# Spot the Mistake

A great way to get students thinking about mistakes and misconceptions and hence deepen their understanding of topics is to have them mark the work of others. There are some great resources hosted on TES that will allow your students to do just that.

Particularly excellent resources come from Andy Lutwyche, look at his excellent Erica’s Errors series for Spot the Mistake activities. See also, on TES, Andy’s Clumsy Clive series.

Andy Lutwyche

Edexcel’s A Level Teaching and Learning Materials, a growing library of resources offer excellent support for teachers.
The exemplar answers with examiner comments provide a particularly valuable resource. These booklets look at questions from the AS and A level Sample Assessment Materials, which was used in the trial undertaken in summer 2017. Real student responses are shown together with commentary showing how the examining team apply the mark schemes. The commentary includes always useful notes on common
errors. These could be used in class and students asked to find errors.

TES resources I have come across include:

R Barnard’s Bob’s Ratio Homework

Craig Barton’s lovely little starter on Algebraic Misconceptions (this one is truly tried and tested – I used it as a starter for a lesson observation and followed it up with a class discussion on what advice students would give to students making the kind of errors here – it went down rather well with the observers!)

AlgebraByExample is a set of Algebra 1 assignments that incorporate worked examples and prompt students to analyze and explain. These look like good resources for discussing common misconceptions.

Note the tabs at the top of the home page, from the Materials tab you can access all the resources. Note the free downloads at the SERP download centre where you can download individual resources, or very simply, use the menu on the left to download the complete workbook; answers are also available as are introductory guides for teachers and students.

Kaszal’s Fractions Mistakes

and Damian Watson’s

Transformations AfL Spot the Mistakes

Enlargement Spot the Mistake Booklet

Fractions AfL Plenary Spot the Mistake Booklet

Thank you to all the great authors of these resources.

On the subject of mistakes, the Classic Mistakes website has a gallery of posters of classic errors made in Mathematics. These could be a prompt for a useful discussion starter activity. Note that an audio file is also available for each poster.