Tackling Math Anxiety: Follow-Up Discussion

Thanks to those of you who joined our coffee break discussion on math anxiety! We shared many helpful strategies to help both students and instructors overcome barriers to learning caused by anxious feelings.

Math and Numeracy moderator Brooke Istas will be sharing some additional resources below! If you weren't able to join our live event, chime in below by sharing your best strategies for helping students overcome and work through their math anxiety!


Hello, all,

I had a community member share some resources they use in their classroom.  One is a TED talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7snnRaC4t5c about why do people get anxious about math, that they show in class and discuss.  The other is a short clip, that they use as an activity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB6bfw622fo.  Then students are asked to fill in the blank.

Research tells us that speaking about anxiety and sharing experiences is important in reducing anxiety.  What other strategies do you use?

Brooke Istas
Math and Numeracy Moderator

Hi Everyone,

Here is the palming method for math anxiety. It is a visualization technique that works as follows:
1. Close and cover your eyes with the palm of your hand (that's why it's called the palming method!). Put
the lower part of your palms on your cheekbone and your fingers on your forehead. Do not touch your
2. Think of a real or imaginary relaxing scene. Picture it in your mind in as much detail as you can
thinking about what you are seeing, hearing, and smelling.
3. Visualize this scene for one to two minutes.

The more students practice this technique, the better it will work!

Source: Nolting (2002)