Great post from Pat Hensley
I always set up the first couple of weeks with lots of small assignments that I know the students can complete successfully. At first, even they are surprised at these small successes. In fact, I know they are scared to believe in them and expect that this was just a fluke. I spend a lot of time praising them and encouraging them during this step.
As I increase the difficulty of their assignments, I make sure that I am always available to help them. Giving them cues and encouragement will help them succeed during this time. As they succeed more and more, they become more confident and this is so wonderful to see.
I really learned and enjoyed maths at high school only when a teacher gave me support and so many tests to resolve, starting from the easier ones to the more difficult. At the end I had a lot of training in maths and was confident I could be successful in any maths test.