Questions for ‘Don't let math stress you out'

Jan 10, 2017 — 8:20 am EST
teen studying math


Having math anxiety doesn’t mean that you have to be bad at math.



Having math anxiety doesn’t mean that you have to be bad at math.


To accompany feature “Don't let math stress you out”


Before Reading:

1. Name an activity that makes you anxious or nervous to think about. What do you do to counteract those feelings? 

2. How do you feel about math? Do you get unusually nervous or anxious before a test? Or do you whiz through your homework with no problems? Do you think that how you feel about math might affect how well you do in math class?

During Reading:

1. How do scientists diagnose math anxiety?

2. What is “working memory”?

3. Based on the story, what is the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset?

4. How can the genius myth affect the way that prople feel about their ability to learn math?

5. Based on the story, how is math like music or sports?

6. Describe a way to tackle math anxiety.

7. What is expressive writing, and how can it help someone with math anxiety?

8. How can parents help their kids become more confident in math?

9. Why might it be a problem for a teacher to have math anxiety?

10. How did Virginie Charette overcome her math anxiety?

After Reading: 

1. Based on this story, what could you do to help a friend or sibling who has math anxiety?

2. People are anxious about plenty of other things other than math. Describe how you might apply some of the lessons in this story to other types of anxiety.     


1. Read the Bedtime Math prompt given in the story. Then, answer the two math problems in the paragraph that followed.

2. For her PhD work, Rachel McAnallen surveyed almost 700 elementary school teachers and found that 38 percent reported some amount of math anxiety. Calculate how many individuals that would have been. Show your work.