Preventing careless errors

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 3Sons, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Nov 28, 2011

    How do you teach students to limit their number of careless errors, especially if just telling them to re-check their work doesn't seem to help? Is there some type of system you can teach them to use to be more meticulous, prevent sloppy writing from affecting their answers, and the like?
     
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  3. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

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    Nov 28, 2011

    When I taught physics, I required that they show each step of their work. They would begin with the formula without any of the variables filled in and then progress to the solution step by step. A lot of algebraic manipulation was involved so I required them to actually write out when they were subtracting from each side, etc. I didn't allow them to simply have a '32' disappear between each step. In order to get 100% credit on a single problem, they would have to plug the final answer back into the formula to insure that both sides were equal. Most students hated this at first, but it reduces mistakes tremendously.
     
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Nov 28, 2011

    I've asked kids to put a check mark to the left or right of that particular section of work indicating that they have checked it. Of course, that doesn't guarantee they will, but is a way to have them externally monitor their work.
     
  5. Ambrosegirl84

    Ambrosegirl84 Companion

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    Nov 28, 2011

    I finally gave my students a checklist with everything--punctuation, spelling, grammar, etc., and they have to check over their work. If I get the feeling they didn't, I make 'em go back and check it again. It's helped slightly.
     
  6. stargirl

    stargirl Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2011

    Rubrics, plus mini lessons on proofreading/checking work.
     
  7. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    As the teacher you can give them tricks, methods, and the skills to check their work. You can also preach until you are blue in the face about the benefits of checking your work. And when they still don't do it and you have lower tests grades as a result you can go back and show them the tiny errors that would have helped their grade if they had just gone back and checked their work.
    In the end, if they still don't do it, the students have to make their own mistakes and figure out responsibility. Minor errors when they know the skill, but still end up getting things wrong hurt their scores/grades, but atleast you know they understand the main concept. If the students want the better grade, they need to be more careful.
     
  8. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Nov 28, 2011

    I do a few things that helps most of the time; I tell them to read and circle the title of the essay, read the essay three times, underline the answers in the text before you choose the answer, underline the question in the math problem so you understand the question, recheck, and check again. I sometimes send them back if they are trying too hard to be the first one finished (no prize for that). Maybe it helps a little. I've also taught them to use CUPS, which they do sometimes...
     
  9. Ambrosegirl84

    Ambrosegirl84 Companion

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    Nov 28, 2011

    Something else I've done is have the kids work on an assignment (for math or English anyway) for "x" number of minutes. They are to complete as many as they can do carefully, thoughtfully, and neatly. I don't send the unfinished part home as homework, so there's no incentive to get it done fast--they have a separate homework assignment that is the same regardless of how much they get done in class. This has also helped a little bit.

    Of course, if you have a student who has great difficulty staying on task and completing any work, this could be detrimental, but adaptable.
     
  10. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Nov 30, 2011

    Funny thing happened today in regard to this topic; my class was taking a test and majority had turned it in. I told them that I better not find ONE skipped problem on one test or they would owe me recess for not following directions to check the test three times before turning it in. I had about ten students come back to check one more time. It made me smile to see them "care" enough to come back and check it one more time. The little things that motivate them are quite amusing sometimes...
     

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