Mathematical Communication is a developing collection of resources for engaging students in writing and speaking about mathematics, whether for the purpose of learning mathematics or of learning to communicate as mathematicians.

Using communication to help reduce math anxiety

Communication assignments can be used as part of a strategy to reduce math anxiety. Most of these resources, which were found by undergraduate researcher Noor Doukmak, are about secondary school or younger.

  • Brain study reveals how successful students overcome math anxiety. This interesting article from ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2011) reports on a brain imaging study of math-anxious students preparing to do math tasks and describes how successful students control their anxiety. (Not about communication.)
  • Strategies for Alleviating Math Anxiety in the Visual Learner by G. Harding and S. L. Terrell
  • Effective Teaching Strategies for Alleviating Math Anxiety and Increasing Self-Efficacy in Secondary Students by A. Hellum-Alexander
    This masters thesis includes a literature review as well as instructional strategies.
  • Preston, Rob. “Mathematics anxiety: Research and implications for middle school students and teachers.” Masters in Teaching Program 2006-2008 Teaching the Child in Front of You in a Changing World (2008): 229.
    From the abstract: “This paper reviews research covering how measures of mathematics anxiety correlate with contributing factors such as constructivist and traditional teaching methods, the influence of teacher attitude, and the link between mathematics anxiety and test anxiety. The paper makes recommendations for teaching based on the literature, including teacher preparation and practices”
  • Arthur E Schwartz, “Axing Math Anxiety,” The Education Digest, 65(5), 62-64
    “Offers suggestions in teaching mathematics. Need for teachers and students to consider their frame of mind; Importance of going back to the basics in mathematics; How to present and articulate math terminology in the language of the student.”
  • Mahony, Erin, Joe Ballman, and Matt Hagen. “Literacy Strategies and Their Effects on Math Anxiety in Middle School Students.” (2008). An article demonstrating the positive effect of literacy strategies on reducing math anxiety. Literacy strategies include “vocabulary-based activities, student reflection, student discussion, and student made graphic organizers.”
  • The Effects of Journaling on Oral Communication in the Classroom (ERIC record)
    “This research project seeks to implement journaling as a means of improving oral communication in the classroom. The student population will consist of an elementary reading class, a junior high art class, and a high school math class.”
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