My Favorite Mistake

Last year sometime I came across this video from the Teaching Channel and have been incorporating my version of that into my classroom this year.  I post a warm-up problem on the board and have students complete it on a 1/4 sheet of paper, collect them, and I re-write an incorrect solution on the board and we discuss the mistake and why it was my favorite mistake.

Over the summer, I also read Sarah Carter’s post about having students evaluate their mistakes here. (And of course she has a poster you can download here.  Her posters are great!)  I loved the idea of having students evaluate their mistakes and write about it.  I haven’t talked with students about types of errors yet, so I created my own version of her form.

Here are the files to download.  I’ve included a PDF and a Word Doc version.

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I thought the warm-up routine would pair nicely with the reflection form.  After doing My Favorite No as a warm-up for a while to get students familiar with that process, I used that sheet for the first time last week when passing back tests.

I wasn’t quite sure how this would go over with students, but overall I was super impressed with their effort while filling this out as well as their responses.  Students did this on one of the first days back from Christmas break, and because of that I sort of expected students to push back a bit and not be willing to do something different.  I shouldn’t have doubted my students!  I don’t know if I’ve ever had students so engaged when going over a test before.  They were analyzing the various mistakes they made, writing about them, and fixing them.  It was great!

I’m looking forward to doing more of this with students, but I know this process could be improved.  I know I need to work more on connecting students’ responses on this sheet to their future work and discussing with them more why filling this out is important.  What ideas for improvement do you have?

Have you done something similar to this with your students?  What does it look like in your classroom?

 

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