Some of us are working hard to maintain our growth mindset and dive in to analyse our recent errors on tests.  It’s not a comfortable activity to spend time with our errors.

We are completing an error analysis (adapted from mathequalslove) where we determine what type of error we made (inattention, precision, computation, problem solving) and we also correct our error.  Over time, we’ll see trends in the error types we tend to make, and we can address these errors with strategies.  Becoming aware is the first step!

Strategies:

Inattention: PAY ATTENTION!  Check that you have the right numbers written down.  Take your time.  Check each line of your solution–cover up the rest of your work with an extra page so you can focus on one line at a time.  Use your finger to follow term by term.  Look for lost minus signs.

Computation: Remember PEDMAS.  Be careful about what brackets are telling you, i.e. (-4)^2 is different from -4^2.  Be careful about working with integers and fractions, sometimes we make errors if we are working too fast in our heads.  Check work with a calculator if you are prone to making errors.  Write all your steps so you can check them again later.

Precision: Correct units are important.  Writing your solution in a way that it can be followed is important.  Be sure to write statements introducing variables, and concluding statements.  Check back to the question to be sure you are answering what is asked.

Problem Solving: Read the question at least 3 times.  Check for understanding.  Draw pictures.  Ask for clarification.  Make assumptions and write them down.  Start with what you know.  Make connections to other problems you’ve done/other concepts you know.  You don’t have to know the entire path to the solution as you start.  Sometimes you see just a few steps ahead–that’s ok, keep going.  If you get stuck, you can always use another strategy–we have so many strategies!  Check back to the question a few times to be sure you are using all the information you have been given, and to refresh the problem in your mind.  If you are really stuck, take a break and come back to it.  Working through the questions you can do confidently FIRST, while you have confidence, is a good plan.  If your confidence gets shaken in the first 10 minutes of an assessment it’s sometimes hard to get it back!