March 6, 2014 by ray_emily
Getting kids doing error analysis in math class has been hugely beneficial, this year. I am beyond-words thrilled that I’ve stumbled across this way to get sixth graders analyzing, discussing, and writing multi-paragraph, thoughtful explanations (!!) of student mistakes and why they happen.
We did a second go-round of blog posts / error analyses using the same method as last time, but I offered up a different batch of errors.
This time, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore (har, har…) were the students in need of help. Each chipmunk encountered a different, unique problem when attempting to do multiplication (of fractions and decimals) and long division (with two-digit divisors).
Alvin doesn’t change the mixed numbers to improper fractions:
Simon is obsessed with lining up decimal points – as well as the standard algorithm for adding decimals:
Theodore forgets zeros in the quotient:
Feel free to use these errors to drum up discussion in your classroom! Making kids write about the errors is not obligatory – but I think it had a huge impact on retention. Also, I’m seeing my kids get better and better at locating errors, thinking up reasons why students might make errors, and articulating their thought processes. Hurrah!