Book Review of, Nancy Anderson's (2017) What's Right about Wrong Answers: Learning from Math Mistakes, Grades 4-5

Research output: Other contribution


A book that explains a student’s approach to solving math problems! Although making mistakes is a vital part of learning, it can be difficult for teachers to identify students’ thinking process.

To help your young mathematicians arrive at the correct response on their next attempt, math educator and curriculum developer Nancy Anderson reveals which of several problem-solving methods a student is likely using when they make a particular mistake. Understanding this faulty method helps to correct and coach the student’s intuitive math development.

Some students use keywords to solve problems, such as “groups” or “check your work,” which then prompts them to use a particular solution; others use comparison. Misunderstanding the size of a piece (for instance, in a fraction) triggers a different approach. There are 22 exercises in all including comic strips, letters to a fictitious math expert written by confused students, and sample student work containing common mistakes.

Although Ontario teachers provide rich environments for inquiry-based learning, this book would be a helpful reference tool for Grades 4–5, as it lists various numeracy methods students use, and how those particular methods can go awry.
Original languageEnglish
TypeBook Review
Media of outputProfessional Journal
PublisherOntario College of Teachers' Professionally Speaking
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationPortland
ISBN (Print)978-1-62531-086-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019



  • Book Review
  • maths
  • Education and training

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