Answer keys are great, time saving tools. Once my children reached third grade, I used them continuously. Home schooling without them would have taken so much longer. However, once you’ve used an answer key to correct your student’s work, and you find he or she has missed an item, there’s a question you should consider asking.
Rather than simply scoring up a paper or test, giving and recording a grade, or maybe re-teaching the concept missed the way the teacher’s edition presents it, ask this question:
“Can you explain what you’re thinking?”
Asking this question gives you insight as to why your student missed the item. Knowing why enables you to correct the process or misunderstanding. And maybe, just maybe, the rationale for their answer is supportable and justifiable and not wrong after all. And of course, there’s always the possibility that the answer is wrong.
Ask your student to explain what he or she is thinking. That’s the tip of the week!