Analyzing the common errors made in Mathematics
Analyzing the common errors will lead us to identify the cause when it happens consistently. Here we discuss about some types of common errors.
Types of Errors: Careless Errors, Computational Errors, and Conceptual Errors.
These errors occur on account of lack of attention or working too fast. Here are some examples: Copying the problem wrongly, posting a wrong number from the question, Sign, negative / positive. No clear handwriting, on some occasions even over writing.
Remedial ways: First and foremost is to slow down, pay attention what is given, what is asked. Either circling or under lining important information, what to do especially in word problems.
Mistakes are committed in the process; mistakes are done on the incorrect operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). Making one computational mistakes lead to further mistakes.
Remedial ways: A teacher has to tell the correct procedure. All required steps are to be written by the students. Conceptual learning is more important, small computational error may be avoided. Final solution is not important than understanding the Concept. One has to work carefully with given data. Check the answer step by step after solving, in order to have accuracy and correct solution.
If students have not understood the concepts, these kinds of mistakes occur. We can say either incorrect logic or incorrect method. Preventing conceptual errors are not as easy as other errors.
Examples: Jim has a bag of 24 chocolates. He decided to share equally with 6 of his friends, how many each friend gets? Solution is 24 / 6=4 is the correct answer, instead if they have multiplied 24 X 6 ,there we do understand ,the concept is not understood properly ,though the multiplication result may be correct . Student go wrong while calculating surface Area, Total Surface area, care to be taken when one side is closed, both sides are closed, hollow cylinder, especially in semi-sphere, etc. Same is applicable while calculating Volume. Area and volume to be defined clearly of 3 dimensional figures.
Remedial ways: Introduce concepts in hands-on, conceptual ways using teaching aids. Teach a concept more than one way (Open ended approach). Have Math talks. Use math journals.
- K. Bhanu Moorthy