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11 Effective Strategies for Teaching Math To Students Who Have Given Up On Learning


Loved it! 😍

Coping with Math: A book that discusses strategies addressing difficulties in math learning, especially for special needs students

Why do students quit learning Math in droves? According to this book’s author, foremost among the reasons is the anxiety of failing. As most of us know, the anxiety of failing at math is mentally devastating. In school, experiencing it just a couple of times is sufficient to drive new students to the point of giving up on learning Math—probably forever! Although this unnerving condition falls under the scope of the broad topic known as “math anxiety,” the author prefers to use the term “mistake anxiety” (MA) as he believes it’s the fear of making mistakes that predominantly contributes to all the anxiety in "math anxiety."

All humans are vulnerable to making mistakes. The view a teacher takes of students’ mistakes is key to solving the mental block MA creates. Penalizing will only make the block worse/permanent. On the contrary, if teachers view mistakes in a new light, they can turn them into stepping stones to ultimate success (i.e., by using them as engines that drive voluntary learning). Near dramatic changes would result and mistake-making would turn into opportunities that spur students on to greater learning and involvement! The author believes teachers can restore many a Math dropout to the fold of happy, interested learners if they embrace such a changed view of failure. 11 Effective Strategies for Teaching Math To Students Who Have Given Up On Learning by Jordan Smith Jr., is a book that discusses how to achieve that marvelous feat!

Although the learning needs of all students are included in its scope, this book is aimed primarily at high school Math teachers for differently abled students—ADHD, ASD, and other neurodivergent kids, kids with physical/communication disabilities, etc. It contains 11 strategies for improving the entire teaching process, which it discusses in considerable detail. How to restore confidence and reignite interest in Math among dropouts, getting them personally involved in learning, reversing the negative effects of MA, making individualized learning plans/scaffolding for each student, progress monitoring/control, and the use of the latest teaching methodologies/technology are some of the highlights.

What I found most noteworthy about this book is it can help teachers of all subjects upgrade their teaching methodologies to attain the noble goal of the highest inclusivity (and second, performance). Math teachers for differently abled kids, no doubt, come first, but all teachers can attain the highest inclusivity by adopting suitable recommendations from it. It’s low-priced so it’s affordable and accessible by a wide and diversified audience. Finally, it contains proven recommendations so you can adopt them without doubt/hesitation.

The author deserves praise for his unwavering commitment to teaching Math as a caring, innovative teacher for special needs students. He also deserves praise for writing this book to upgrade the entire teaching process, which is the fruit of his labors toward solving the learning difficulties of special needs students for nearly two decades.

Reviewed by

An engineer and part-time IT Consultant based in Bangalore, India. Part-time copy editor/reviewer. An IEEE Senior Member. Deep thinker and innovator. Highly analytical, clear, accurate, and thorough. Over 100 book reviews published to date-80 on Reedsy and 22 on Online BookClub.


About the author

Graduate United States Naval Academy 1976. Gulf War Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Since 2004, High School Math Teacher 19+ years. Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year 2023. Author, Motivational Speaker, Conference Presenter, and Doctor of Educational Leadership. view profile

Published on April 24, 2023

30000 words

Genre: Education & Reference

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