How to Free Your Students from Math Anger

Do your students say they just wanna chuck it all with regard to math?

Are they sick of being a prisoner to the anxiety?

Help them declare their independence!

A great friend of mine is a technical trainer for an oilfield services company. He teaches a class called “Oilfield Math.”

I helped him develop this class and I had theĀ privilegeĀ of attending the first class. At the end of the class, he offered to buy everyone a beer – so he passed out a $2 bill.

On the back of the $2 USD bill is an image of the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the US. He told everyone that they can either take the $2 and buy themselves a beer on him, or they can keep it as a token of their new found independence.

His class teaches math for the oilfield, and for life, using a discovery process. The independence he offers is the freedom from senseless algorithms (step by step procedures that look like magic) and people who say, “All you have to do is…”

I asked all the students in that first class sign mine. I still carry it. Although I’ve never been a prisoner like many people I’ve seen, this token reminds me that many are prisoners of the negativity.

Hand out personal independence to your kids.

Give each student their own $2 bill. They can write on it some freeing statements. They can write on it negative words that they never want to hear or say again. Or they can carry it blank. It’s their talisman.

And integrate it into a history lesson too!

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