Friday, November 23, 2012

Error Analysis

So I went down to UCLA Monday to fill out some paperwork for the AP Readiness program my students and I have been attending. After filling out my paperwork, I decided to check to see if any of my former advisors from my credential or masters programs were around, so I could say Hi.

I got a chance to sit down with my advisor from my credential program and we spent an hour or so chatting, catching up, and sharing how our teaching was going (mine as a second year high school math teacher, his as a secondary math teacher educator). I got to sharing with him some of the things I was doing in my classroom that I was excited about, namely the review stations after quizzes and tests and the error analysis questions that I gave students so that they could earn back their points and revisit the concepts they needed to strengthen.

Though not sure if it was his role as an advisor and teacher educator kicking in, or his role as a Ph.D. candidate, but in our conversation, he took me down a path of inquiry. It was easy for me to see the qualitative evidence that the quiz review stations and error analysis were beneficial to my students' confidence and enjoyment of the class. It would also be great to see the quantitative evidence that shows my students understanding of content and concepts was improving as well. We talked about how best to establish a baseline of student knowledge so that I could accurately and reliably measure growth. He talked about also having a class be a control group, but I argued that I don't feel it's ethical to have a control group in educational research; but that's a blog topic for another day. 

In short, I think I have a new inquiry project on my hands for the second semester of school. Although the quiz review stations and error analysis is something I've been doing with my class since the start of the school year, I plan on making it a little bit more structured than it already is, collect data on student performance on baseline assessments as well as assessments taken after doing error analysis, collect some qualitative data in the form of student surveys about their attitudes and dispositions toward mathematics and their confidence as mathematics learners, and also find a way to measure their mathematical reasoning skills at the beginning and end of the inquiry project.

Just jotting some ideas down right now. I'll probably work on planning this project more during winter break. 

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