Strategies for Students to Check Their Own Math Answers
When my 6th grade math students finish their math assessments and want to hand them in, I always ask, "Did you check your work?"
Often the answer is "yes," but if it's not, I won't take the paper until the student does check their work. So, they go back to the assessment and 'check' for a couple minutes and are ready to hand the assessment in again.
How do they do this math checking?
Do you know what I'm going to say?
Here's what my math students often do (until I teach them math checking strategies) - they look at the math questions, basically make sure that all the questions were answered, and say they've checked their work.
Unless they are clearly taught otherwise, many students seem to believe that "checking your math work" means "checking to see if everything is done."
Five Strategies for Checking Math Answers
The following strategies for checking math answers are the ones I've found to be the most helpful to my math students.
They aren't always thrilled by the extra time and effort this math checking takes, but they do admit that it helps:-)
1) Redo the math problems, on a separate piece of paper, without looking at the work that was already done.
2) Use the opposite operation to check, if possible. If the problem was an addition problem, subtract one of the addends from the sum. If it was a division problem, use multiplication to check, and so on.
3) Ask whether the answer is logical.
If the problem was 2.56 x 7.91, an answer of 2.02496 (instead of 20.2496), is not logical.
4) Substitute the solution into the equation, if possible. If the solution is correct, the equation will be true.
5) If the test includes word problems, reread each problem carefully to be sure all of the information was understood correctly.
I created a How to Check Your Math Work reminder sheet for students to keep in their notebooks. You can download it if you'd like - there's a colored version and a black and white version, in case you want to print on colored paper.
What strategies for checking math answers do you teach students?
How do digital assessments impact the math checking?
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Hey there! I'm Ellie - here to share math fun, best practices, and engaging, challenging, easy-prep activities ideas!