First things first – before we start discussing different strategies in remedial teaching, in my opinion, it would be a great idea to walk through some common mistakes and misconceptions related to mathematics. As we agreed in our previous post, that every child has its own way of learning; in this post, we shall see how each child makes mistakes differently. š And yes, mistakes are different from misconceptions. This is where a teacher needs to be sensitive and sharp enough to differentiate between the two. Let us begin the diagnosis!

### The Difference Between a Mistake and Misconception:

Here is a Grade 2 student’s response to a given set of questions: try to identify the misconception in the following two problems.

a. Use < as 'is less than' and > as ‘is greater than’ signs to compare and order numbers:

1. 73 < 79
2. 25 = 25
3. 45 < 56
4. 51 < 49

By now you would have understood the learner’s misconception; somewhere s/he is struggling with the basic concept of place value, isn’tĀ it?

Check out some interesting examples on misconception from math4teaching.com by authorĀ Erlina. Couple of them given below:

Did we not learn that the greater the opening of an angle, the bigger it is? So, angle A is less than angle B in the figure below.

Isnāt it that the base is the one lying on the ground?

Whether you are a maths teacher or not, in life we all make mistakes. So if we keep making mistakes, we keep learning from them. But remember, they get serious if hidden or done consistently and consciously.

Here is an interesting idea about multiplication – ‘If we multiply two numbers, we get a bigger number’. Tell us if this is a true fact or a misconception and do justify your answer in the comment section below.

I am eagerly waiting to discuss ‘Remedial Teaching Strategies’ in our next post.

Ā