I’ve been going through the free online course “How to Learn Math” created by Jo Boaler at Stanford University. No surprises for me yet, just many affirmations about brain research and mindset theory and how this has deeply affected how we both teach and learn mathematics.
One of her assignments in the third module is to create a poster on the importance of making mistakes. When students complete assignments quickly and have no problem answering questions, no learning takes place – it’s already learned material. We do them a disservice if we do not push their thinking and challenge them with material that they have to explore, make mistakes, and learn from them. Even more important is modeling how to make mistakes and how to learn from making mistakes.
My poster on mistakes is one that could be used in a classroom, with students being the intended “audience” for the poster: