3. Bring back manipulatives.
Elementary schools are full of base-ten blocks, counters, and fraction bars. Once students enter middle and high school, however, most of those manipulatives vanish. When students can work with and experience the concepts they are learning in concrete ways, they are able to find their own entry points and make connections.
Many students experience math anxiety because they feel intimidated by the content and think that there is only one right way to get the answer. Bringing back manipulatives can help students see patterns and connections, find multiple ways to get to the correct answer, foster their creativity, and become less reliant on formulas and memorization.
Use math games regularly in your classroom to practice fluency, review concepts, and build problem-solving skills. Now you’re on your way to making math fun again, which is a sure way to curb math anxiety.