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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