Support so that she can test as high as reasonable for correct placement- If she needs to take intermediate algebra- I don't want her testing into the level below- because then that will waste time and money.</p>

<p>I like the idea of taking math at a community college over the summer ... even if it means doing the remedial course first (thereby obviating the placement test). I think it's pretty well established that the best way to reduce an anxiety is to kill it off with a string of regular successes.</p>

<p>Has your daughter discussed the specific placement tests with the counselors at the CC? Ours uses Accuplacer and the results in Happykid's case were spot-on.</p>

<p>Yep, build onto what you know. That's what math is all about. As I was writing this, and asking my college-age sons how to guide you, my son (who tutors this stuff) said calculus "takes the basic 4 operations and mixes it up into its own operation". He suggested you get a calculus tutor.</p>

<p>What helped me with my own math anxiety was understanding the visual patterns in math. This simple difference was huge for me. I was of the generation that rarely used a 100-chart. Instead, it was just talk, talk, talk. But, as a visual person, I needed to see and visualize what was happening to have it make sense. Once I started to recognize the patterns (like odd/even) and (1, 10, 100 basic progression), I easily saw what was the right answer, what was incorrect. It may help your daughter to recognize when she begins to feel anxious and what calms those emotions. For me, it was seeing patterns and pictures. Numbers, after all, in their most basic form really are a pattern.</p>

<p>I would see if her major requires calculus. If not, I would look at other math classes that might fit the bill--statistics, for example.</p>

<p>Can I ask what kind of disability?</p>

<p>I had to take intermediate algebra twice and eventually passed, and then went on to pass statistics which wrapped up my math requirement. I had to pick a major that would not require calculus.</p>

<p>A benefit to the remedial classes besides just building skills is providing a "safe" place to rebuild the confidence in math necessary to not crumble when facing challenges later. Just something to consider if she does place lower than you think she is capable. Maybe she has the knowledge but won't be capable of using it until she gets comfortable enough that the anxiety isn't a barrier.</p>

<p>Math is a very perishable skill and if not used continuously, ability will degrade rapidly. This is probably why she did not score high enough in her freshman math level placement test to qualify for college level classes in math after taking a year off. After two years of not taking any math her skills are going to be at an extremely rudimentary level. She may have to accept that she will have to initially take remedial math courses at a high school Algebra I level.</p>

<p>My eldest son just finished his freshman year at college and took calculus and my younger son just finished his junior year in high school and took pre-calculus. During the Summer break I am having them do calculus problems for at least two hours a day. This is because even a couple of months without any math practice could result in a significant deterioration of their math skills.</p>

<p>Two hours of practice a day! That's commendable that your kids would do that, but I wonder if that's truly realistic. How much time do they spend on math during the school year?</p>

<p>I don't know if this will help or comfort. I'm actually quite good at math. (hence the name though it was mostly S1!), but the first time I took calculus at 16 I always felt on the edge of understanding it. I got an A on my report card, but only a 2 on the AP exam. I too took a gap year, and then another year off from math. When I went back to it I didn't remember a thing, but the second time I took calculus it seemed really easy and I got an easy A. (I even took it self-paced so I never actually went to a class, I just went to math labs when I got stuck.) So even though your daughter may have to backtrack a bit, I think the second time through she may find it much easier. Good luck to her.</p>

<p>During the Summer break I am having them do calculus problems for at least two hours a day</p>

<p>I can imagine the response I would get if I even * suggested* that.

<p>Look for a kindly tutor who not only understands the material deeply, but will be able to figure out what specific problems your daughter is having. The tutor has to be able to look at the problem from your daughter's perspective, and see what's unclear or erroneous in the thinking. If you ask around, I think you will find people like this in every area. I'd maybe suggest a female physics/engineering/chemistry grad student as a tutor. A lot of math anxiety comes from fear of facing an unfamiliar problem and freezing up--so it's self-reinforcing. Your daughter can break the chain if she starts to really "get" it. Sometimes, the texts expect students to pick things up from context, in the examples, rather than explaining things explicitly--a tutor can really help with that. Also, sometimes students restrict the range of possibilities they are considering, and that causes problems (e.g., implicitly assuming that numbers will be positive, or real, or rational . . . ). Good luck to your daughter. It can be done!</p>

<p>I would worry less about wasting time and money than about triggering your daughter's anxiety by a too-high placement. Lots of review and practice are what gets one over math anxiety. It might actually be a good thing for her to take a course she finds "easy" at the CC and get a really solid background that gives her confidence, before proceeding to a higher level.</p>

<p>Both my son and daughter were placed by their school in the fast track for math. While my son is comfortable winging it and doesn't mind low grades or screwing up provided he isn't bored, my daughter wants to get everything right, and to feel "safe" before going on to the next step. It's just a different learning style. Next year my daughter's arranged to take two different one-semester precalculus sequences--the "honors" math analysis course for the math whizzes and regular college prep trigonometry--even though you are supposed to pick one or the other. She thinks, and I agree, that for a risk-averse perfectionist, the possible duplication in course content will not be a problem.</p>

<p>EmeraldKity- Is she eligible for extra time on testing? My son wanted to take college calculus his senior year. It was a community college class and he had to pass the placement exam. Due to his ADD/LD he was able to take the placement test in the disability office untimed. Fast forward to this spring. My D wanted to take immediate Algebra at the CC. She has LD/ADD but has not had any accommodations since grade 3. She is a poor test taker. She did the prep work for the placement test. She did not test into the level she needed. The placement test was 50 problems in 60 minutes without the use of a calculator. She only finished half the test.
Call the disablities office or email them at the CC of your choice. We have found they are very helpful.</p>