Tag Archives: error analysis

Math Hospital Remix

I decided to remix the Math Hospital.  All the steps are the same that I outline in my original post about the activity, which can be found here.   The only difference is the handout, where I now embed the problem that we are fixing into the worksheet.  This allows students to circle and point to the things that they like, or believe are right or wrong.  I also have them fix the patient (correct the problem) right there on the worksheet.

MathHospital2The Advice

Sell the hospital.  To have them quite down, tell them the patient is sleeping.  If correcting the problem becomes homework, say “I want to have this patient looking healthy by tomorrow”.  And so forth…

I’ve done this in groups of four, but typically it is done individually.

Math Hospital

The Description:

Math Hospital is an activity I try to do every other chapter.  I was given to me by my old district instructional coach.  He had given me a two page handout, but I have since lost it, and I don’t have a digital copy.   Here’s how it goes:

– The day before I give the students a problem to do on an exit ticket.  Then I look through those tickets for a common mistake, and scan that students work into my slides (student names redacted).

– The Initial slide for Math Hospital is always a reminder of the theme of Math Hospital – failure is helpful and not shameful.  I took that theme from a Dan Meyer post you can find here.  This is where I remind students that getting things wrong is a great opportunity to learn.

– Each student gets one exit ticket to do their work on.

– The 1st part of Math Hospital is called “Reading” and is simply where I ask a couple students to read the problem out loud.  It’s good that the class hears how other people interpret math language.

– The 2nd part is where we talk about things we like about the problem.  Common answers are asthetic things  – equal signs lined up, etc.  I tell the students here that “you have been in math for 10 years, you should develop a taste about what you think is good or not good.  Imagine if you were painting for 10 years, you would have an opinion about what makes good art”.  I have them all write down one thing that they like.

– The 3rd part is where we talk about things that are correct.  This is where I always say “remember, in every wrong answer, there is always something right about it”.  I have them all write down one thing that was correct about the problem.

– The 4th part is where we discuss what went wrong, and what corrections need to be made.  I have them all write down one thing that was wrong about the problem.

– The last part is where we discuss key points.  “What can we take from this problem, that is going to help us when we take the test?”.  I have them all write down one key point.

– After the Math Hospital is finished, I have the students work a similar problem to what they just analyzed.  I have them do it on the back of the exit ticket.

–   Lastly I tell them that if they are still confused then they might want to consult another physician.  In this case the other physician is Salman Khan,  and I show a slide that highlights the exact videos on Khan Academy that cover the topic we were discussing.

Here is the handout that I give each student the first time we do the Math Hospital.  It is basically the same as what my instructional coach had given me, but since I did not have it digital, I recreated it.

The Advice:

– I recommend repeating the purpose of Math Hospital everytime you do it.  I always go back to the theme “failure is helpful and not shameful” and I always during the second round I say “you’ve all done this problem, what about this work could you say ‘yeah I appreciate that’, or ‘I would not have thought of that'”.

– This is really meant to be a 15 minute activity.  Quick error analysis.

The Goods:

Here’s the .pdf –  Math Hospital

Update 1:

I remixed this a little bit, that post can be see here.  I now give each student a copy of the patient so they can circle and point to things that are right or wrong, that they like or dislike.  If I do this at the end of the class, I can now say “make sure this patient is healthy by tomorrow” and use it as a homework problem.