Learning to Love Math: Teaching Strategies That Change Student Attitudes and Get Results

Learning to Love Math: Teaching Strategies That Change Student Attitudes and Get Results

Learning to Love Math: Teaching Strategies That Change Student Attitudes and Get Results

Learning to Love Math: Teaching Strategies That Change Student Attitudes and Get Results


Is there a way to get students to love math? Dr. Judy Willis responds with an emphatic yes in this informative guide to getting better results in math class. Tapping into abundant research on how the brain works, Willis presents a practical approach for how we can improve academic results by demonstrating certain behaviors and teaching students in a way that minimizes negativity.

With a straightforward and accessible style, Willis shares the knowledge and experience she has gained through her dual careers as a math teacher and a neurologist. In addition to learning basic brain anatomy and function, readers will learn how to

• Improve deep-seated negative attitudes toward math.

• Plan lessons with the goal of "achievable challenge" in mind.

• Reduce mistake anxiety with techniques such as errorless math and estimation.

• Teach to different individual learning strengths and skill levels.

• Spark motivation.

• Relate math to students' personal interests and goals.

• Support students in setting short-term and long-term goals.

• Convince students that they can change their intelligence.

With dozens of strategies teachers can use right now, Learning to Love Math puts the power of research directly into the hands of educators. A Brain Owner's Manual, which dives deeper into the structure and function of the brain, is also included--providing a clear explanation of how memories are formed and how skills are learned. With informed teachers guiding them, students will discover that they can build a better brain... and learn to love math!


Human history becomes more and more a race between education and

—H. G. Wells

No other school subject pushes emotional buttons the way math does. It usually falls at the bottom of a list of subjects that people like or in which they feel interested or successful. Yet it’s increasingly clear that building an education system that provides students with a strong foundation in math is important for both individuals and society.

From a broad perspective, today’s world presents us with an increasing volume of information (from online sources, for example) that is not prefiltered for accuracy or evaluated for all potential uses. Under these circumstances, the ability to make sound personal, financial, political, ethical, and social decisions requires mathematical thinking, careful observations, and sound deductions. These skills, in turn, utilize information that the brain validates and interprets using developed reasoning skills.

More specifically, a well-educated workforce is needed to handle increasingly complex technology. It is obvious that the people who employ auto mechanics or plumbers aren’t looking for candidates with limited math knowledge to work on their customers’ expensive cars or water filtration systems, no matter what technical skills those candidates might have. As the future quickly becomes the present, it is becoming clear that almost all professions (with human employees) will require some degree of mathematical thinking. Quite simply, this is because unpredictable problems inevitably arise for which creative solutions are required. Machines and computers . . .

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