Friday, January 20, 2012

Responding to Student Mistakes

What do you say when a student tries, but gets the wrong answer? How do you encourage the student to participate in the future, and at the same time make it clear that the answer is not correct?

I've started using the concept from Whole Brain Teaching of saying, "It's Cool."

If a student answers, and it is not correct, I say, "Say It's Cool." What that means is that the whole class is to respond, "It's Cool." It maybe took 5 minutes to teach this routine to the class.

How does this help?

For one, I feel freer to correct mistakes and know that I am not going to embarrass the child. Everyone now knows that when we say, "It's Cool," that the answer was incorrect. Secondly, the student feels supported. Students do not seem to mind being told that their answer is correct in this manner. They still seem excited to participate, but are clear about when their answer is not correct. Lastly, the students learn more. I am not accepting answers that are "half way there." Students are not confused about if an answer is correct or not.

This clarity increases learning, while supporting students at the same time!

Online classes I offer for teachers through

FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success
SAVE TIME: Time Management for Your Teaching & Your Life

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE using this strategy! I actually featured it in my blog a while ago when I was talking about building a culture of respect in your classroom. I actually had students come up to me after and tell me how much they liked this method because they weren't nervous about answering questions. It centers the classroom around LEARNING as opposed to THE RIGHT ANSWER. Great job!