Here is a social story that I developed for a student who has anxiety when math is not clear in terms of a solution or a strategy to use. This can be read with the student prior to math class on a regular basis. It will help a child know what to do, when she just doesn't get it. A social story is part of the explicit teaching that will help a child recognize and deal with her anxiety.
"There are lots of different ways of doing math. It makes me mad when I don’t get the answer right away. I want to find the right answer right away.
When I can’t find the answer fast, it makes me angry. I yell and want someone to fix it right away.
Other kids don’t find the answer right away. They might be puzzled, but they stay calm. They breathe and count to 5. They try a different number. Sometimes it works.
If the number doesn't work, they put up their hand and ask for help. They say, "I need help. I don't know what to do."
The next time I need help for my math work, I will put up my hand. I will say, "I need help. Give me a number to try. While I am waiting for help, I can do some work in my math workbook. I always know what to do on my math workbook pages.
My teacher and ___ will be happy if I can find math work to do when I am stuck on a hard problem. I will be calm and choose a math sheet I can do, while I am waiting for help."
You can copy and paste it into a document and add photos of your student raising his hand, working on a math problem alone or with friends, and add photos of other students working happily at their math tasks. Also, include a photo of the math workbook that the child uses. This should include already learned math problems, or worksheets of math facts. It is also important to have images of different types of math manipulatives that are used: counters, Cuisinaire rods, Base 10 blocks, geoboards, number lines, 100 charts, or counting frames.
I often use this site for clear worksheets that are not cluttered up with too many visuals. Try it out!