Math anxiety remains a critical issue affecting student performance and confidence across grade levels throughout the world. This paper looks at the impact of math anxiety on students and also how using letters instead of numbers with Sudoku puzzles can perhaps alleviate math anxiety and number anxiety as an alternative to doing Sudoku puzzles and turning students on to the logic of magic squares and Sudoku puzzles. This paper shares data on math anxiety levels by grade level from a study, provides some examples of some Sudoku puzzles with Greek letters and our English alphabet along with much research, and recommendations of best practices for teaching math and addressing such concerns in light of the reality of math anxiety existing in a world where we are preparing young people for a STEM world. The data in this study shows an upward trend in higher math anxiety levels as students increase in grade level. It is evident teachers need to do more starting in the early grades and each grade to use best practices for teaching math and also use math anxiety reduction strategies to work on reducing math anxiety as students advance each grade level. Research, best practices for teaching mathematics, strategies, and a survey are included.
Furner, Joseph M. Ph.D.
"An Alternative Sudoku Puzzle with Letters While Addressing Math Anxiety,"
Transformations: Vol. 7
, Article 4.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/transformations/vol7/iss1/4