Student Error Analysis and Re-Teaching:
What Teacher Teams Do to Ensure that All Students Learn
Students will make errors; you can count on that! In fact, if they are not making errors, they probably already knew what they were being taught. Errors are a vital part of learning and provide rich insights into student thinking for both the students and their teachers. When teachers take the time to analyze the types of errors their students are making, they can provide effective feedback, re-teaching, and extension opportunities for students. Error analysis is at the heart of teaching and learning with a growth mindset.
Treating all these errors in the same way is like taking a sledgehammer to a nut. Different types of errors require different ways of re-teaching (Chappuis, J., 2014). For example, if the student was harboring a misconception ("Squares can't be rectangles."), pouring on more teaching without first creating awareness of the misconception is not likely to untangle the confusion. If the student had a partial understanding of a concept ("I forgot was a trapezoid was."), re-teaching in the same way it was taught first is probably not the best match. This is where teachers dig into their repertoire and try an analogy, a physical model, mental imagery, simulation, or modeling thinking aloud. If the student made a misstep in carrying out a reasoning process ("I couldn't follow the logic of the frame."), he or she might need to revisit the steps in the reasoning process of the criteria for success or listen to how other students thought through the problem. Finally, careless errors ("I skipped the word NOT.") require yet a different approach, such as providing students with a checklist for reviewing their work.
Effective re-teaching requires a fine-grained, targeted approach. Planning for it, evaluating its impact, and building repertoire are best accomplished with the collective brainpower of a teacher team. When combined with regular error analysis, it is a surefire way to build teachers' collective-efficacy muscle and ensure that every student "gets it." If we have the capacity to quadruple the speed of learning for students and obliterate achievement gaps, why would we wait even one more minute?
Please join us for a complimentary three-hour workshop on some of the elements of the Research for Better Teaching course Coaching High-Impact Teacher Teams offered by senior RBT consultant and author Nancy Love and new RBT Associate Consultant Rick Rogers. During this half-day session, attendees will learn more about targeting re-teaching to the essence of students' errors, including:
Experiencing a protocol for error analysis
Identifying specific re-teaching strategies for four types of errors
Gaining tools that can be taken back to department, cross-curricular, or district-based teams
The workshop will take place on the morning of Thursday, February 15, 2018, from 8:30 am - 11:30 am in the RBT Conference Room, 1 Acton Place, Acton, MA 01720.