10 Oct 2017

#4- Error Analysis and Reteaching with Nancy Love

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For a chance to meet Nancy Love- check out her TLC interview here

“If kids aren’t making errors, they probably already knew it”- Nancy Love

The final session I attended in the TLC conference was Nancy Love’s “Error Analysis and Reteaching”.  I had chosen this session because I had the opportunity to meet Nancy at dinner the night before and was struck by her enthusiasm and genuine support for all of us in engaged in the work of teaching, learning and coaching. Nancy is Director of Program Development at Research for Better Teaching in Acton, Massachusetts, where she leads the group’s research and development. I wanted to learn more about her work and was particularly interested in how understanding student errors could be folded into my work in teacher education, especially since the class I am teaching this year is about planning, implementation and assessment.  I also felt it was important for me to end my conference with a session that focused on student evidence.  After all, it is “all about the kids.”

This session was extremely hands-on and participants were introduced to four distinct types of student errors:

  1. Incomplete understanding
  2. Flaws in reasoning
  3. Misconceptions
  4. Carelessness

Because each type of error is symptomatic of different obstacles to learning, each calls for different types of reteaching.  Before this session, I hadn’t spent too much time considering why students make the errors they do and it was enlightening to explore in depth with colleagues, the reasoning behind the errors students make and how we, as teachers, need to respond.  Love took us through the 5 Phases of Error Analysis and Reteaching.

In  Phase 1-Predict, we looked at the kinds of errors or misconceptions students may make; Phase 2- Go visual,, we examined the question in response to the four types of errors; Phase 3- Observe,  we examined and compared the summary data and individual student data; Phase 4 –Infer/Question, we made a hypothesis around the type of thinking that might lead students to make the errors that they did and finally, Phase 5- take FIRME action, we explored what it would mean to use Feedback, Investigation, Reteaching/Re-engaging/Regrouping, Moving on and Extension options in responding to student errors.

This session really only scratched the surface of such a complex topic and I am keen to learn more. Lucky for me, she’s now one of my board…

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