Check out Mathmistakes.org

by craig jones

We recently had a chance to look at Mathmistakes.org and really recommend that you do, too.

This site is all about looking at student work and then analyzing better ways to help students overcome mistakes (or as we’d prefer to call them: misconceptions).

The system is simple and extremely effective.

Step 1: Pose a question.  In one post, the teacher had asked his/her students “Which is larger?” and gave various fractions for the students to compare.  The readers were also given an interesting challenge to think of the misconceptions that the students may see.

What mistakes do you expect to see in the class set?

Make a prediction! Mark it down somewhere. Don’t do that internet thing of just continuously scrolling through a page at half-attention. Take a moment, form a thought. Then scroll on for the full class set of 14.

In the comments, would you please answer this question: Which mistake most surprised you? Why?

Step 2: Show real-life student work.  14 pieces of student work like this were then shown:

Step 3: Discuss.  It was really amazing to see an active community discussing the “mistakes” found:

In the end, we hope that one day goformative.com may empower this type of dialogue with all student work.  Also, we hope that teachers become formative by intervening and helping their students in the moments that matter most.