Studying mistakes, instead of focusing on a grade, can lower the stakes and give students space to learn from errors and better absorb material.
"What I was finding when I was handing back tests the old way, where I put a grade on it, was kids would look at their grade, decide whether they were good at math or not, and put the test away and never look at it again," says Leah Alcala, a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher.
Alcala also puts "favorite mistakes" on the board so students look at their mistakes collectively and discuss what went wrong.
"I see that now when I give tests back, they're continuing to learn," Alcala says.
- Middle School