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Math Therapy™

Math Therapy™
5 Steps to Help Your Students Overcome Math Trauma and Build a Better Relationship With Math

Foreword by Jo Boaler

August 2024 | 320 pages | Corwin

Anything is possible – even building a better relationship with math!

This is much more than a book about math. This is a book about hope. Imagine failing 11th grade math – twice! – and going on to be known affectionately as The Lady Gaga of Math. That is the story of author Vanessa “The Math Guru” Vakharia.  Thanks to an inspiring teacher who helped Vanessa heal her own relationship with math, Vanessa was then able to see math in a way that literally changed the trajectory of her life. 

Most people have experienced math trauma at least once, but by early-mid elementary school, many students have gotten the message that either they are a math person or they are not. In Math Therapy™, Vanessa shows that with the right tools and strategies, teachers can foster a culture in which every student is capable of building a better relationship with math – and with themselves.

Through the five M’s of Math Therapy™—Mythbust, Moderate, Motivate, Makeover, and Measure—teachers can help their students overcome math trauma, cultivate a positive math identity, and develop a mathematical mindset.

Written in a fun and conversational style, and grounded in research on math education and neuropsychology, this book 

  • Provides practical, hands-on strategies and tools that make it easy and fun for teachers to implement each step of Math Therapy™ in their classroom
  • Helps teachers unpack their own math history before diving in to what they can do to help their students
  • Addresses the trauma-induced stumbling blocks that many students face when tackling mathematics
    Includes humorous and engaging real-life vignettes—from celebrating Pi Day by visiting a prison, to setting off a confetti cannon to celebrate a student’s milestone, to the time Vanessa's band opened for Bon Jovi, and more! 

Much more than a book about helping students kick butt in math class, this book is about empowering students to develop the skills they need to live a life in which they truly believe that anything is possible, even a better relationship with math!


Foreword by Jo Boaler
Preface: Anything Is Possible (Yes, Even Math)
Chapter 1: What is math trauma anyway?
Chapter 2: What IS Math Therapy?
Chapter 3: Math Therapy Step 1: Mythbust Mindsets
Chapter 4: Math Therapy Step 2: Moderate out math trauma
Chapter 5: Math Therapy Step 3: Motivate your students
Chapter 6: Math Therapy Step 4: Makeover Math Identities
Chapter 7: Math Therapy Step 5: Measure Progress
Chapter 8: So Now What?
Appendix 1

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ISBN: 9781071936870