Andrew Stadel on Mistakes

I like what Andrew has done here, but I wonder if asking students to identify the mistake or the misconception might be useful.

Five Twelve Thirteen

I went to Andrew Stadel’s afternoon session at TMC yesterday: Math Mistakes and Error Analysis: Diamonds in the Rough. I got out of it a fun technique to get students thinking, and some new perspective on building deep knowledge.

Andrew talked a great deal about the value of mistakes, and using those mistakes as opportunities for students to learn. His first proposal was simple, and looked like this:

Simple, and an awesome way to get students thinking beyond answer-getting to the mathematical structure. I’m excited to give this a shot in my class this year.

Building off of Andrew’s ideas, I’ve been thinking a great deal about how students come to understand broad, abstract ideas. Dan Willingham has been a source of great thinking here. I’m coming more and more firmly behind the approach that students build abstract understanding through the variety of examples of an idea they encounter, and from…

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