Q:

I need your help because my child has math anxiety whenever he sees a story problem, and the state standardized testing is coming up soon. He panics before he even reads the problem because he feels there will be too many steps. How can I help him to feel better about taking math tests? -- Math Block

A:

Practice and more practice -- that is the key to every athlete's success and will also be the key to your son's success. You need to work problems with him daily up until the day of the test, and he should also work some on his own that you check over with him daily.

Teach him to carefully examine the information in a problem first. Have him make a list of the information that is known and what is unknown about the problem. Some children find it helpful to draw pictures or diagrams to show the facts and relationships of a problem. They should be thinking about whether they have solved similar problems and how they did them. You'll know that he understands a problem if he can retell it as a story.