Did you check your work? (Math)

12 Oct

Do your kids check each and every math problem they do to see that it is correct?

One area that I think teachers don’t get to spend enough time doing is reinforcing the habit of checking  work. Sure they have posters reminding students to do this and tell students repeatedly, but do they really have the time to actually inculcate this habit in their students?

One of my latest campaigns is to really focus on my kids checking their work.  I think that with homeschooling, you have the perfect opportunity to do this as you tend to have more face time with each of your students. 

That being said, I have made a poster (smile)  to remind the kids to check their work, but I have also taken active steps to try to help ensure that they learn this habit, in sha Allah. For example, two of the kids are on division, so instead of giving them a whole page of problems (for other reasons this may not be productive as well), I give them fewer problems and insist that every problem be checked (I can easily tell if they have done this because they multiply back out and arrive at the dividend that they started with. This way, they know that they go the answer right, and I know (by the way, this cuts down on me having to physically do the problems myself to check as I don’t have an answer key). They may not go onto the next problem until they see that the answer is correct. 

Another step that I am trying to take to get them to correct their work is to pull back helping them when they get stuck (as I am prone to do). I think in the beginning this is good so that they can see the steps I take to go back and check, but eventually I tell them to: 1. check their checking (if they multiplied to check the work, a problem may lie in the checked part) and 2. go back through the problem again, most of the time, they subtracted or multiplied incorrectly (underscoring the importance of them getting those math facts internalized). My point being that I am turning the ownership more over to them.

So here’s my little poster, maybe it will be of some help. One thing I hope to do is take the check list and walk through the list with my kids (while correcting their work) to see if they have done each step and point out where they haven’t.


Download “Checking Your Work” Poster



Posted by on October 12, 2010 in Math: Teaching Tips


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2 responses to “Did you check your work? (Math)

  1. Homeschool 4 Muslims

    October 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Jazakillah for sharing, and for reminding me to “pull back helping them” 🙂


    • talibiddeenjr

      October 25, 2010 at 9:07 pm

      wa yakum. Naam, it is hard to resist helping sometimes.

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