10 Ways to Help Students Cope with Making Mistakes

One of the most valuable things we can teach
children is how to cope with making mistakes.  Making mistakes is a human
quality that all students need be comfortable with.  They need to know
that if we didn’t make mistakes, there would be nothing to learn. 

However, most all students strive for the
recognition of a perfect score on assignments and tests.  Even a single
mistake can create anxiety and disappointment.  Unfortunately, perfect
scores continue to be rewarded and mistakes frowned upon.
So what can we all do to help?  Here are
ten suggestions:
    1) Be comfortable admitting when you make a mistake.  Show
students that it is okay to be wrong and that you can use it as an opportunity
to learn.   
    2) Make sure to point out what a student has done right on an
assignment as well as what was incorrect. 
    3) Always give your students the opportunity to fix mistakes so that
they can learn from them and correct any misconceptions.
    4) Communicate to your students that their mistakes can help you to be
a better teacher because it helps you to uncover the areas that need more
instruction.
    5) If more than 50% of your students get a test item incorrect, throw
out that item out.  For those that got it, you can offer them extra
credit.  You can always then make sure to teach the concept in your next
lesson and then include the item on the next test.  
    6) Thank your students for making errors and mistakes.   
    7) Instead of telling a student that they are wrong or incorrect, tell
them that it was a nice try, or that they are close to the right answer and see
if they can amend their response independently.  
    8)  Recognize a student’s effort and guide them to the right answer so
that they can be correct.
    9) If a student provides the wrong answer, ask them why they gave you
the response that they did so you can analyze their misconception.
    10) Keep a positive attitude when students make mistakes.    
     I’d love to hear your recommendations and thoughts on this matter!!
I

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