‘Math’ a four letter word considered as terror and horrifying

for most of the students. Sometimes because of this word stress and anxiety is

caused among the students, a

feeling of tension, apprehension, that interferes and affects their performance

in this particular subject. Why is this four letter word a horror story for students?

The answer to this question is that math is always considered to be a right or

wrong subject and getting right is paramount. The subject is

victim as it is often taught with restricted ways to solve a particular problem

and any other approaches would be wrong, even if students get the right answer.

When learning, understanding the concepts should be vital, but with a right/wrong

approach to teach this particular subject, students are encouraged not to try,

not to experiment, not to

find algorithms that work for them, and

because of this their critical thinking skills are badly affected which hinders

them in providing proper justifications and reason for the particular approach

towards problem solving.

“Teachers

benefit children most when they encourage them to

share their thinking process and justify their answers out loud or in writing

as they perform math operations. … With less of an emphasis on right or wrong

and more of an emphasis on process, teachers can help alleviate students’

anxiety about math”.(Furner, Joseph M., Berman, Barbara T., “Math anxiety:

Overcoming a major obstacle to the improvement of student math

performance”, Childhood

Education, Spring 2003)

The

fear towards this subject is because of some emblematic approach followed by

the teachers and that is:

·

a problem related to a

topic is introduced

·

a solution technique

is introduced in form of series of lectures

·

number of practice problems are repeated until mastery

is achieved

This emblematic approach needs to be replaced by making learning

and knowledge as student’s creation; however rote learning and a conventional

approach (right/ wrong) to teaching math serves as external to the student. Focusing on the concepts rather than the

correct answer should be approach when teaching this subject. Students should be allowed to work on their own and discuss

their solutions; along with the approach towards solution before the answer is

given.

Effective Factors to Lower Math Anxiety:

·

Accommodating

for different learning styles.

Math lessons should

be flexible and can be altered according to the needs and learning styles of students. New

concepts can be taught through different activities such as, small skit or act, hands on activities, interactive group work,

visual aids or information technology

·

Relaxation

in testing environments

·

Relating

math with everyday life.

Students

are always inquisitive about what they study and why they study they try to

relate each and every detail of their studies with the use of it in everyday

life or relation of it to everyday life issues and problems. Children learn best when math is taught in a way that is

relevant to their everyday lives.

·

Letting

students evaluate by putting in their own input.

Students

should be given a free hand to explore different approaches towards the

solution of the particular problem rather than by restricting them to follow

what is taught. Different strategies and approaches will help them to derive

the formulas according to their own needs. This will help them to develop

confidence in learning new concepts.

·

Discourage passive

learning and encourage active learning.

To learn mathematics in depth, students should

be engaged in exploring, conjecturing, and thinking, as well as in rote

learning of rules and procedures. Instead of rote learning of formulas

manipulatives should be introduced where they are able to evaluate or evolve

their own formula and strategy.

·

Visualization has

also been used effectively to help reduce math anxiety.

It is observed that what ever we see we

remember it for long . Math is a subject in which students needs to remember

many steps and procedure required towards the correct approach . visualization

can be a help to a greater extent. Digital

tools support visualization.

Role

of digital tools in mathematics

Nowadays Children are

obsessed with gadgets and technologies. They are getting access to many new

things with just a click. They enjoy experimenting , exploring, and thinking . These are all the things which we require

for detail study of this particular subject and this is the reason technology

can be very well connected to mathematics. Digital

tools support visualization of mathematical concepts in various ways of

expressions, and as such may foster versatile thinking, especially when these

representations are dynamically linked. At the upper secondary education, these

tools can be used for exploring and discovering mathematical correlations and

for modeling real complex phenomena.

In mathematics education, content-specific technologies

include computer algebra systems; dynamic geometry environments; interactive

applets; handheld computation, data collection, and analysis devices; and

computer-based applications. These technologies support students in exploring

and identifying mathematical concepts and relationships. Findings from a number

of studies have shown that the strategic use of technological tools can support

both the learning of mathematical procedures and skills as well as the development

of advanced mathematical proficiencies, such as problem solving, reasoning, and

justifying .

The use of all these possibilities foster

processes that cannot be developed so well in absence of technology,These

technologies increase students’ access to information, ideas, and interactions

that can support and enhance sense making, which is central to the process of

taking ownership of knowledge.

Geogebra is one of

such software which joins geometry , algebra and calculus. It is a software

which dynamically and interactively connects to geometry system. You can do

constructions with points , vectors, segments, lines, polygons and conic

sections as well as functions while changing them dynamically. This software

has the ability to deal with variables for numbers, vectors and points

functions and graphs.

Use of Geogebra in secondary mathematics

GeoGebra is a Dynamic

Mathematics Software (DMS) for teaching and learning mathematics from middle

school through college level. It is as easy to use as Dynamic Geometry Software

(DGS) but also provides basic features of Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) to

bridge some gaps between geometry, algebra and calculus. GeoGebra is open

source software under the GNU General Public License and freely available at www.geogebra.org.

There, you can either download installers for multiple platforms or launch the

software directly from the Internet using GeoGebra Web Start. It is also

available as an applet.

Technology is essential in

teaching and learning mathematics; it influences the mathematics that is taught

and enhances student’s learning.