Using Correctives

Reaction/feedback to assessments is one of the most challenging areas in Maths to do well. As I was reading Mark McCourt’s book – Teaching for Mastery he shows a flow chart and part of this process mentions the use of correctives. Correctives in my mind are the materials or techniques we use to correct students thinking so they can then be successful.

This really got me thinking about how I can effectively close the learning gaps that we identify with students without individually giving them one to one support, i would love to be able to! I have just began to develop one corrective which I am using with my Year 11s currently when I identify one of the topic areas (on this website) is deficient.

I identified that near enough all of my students could not solve a quadratic with the original question being solve x^2 – x – 12 = 0. In previous years I have covered the question in lesson and then gave them some similar questions to complete. Whilst this has merit I found in some cases I had not accessed prior learning well enough and actually they were not strong enough at factorising algebraic expressions so to attempt a quadratic was not going to be as successful as it should have been.

So instead of reacting to this individual smaller objective of solving a quadratic i have built a draft corrective which covers the GCSE foundation section 3.2 on factorising. I start with the objectives required:

Then do a prior learning check, allowing the students to assess whether they need support on all the areas.

The solutions to each of these stages are on the final page of the corrective so the students can clearly see which of the 8 objectives they need to work on. I have really focussed on working out where students are starting at a lot more this year and this has helped pick up initial misconceptions much more quickly.

Once identified the students use the guidance section to look at an example which outlines the process and identifies each of the steps in as much detail as possible

Then they attempt two questions where some steps have been removed in the first one and the second one requires them to work it through.

My first attempt was today at the end of the day with a year 11 group and they performed well. With the majority covering all the objectives and actually enjoyed completing all 8 areas in most cases as they enjoyed the steady increase in challenge in the objectives.

The full resource is below – I’ve suggested a fourth stage which would be an independent practice phase with lots of questions but after using it today the students worked for around 45-60 minutes solidly and as a ‘corrective’ it served its purpose.

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