Most students have areas of strength and areas of challenge, academically speaking. One particular area where students tend to be either hot or cold is in math. For the students who are weak in math, though, many of them make one regular mistake that prevents them from improving in their math skills. Instead of taking steps to learn math, they follow a habitual pattern of neglect.
Specifically, students who struggle in math do the same thing. They receive back a test or set of math assignments, and they glance at the grade, shrug, toss the paper back into a folder or binder (or the trash!), and they never look at the errors they may have made. Failure to review their own mistakes is the single most common reason that students fail to learn new math skills.
It’s as if they made an attempt and that’s good enough. Instead of learning from their mistakes, they accept them as final https://argoprep.com/blog/k8/go-math-grade-1-vs-argoprep/. This tendency by students who struggle in math contributes to a self-fulfilling sense of failure at math. If a student only takes a quick look at the grade and thereby confirms what they believe to be their nemesis, then they will never learn math skills with any more confidence or proficiency.
On the other hand, a student who reviews each problem that was missed and works through the mathematical equations again until the right answer is found, will be a student who learns increasing expertise in their math. For some reason, the habit of correcting your math mistakes is dropped sometime in elementary school for most students. There is no reason for students to skip this step as they get older, and in fact, as math skills and steps become more intricate and involved, reviewing each step for accuracy becomes more and more important.
Students who want to learn math skills with more ease and increase their level of proficiency must also be students who evaluate or critique their errors. Finding the point in which the solution went askew is important to discovering a student’s personal areas of breakdown. Once these are determined, students can focus their learning on those areas, adding in additional practice or additional checks and balances on those types of problems or steps. This is how math is learned, not by avoiding the corrections.
If you know a student who is seeking to improve their math grades and aptitude, then that student needs to be doing corrections and critiques. However, if your student desires not to learn anything new in math or make improvements, then he or she can keep glossing over the incorrect problems on the page, neglecting their errors, and tossing the sheet aside.