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March 8, 2017

Highlight Misconceptions to Deepen Learning

Once you are get students fully engaged and participating in your material, there’s a new challenge: how to quickly highlight misconceptions to deepen their learning.

Highlight exemplars

Whether students are correcting grammar, solving complex math, or composing an argument, there are always some answers that stand out. Our instinct is to show them to students. “Here’s a great example of how to solve this problem. Let’s go through it together.”

Showing students examples of the correct way is great. Students definitely need models of what they are striving for. At the same time, when students only spend class time on recording the right way to do things, no one is noticing the mistakes they are making or helping them un-learn those mistakes.

Highlight misconceptions

As Stacey Roshan, teacher at Bullis School and a Pear Deck Certified Coach, is discovering, it’s going through the mistakes that enables deeper learning. (Read all about her process on eSchool News). By talking about the different misconceptions, students gain a greater understanding of the problem and are able to identify their own thinking patterns that get them off-track.

Highlight answers with the Pear Deck Dashboard

If you use Pear Deck, the Teacher Dashboard makes it really easy to curate the answers you want to discuss. As student responses come in, you can star the misconceptions (or exemplars), you want to discuss. When you are ready, click “Project Answers.” Only the starred answers will show on the Projector View (all anonymous, of course).

If you have students working through some questions in “Student-Paced Mode,” you can flip through their answers on the Teacher Dashboard as they work. Star the ones you want to come back to. When you’re ready, turn off “Student-Paced Mode,” project the answers, and as you flip back through the questions, only the starred answers will show.


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