Get the Goof!

  • Get the Goof!

    Michelle H. Pace and Enrique Ortiz
    Try introducing this easy-to-implement strategy that engages student detectives in error analysis and mathematical discourse.
    As my second-grade class struggled to make sense of the algorithms for multidigit addition and subtraction, attitude and morale were down, and student discourse was at an all-time low. When daily mathematics class started, I was hearing an overall class moan. I needed to turn it around, to find a way to help excite and motivate my students while also deepening their understanding of this clearly difficult mathematics content. The purpose of this article is to share a strategy that helped me get my math class back on track. In my class, we call the strategy Get the Goof. It is a simple yet effective strategy in which a teacher presents a flawed solution to a math problem and students work together to identify the goof and fix it.