Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mistakes

Today we were solving 8 + 3 + 2.

I asked what answers the students had found.

"12," someone said.

"15," Maggie said.

I recorded both totals on the board. "Any more answers?" I asked.

No more hands went up.

"Who will defend their total?" I asked. I pulled a name out of my cup of names. It was Jaylin.

"I know that 8+2 is 10," he explained. "And 3 more is 13."

I wrote down his solution on the board.

"Who else wants to defend their answer?" I asked. Then I saw Maggie's hand up. I called on her.

"I made a mistake," she said.

"What was your mistake?" I asked.

"I thought it was 15," she said. "But I counted wrong. It's 13."

I smiled at her.

"Wow, Maggie," I said. "You have to be really brave to say 'I made a mistake' like that."

Suddenly, Maya raised her hand.

"Yes, Maya," I said.

"I made a mistake," she said.

"What kind of mistake?" I asked.

"I thought it was 15, too," she said.

I smiled at her.

"Maya, Maggie made a mistake today. I'm not sure if you did or not, but that's okay. There will be lots of other days for making mistakes."