I realize that getting young kids (in my case, third graders) to take the time to do this is often an exercise in futility, but I have students making so many "silly" mistakes this year and I'm ready to pull my hair out. I know if I read their errors back to them they would get the problems right. I've actually done this with a few students and I'm usually met with an, "Ohhhhhhhhh!"...meaning that NOW they see their mistake and they know what they did wrong. Usually they can correct their errors when I do this (or they at least get in the right ballpark), but for some reason my students this year are making countless silly mistakes on their tests, quizzes, and homework. What have you done to help combat this?

In math, I've started to assign the odds. I make it an expectation that they show ALL work and then check their answers and correct their work. If they can't figure out, they write to tell me why. In writing, I have a set of whisper phones. They can either choose to read their writing into the whisper phone or read it to a partner. The trick is to get them to read it aloud.

You can buy them, but they are relatively expensive. There are directions on-line somewhere to making them. I had my brother (a carpenter) make me 20 of them to use in the classroom. They use plumbing supplies.

Those are great suggestions Mopar. I have first graders, so the only issue I see is the kids rushing through their work to hurry and use the whisper phones. That's what happens with the class library. Whenever I tell th ekids they can get a book when they finish, they rush through everything and then there's this huge traffic jam at the library. Argh.

Hopefully if they rush through it, they will hear the errors when they read it aloud. You may want to put a stipulation on using the library. If the students are rushing through their work, you will notice in what they turn in to you. So, then you can take their name off the library use area until you see them stop rushing. It's silly, but might be very effective!

I know that my kids used to not check their work on math assignments and math tests until I started the "Check it 3 times, then put your head down" rule. The deal is that they check their answers 3 times then wait quietly for others to finish. They are not allowed to get a book to read. This takes away the urgency to read that cool book on the book shelf. Also, I've started doing something similar to a "writing celebration" for math. We call them "math celebrations". The day after the math test, I will sometimes bring in little donuts & orange juice for our celebration and congratulate the students who either got 100% on their tests or tried their best by showing ALL their work and checking each answer. I say the messier your test, the better! And sure enough, the students who never showed work or checked their answers started doing so. And I dont always bring in treats, I sometimes just take 5 minutes out of our day to clap & cheer for those people who deserve it. I will look at the tests, not show them to the class, but announce the names of students who I feel tried their best and it is evident! Now every student has been passing the tests with 100% or maybe 2-3 incorrect answers! At the beginning of the year, it was 9-10!! Yikes!

I teach gifted math, so I tap into their competitive side. They tend to be a bit "know it all" sometimes, and will race through their work. So there are times when I will team up the students and have them compete to see who gets the most correct. I also will often check their work immediately and hand it back to them with the problem circled. I don't tell them why it's wrong unless they come back to me and say they just aren't seeing it. That helps them to see the tiny errors and how it affects the answer. And finally, when they finish an assignment, they are allowed to go to the library (most love reading), or read, or play a math game, or do a math art work activity, or write, etc. and they can't do that unless the paper is 100% correct.

I have my students (6th grade) do their math assignments in a math journal, then I go over each problem the next day and have them check their work. If they got a problem wrong, I expect them to mark it wrong AND write the correct version in the journal. This gives them a hand-made study guide for our quizzes and tests. Homework is graded on effort, so if they at least attempt each problem, they get 100%. Quizzes and tests are graded for accuracy, but students can earn partial credit if they show their work. This, more than anything, has emphasized the value of writing the problem out so I can follow their thinking process and see where they may have made their mistakes.