Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Self-correction for homework

Great Dr. Kathie Nunley shares the following:

TEACHER TIP # 1: When assigning math problems for homework, always send an answer sheet too. Have students self-check after every problem or two. Doing 20 - 30 problems incorrectly and not knowing until the next day, does more harm than good.
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I'm convinced this tip applies not only to math problems, but to any process in which logics is involved (for instance, grammar practice, many cases of word formation, stress patterns). However, I've learned through several discussions in staff rooms that practically all of my colleagues believe asking students to self-correct their homework will simply lead to cheating or lack of purpose for homework in the student's eyes.

I believe it's all up to how you deal with the following session. Of course, the idea is not to go over the homework asking for the answers, but to ask students to share which they got wrong, and account for their mistakes. "What if they say they faced no difficulties?" many teachers may ask. In that case, I can simply ask them to take turns to discuss how they got to the right answer in the cases I consider worth discussing! ;-)

To encourage self-correction is, in my view, a perfect way to foster autonomy among our learners, and I can honestly tell you it's always paid off in my classes... Now, what has your experience been?

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