Social Media Math: Mistakes and Misconceptions

I really enjoyed how the teacher in this version of “My Favorite No” explained the importance of making mistakes.

For senior math students, I would definitely try one of these exercises where students complete a problem on index cards, submit their responses to the teacher, and listen to an incorrect answer to see where misconceptions are born.

Afterward, I would direct them to a page like this on social media. There are math problems posted on a regular basis with a myriad of responses.

There are quite a few misconceptions apparent in the responses. Here is how I would use these misconceptions to facilitate student learning:

1. Students will work in partners, and would choose a meme with its respective set of comments.

2. They will find out what their answer is, and see how many people agreed with them.

3. Then, they will find a divergent or incorrect “answer” to focus on.

4. They will discuss their answer as well as the divergent and incorrect answers with the class, pointing out where they think the misconceptions lie.

Seeing where people make mistakes in an online forum takes the pressure off of the students to be perfect, thus easing the anxiety they face.

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