Published at Friday, 10 May 2019. math worksheet. By Elayna Maurice.
Early math is fundamental because children use math concepts in their daily routines. Nurturing the value of math skills in early youth may help alleviate the anxiety that an increasing number of older students experience who struggle with math. Negative self-talk in students creates a reticence to work through challenging problems in school. Children will achieve more if they are indoctrinated when young with a positive mindset that math can be enjoyable, math is not something to be afraid of, and making mistakes is part of the learning process.
Taken together, these two ideas — that math is important and that success in math is rare — are a perfect way to make kids anxious about math. And we know that once kids are feeling worried about something, learning it becomes harder.
If a brain region is working hard, there will be more brain activation. These researchers found that a part of the brain called the amygdala is more activated (working harder) in children with high math anxiety than in children with low math anxiety. Also, in children with high math anxiety, the areas of the brain that deal with working memory and mathematical processing (called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the intraparietal sulcus) are less activated (working less hard) compared with those brain areas in children who have low math anxiety . The amygdala is a small almond-shaped structure in the lower middle part of the brain and it is important for experiencing and processing emotions, including fear and anxiety. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a larger part of the brain located at the very front of the brain, and it is involved in many complicated behaviors, such as planning and decision making. The intraparietal sulcus is a brain region near the top of the brain that is important for mathematics and paying attention. (See Figure 3 for a picture of where these brain regions are located.) So, overall, this study suggests that when children solve math problems, those children with high math anxiety activate brain regions involved in anxiety, while those children with low math anxiety activate brain regions that are involved with solving math problems.
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