Over the years, I've noticed that the same types of problems seem to pop up when students are working on mastering computation:
1. They understand it and just need practice for fluency and speed.
2. They understand it, but make a lot of minor errors.
3. They are still slightly confused about the finer points, but get the general, larger patterns.
and, for the stronger students:
4. They understand and can compute fluently, but maybe need to work on explain their thinking.
Sound like your class? Well, here's one activity that will help with all of these challenges, and you can use it with ANY kind of computation- addition, subtraction, multiplication, division... even with decimals!
Here's how it works:
- Students work in partners.
- They each write a computation problem that contains an intentional error.
- They switch papers and try to find their partner's error- like a game or puzzle!!
- Each student shows the correct way to perform the computation and explains what the error was.
- This activity can be repeated throughout the school year- as a review, practice, or as an easy way to differentiate learning computation.
To try it, click here for these computation errors activity printable directions:
And for this printable computation errors worksheet:
Happy (Computation) Teaching!!