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Q&A #6084


Student with "careless" mistakes

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From: Claudia (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 10, 2001 at 21:39:28
Subject: Re: Student with "careless" mistakes

Gail,

I don't know if the situation is such that the teacher does not give partial 
credit.  I don't know of any human beings who do not make mistakes, so when 
I hear about a student in this situation I become very concerned.

If a student is graded with no partial credit then confidence and careless 
mistakes tend to multiply because it creates extra anxiety for the child. 
Why should the child bother to work problems if he is doomed to failure?  
Reason this way... if the child missed half the points on every problem, 
he would still fail, but the grade would be a 50 rather than a 0. I grade 
each problem that way.  I think of it as how many points should be taken off 
if the student failed this one problem.
 
This kind of grading (no partial credit) has ruined more students who were 
math capable!

If however, the situation allows for partial credit and the student is still 
making careless errors, then there are a couple of ideas to try.  I would 
have the student "edit" his own test and work.  Train him to take more 
responsibility for the editing part.  It is amazing once kids realize the 
kind of mistakes they make.  I have had great success with the process 
because the editing then becomes a part of the test-taking process.  The 
student must feel he has a chance to succeed!

 -Claudia, for the T2T service


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