Mistake Game

Students engage in a "game" where they intentionally make mistakes and see if other students can spot their mistakes. This is to encourage students to feel comfortable making and learning from mistakes.

1) Students work individually to complete a set of math problems (8 or 9)

2) Students are put into groups and assigned one of the problems to present to the class.

3) Students share their individual solutions with their group and choose a solution to share with the class on a whiteboard or on the ELMO.

4) IMPORTANT! The group must make one intentional mistake in their solution. They can choose  a mistake one of their members made (this leads to a discussion of who had "the best mistake") or they can think of a mistake other students might make. They can make as many unintentional mistakes as they like.

5) As each group shares their solutions, the rest of the class listens and attempts to find their mistake. When they find their mistake, they MUST ask a question in order to get the group to admit their mistake: "Why did you...?" "Can you explain how you did....?"

This is an idea I got from a Physic's teacher's blog.

It works beautifully in math. Students enjoy the process of having other students find their mistakes and sharing them with the class. It helps students learn to ask good questions when they see a mistake instead of just pointing it out. This is an excellent review after a test where students love to share their "best mistakes" from a test - and see that other students made similar mistakes. Students constantly ask to play the Mistake Game - even when it isn't really a game!

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