Managing the Mean Math Blues

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9780130431691: Managing the Mean Math Blues

"A supplemental book" for courses in Study Skills. This text is designed so that reluctant and anxious math students learn current and relevant cognitive therapy and math study skill techniques. A broad variety of strategies journaling, self-assessment, goal setting, math exercises, questionnaires, webbing, etc. are designed to actively assist the student in pushing past their individual barriers to master math. Along the way, basic math exercises are introduced so that students can practice newly learned skills.

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From the Back Cover:

Written by an experienced math teacher and psychotherapist, Managing the Mean Math Blues is designed to help fearful and reluctant students overcome their negative perceptions about math.

With a truly unique approach, Cheryl Ooten combines a wealth of class-tested learning strategies with an effective illustration program to help students achieve a new level of confidence in their math abilities in the classroom and beyond.

  • Chapters address specific learning barriers: memory, classrooms, teachers, shyness, test-taking, negative thinking.
  • "Pushing Limits" theme encourages students to believe in their capacity to learn.
  • Personal experiences from math tutors and non-math professionals enhance understanding.
  • Effective cognitive therapy techniques change negative feelings and put students in charge.
  • Assessments and Journal exercises help students see their progress and extend understanding of concepts.

Visit our Student Success Supersite at www.prenhall.com/success

Features include:
Majors Exploration
Career Advice
Web Links
Tips from Successful Students
Student Bulletin Boards
Faculty Resources

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Dear Reader,

My fondest wish is that this book will assist you to succeed with math. Feel free to read it in any order that works for you. This is a book for you to control. The techniques and exercises are here to help you, not to overwhelm or discourage you. If you feel overwhelmed or discouraged, back off and return later. But do return. The rewards are many and great.

I have included information I have found useful to math students during 30 years of teaching, so pick and choose. Refer to this book when you need a new and different strategy.

Dawn Bigelow, a superb third-grade teacher I taught beside, told me that when she went to a conference she wanted to return with three new ideas. More than three and she would be too overwhelmed to try them. Fewer than three and she had wasted her time going to the conference.

Three was the magic number. When Dawn returned to her third-graders with three new ideas, she could easily incorporate them into the classroom system she already had in progress.

You have a system in progress for learning. You only need three new ideas each time you come to this book. More than that and you will be overwhelmed. Fewer than that and you will be wasting your time. Modify your learning system slowly and surely. Incorporate winning ideas and strategies that fit who you are and what you want to accomplish.

Skim over the Contents. Mark the topics that look the most promising. Chapter 2, along with the list below, can direct you according to your needs.

Features of this book and their purpose are:

  • Introduction and Chapter 1: Motivation to excite you and help you gather courage to confront the blues.
  • Chapter 2: Explanation of routes through this book based on your needs.
  • Chapters 3-6: Effective methods to control overwhelming negative thoughts and feelings about math (or life).
  • Chapters 7-9: Self-discovery about who you are and how you learn best.
  • Chapters 10, 13, 14, and 15: Study skills to use in math class.
  • Chapters 11 and 12: Discussion of shyness and classroom/teacher issues.
  • Chapter 16: Problem-solving strategies.
  • Chapter 17: Test-taking strategies.
  • "Pushing Your Limits," Chapters 1-17: Journal activities to help you question, ponder, plan, and evaluate your math life.
  • "Mastering Math's Mysteries," Chapters 3-6: Practice with numbers and patterns.
  • "Mastering Math's Mysteries," Chapters 7-13: Fraction practice to shore up skills that math students tend to avoid.
  • "Mastering Math's Mysteries," Chapter 15: Practice with spatial visualization.
  • "Mastering Math's Mysteries," Chapters 14, 16, and 17: Practice with strategies discussed in the chapters.
  • "More Mastering Math's Mysteries," in the Appendix: More challenging math practice for the brave of heart.
  • Solutions to "Mastering Math's Mysteries" exercises, in the Appendix.

This book is not designed as a math textbook but rather to accompany a math textbook or to prepare you for a math textbook. The math exercises here are just for you to wet your feet. Because I know that every math student brings different experiences and needs, I had difficulty deciding which math topics to include. I chose fractions because they are universally avoided and disliked. The potential exists for you to feel terrific soon if you face them. Be patient with yourself as you wade into new territory. Being curious and willing to experiment can help you to swim sooner than you ever thought possible. Use a life preserver when you need it and never swim alone.

My best,

Cheryl Ooter

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