My Favorite Mistake

Oct 25, 2016 | by Janice Smith

I’m guest teaching a class at Elon University for seniors who are getting ready to enter the classroom next year.  It’s an assessment course, and my focus has been on high quality end-of-lesson assessments (either MC or open ended) that not only assess student mastery of the day’s objective, but also are designed to strategically highlight the misconceptions that students are leaving class with.

This leads to the question… what do you do with these?  Once you know that not all students have mastered the objective (an ideal scenario that all but never happens), what do you do with the data you get from these assessments?  How do you reteach the content not mastered in the following day’s lesson, which has it’s own objective that students need to work to master?  Isn’t it easy to quickly become days and days behind when you have all this information about student learning you want to address?

There’s a lot of answers to this question, some more complicated than others.  Everything from individual remediation time, to differentiated lessons and homework, to simple spiraling of content into the following day’s lesson.  But today, in this week’s VOTW, I’m presenting one quick, immediately implementable idea.  Gary Bell, a HS ELA teacher in Gaston, NC calls this ‘My Favorite Mistake’.   Take a look…

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