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The conception of mathematics anxiety held by a teacher may have a great deal to do with the way in which mathematics is characterized in classroom teaching. The purpose of this study is to determine if fourth-grade students' mathematics anxiety can be decreased by a change in implementing new instructional strategies. The study employed a mathematics anxiety scale at the beginning and at the end of the school year. Instructional strategies implemented include mathematics as problem solving, mathematics as communication, mathematics as reasoning, and mathematical connections. Major instructional changes involved cooperative learning groups, use of manipulatives, real-life problem solving, calculators, and computers. Mathematical concepts covered included estimation, number sense and numeration, concepts of whole number operations, whole number computation, geometry and spatial sense, measurement, statistics and probability, fractions and decimals, and patterns and relationships. A significant decrease in anxiety toward the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards was found when these methods were implemented. Contains 39 references. (ASK)

Descriptors: Calculators, Cooperative Learning, Decimal Fractions, Elementary School Students, Geometry, Grade 4, High Risk Students, Intermediate Grades, Manipulative Materials, Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematics Education, Measurement, Numbers, Probability, Problem Solving, Thinking Skills

Autor: Gresham, Gina; Sloan, Tina; Vinson, Beth


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