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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Science is helping kids become math masters | Mathematics - Science News for Students

Experts develop strategies to help more students succeed in this oft-dreaded subject, says Rachel Crowell, Guest Writer.

Two girls work together solving a math problem in class. Such collaboration in class may represent a new approach to learning math better.
Photo: Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Math is one four-letter word that leaves many teens anxious and sweaty. The idea of an impending math test might send shivers down their spines. Some kids avoid their homework — or at least delay starting it — because they find math so daunting. Their minds might even go blank at the sight of test questions, no matter how well they have studied. If this is you, there’s some comfort knowing that you’re not alone.

It’s hard to pinpoint how many people suffer stress or anxiety just thinking about math. But it’s common. In fact, math anxiety can strike even mathematicians. So having this condition does not mean you’re bad at math or doomed to fail. And there are tips that can help you overcome this anxiety.

There’s always hope, says Patrick Honner. “We’re in control of math. Math isn’t in control of us,” says this teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City. Honner also writes a math column for Quanta Magazine, where he shares basic math concepts from recent research.

Even people who are not math-anxious can gain more confidence and skill to better succeed with numbers. How to help students excel in math is even becoming a hot research topic. And some emerging innovations might show up soon in a classroom near you...

Group effort 
Walkington’s team has already published research in the Journal of Mathematical Behavior. That study included 51 high school students who hadn’t taken geometry before. It focused on what happened when students worked in groups of twos or threes on the math problems in the game.

The scientists looked at whether the teens could correctly determine at first glance whether the statements were true or false. They called this “intuition” (In-too-IH-shun). They also measured whether each group’s work showed that they understood the math ideas behind the problems they were solving. The scientists called this “insight.” And they looked at whether the groups created valid proofs for the statements each had been given.
Read more... 

Additional resources
The symbol for transgender individuals, center, is flanked by ones for females (pink at left) and males (blue at right). Some transgender researchers say that in recent years they have been feeling more included in the research community.
Photo: itakdalee/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Trans and non-binary people are becoming more visible in science and engineering by Roberta Kwok, Guest Writer.

Photo: BIG MOUTH for Quanta Magazine.

Where Proof, Evidence and Imagination Intersect by Patrick Honner, teaches mathematics and computer science at Brooklyn Technical High School, where he also serves as instructional coach.

Source: Science News for Students