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Spot Check Student's First Few Problems


Mathematics All Ages Strategy


Flexible Thinking Verbal Reasoning Abstract Reasoning

Spot Check Student's First Few Problems

If your student often struggles but doesn't tell you when they don't understand

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Catch conceptual errors in student work right away before a student moves on to practicing and embedding their learning into memory.
  2. Direct Instruction: a) After teaching a new concept, ask students to solve only one or two problems independently. b) Immediately check these problems individually or in pairs. You want to quickly understand if there is conceptual understanding. c) When you are sure students have a good conceptual understanding and know when to ask for help, give them a longer problem set to test their application of the concept.
  3. Teachers Notes: Anticipate that students might not raise their hands while you are teaching, but then have difficulty when they attempt to solve problems independently. And even then, some students might not even realize that they do not understand.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

The work of Dunning-Kruger shows that almost all students have difficulty self-assessing their learning. When students are learning something new, it is important to immediately check for understanding before giving them a full assignment. This will catch conceptual mistakes early before students practice the wrong way. It will avoid unnecessary frustration for students and enhance their learning.