When students avoid practicing math outside of class time, how can we improve their ability to perform well in mathematics?
Math anxiety is a feeling experienced by many of our students. For my high school students, math anxiety manifested in an extreme fear of making mistakes, ultimately leading to a refusal to attempt math exercises outside of class. If I wanted to help my students improve their math ability, I needed to rethink my traditional classroom model. I did this by incorporating a flipped classroom model. Read more to find out how it helped them!
Brandon DeJesus Home Learn More Standards Inspiration About the Author
How flipping my classroom helped my students come to class prepared
As I began my action research I wanted to explore the effects of math anxiety on my students. Using a math anxiety scale I found that there were a very large population of students in my math classes who were suffering from high levels of math anxiety.
Upon further inquiry it became clear that my students were avoiding any instances that would normally help them to increase their math ability: studying, doing homework and engaging in any suggested critical thinking activities, outside of class time. Students were complaining that they did not feel prepared for class, but were not doing any of the activities that could help reduce this feeling.
Adopting a flipped classroom, where my students watched teacher-created math tutorials, at home, before they came to class, helped build my students confidence, increased their willingness to try math exercises, and increased critical thinking opportunities in my classroom.
This website aims to instruct others in the methods that were effective in helping me use a flipped classroom to reduce my students math anxiety, increase classroom participation and most importantly help my students to feel prepared for math class.
Summary of my action research
Throughout the course of my action research and capstone project I collected 3 rounds of quantitative data and conducted several surveys for the purpose of collecting qualitative data.
I used a math anxiety scale in order to determine my students baseline levels of math anxiety, then repeated this process at the end of the fall and spring semesters. This gave me 3 values to determine if my innovative practices were reducing math anxiety in my students.
In between the fall semester and spring semester I also conducted a homework survey to gauge the effectiveness of my current homework practices at preparing my students for math 1. Based on the survey results I determined that I would use a flipped classroom model for the rest of the action research.
At the end of my action research I conducted an end of course survey where students commented on practices they felt were most effective, as well as their overall feelings about math anxiety during the course.
For more detailed information on my data collection and results, please refer to the Assessment section of this site.
Watch this video for a 90 second summary of my capstone project.