Identification and remediation of systematic error patterns in subtraction

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The present study investigated 90 elementary teachers' ability to identify two systematic error patterns in subtraction and then prescribe an instructional focus. Presented with two sets of 20 completed subtraction problems comprised of basic facts, computation, and word problems representative of two students' math performance, participants were asked to examine each incorrect subtraction problem and describe the errors. Participants were subsequently asked which type of error they would address first during math instruction to correct students' misconceptions. An analysis of the data indicated teachers were able to describe specific error patterns. However, they did not base their instructional focus on the error patterns identified, and more than half of the teachers chose to address basic subtraction facts first during instruction regardless of error type. Limitations of the study and implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-242
Number of pages10
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Health Professions
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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