The other day I had students complete an exit ticket before they left class. I give each student a post-it note and then display a problem or two on the screen for them to do before they leave. I will also do this as an entrance ticket. This day there were two problems
Once students leave the room I pull the post-its and check for accuracy. I had several students that were still making errors, such as not finding common denominators. So I knew that we needed more time with this concept, but I dreaded another boring worksheet where the kids who know it already know it and those that don’t continue to make the same errors. Then I remembered two things I learned this summer: One was from a video I saw this summer about using kids work to help break down misconceptions also titled My Favorite No and the second was a smarter balanced question about explaining the error and My Favorite No was born.
I took the incorrect post it notes and wrote the problems and the student work onto a clean sheet of paper, this was to prevent identifying the student who did it wrong and so it was readable for all kids. The next day in class I asked my students to help me be a math detective. I told them that the sheet contained problems that students did wrong from yesterday, but I needed their help in figuring out what the student had done wrong so I could help them to fix it. I allowed them to discuss their ideas with the people at their table and they could even “steal” an idea from a friend if it made sense to them and it worked. Students had to both solve the problem correctly and write an explanation of what the original student did wrong.
This activity was great in helping the students deepen their understanding of adding & subtracting fractions without a boring ol’ worksheet.