4 Most Common Types of Mistakes

Published On: May 18th, 2016·By ·

What are the 4 types of mistakes and how can we learn from them?

Do you know the four types of mistakes? Do you know how we can learn from them? I found a great post on Twitter that will help. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.

Understanding the four types of mistakes will help us teach our students how to learn from them. Not all mistakes are made the same way. If you can determine which type of mistake a student made, then it's easier to turn that mistake into a learning experience. Thanks to an article and infographic posted by We Are Teachers, we can start understanding the four types of mistakes. The article was written by Mindshift and published in KQED News. You can read it here.

The four types of mistakes discussed in the article were “stretch,” “a-ha moments,” “sloppy,” and “high-stakes” mistakes.

Stretch mistakes happen when someone tries to do more than they're currently capable of without extra help. These mistakes mean a student is challenging themselves and reaching to learn more. They can become a problem if the same mistake is repeated over and over, but for the most part these are positive mistakes that are easily turned into a learning experience.

An “a-ha” moment mistake is another one easily converted into a learning experience. Unlike with a stretch mistake, during an “ah-ha” moment, you achieve the desired result, only to find out that result isn't correct (an example from the article was helping someone, but then realizing they didn't want help). These are learning experiences because you learn whatever was incorrect about the final result.

A sloppy mistake is a goof up that happens while you're working on something you already know how to do. They usually come about because you're distracted. The learning experience gained from these mistakes is learning why you made said mistake, letting you know you're tired, need to double-check more often, or to close off whatever distracted you and caused the mistake.

High-stakes mistakes are when we mess up when something important is on the line, such as a test score, interview, or sporting event. If a mistake is made, then it's a chance to learn because we realize we need more practice, knowledge, or training, and we learn to make ourselves stronger and avoid making any future mistakes.

Did this graphic omit any other common type of mistake? Which types do you see the most? Which one do you think is the hardest to work with as a teacher?

Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to editor@simplek12.com.

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