18 March 2022

Image of Spring Term - 21st March 2022

Whole School CPD Focus:

Purposeful Writing (Explaining and Modelling)

Walkthru Cluster:

Explaining and Modelling



Head on Misconceptions (pg. 86)



As we all know, there are certain misconceptions within our own subject areas that continually crop up.  If students have developed a schema around a misconception, it can be difficult to correct. Sherrington suggests that the schema needs to be unpicked before the misconception to be truly corrected.  Re-wiring your schema to make the correct version your default, takes deliberate re-thinking; and this needs modelling for students.


So what are the five stages of Sherrington’s Walkthru?


Stage One: Identify Common Misconceptions.

Use your knowledge of your curriculum and assessment in your subject to identify common errors and misconceptions for each topic. Sherrington suggests asking ‘where do students often get stuck or go wrong?’ At this point, thinking about reasons for those misconceptions is important. It is important to plan in opportunities to tell students about these misconceptions and to prepare activities that explore these misconceptions.


Stage Two: Introduce a Misconception Explicitly: Why is it wrong?

This stage is important. Present examples of misconceptions to students and make it clear that the material presented is incorrect – either fully or in part.  Using Cold Calling or Probing Questions, take time to explore the incorrect elements of the presented answer. For example:

  • Tyler writes: 1/4 + 2/3 = 3/7 What mistake has he made?
  • Jennifer says: the candle disappears because the wax has melted. What is she thinking and why is this wrong?


Stage Three: Reinforce A Correct Underlying Conceptual Model

Introduce or re-teach the underlying model that explains why the misconceptions must be wrong.  Link back to the errors introduced in stage 1.  Sherrington also suggests that it may be necessary to go back to basics at this point. So:

  • The need for common denominators when adding fractions
  • Melting and combustion as examples of physical and chemical change


Stage Four: Check for Understanding of the Misconception and Correction

At this point, students need to be engaged in ‘Check for Understanding’ routines to ensure that the students understand the misconception and the correction. Talking it through is not sufficient. Students will need to be able to explain it back to you; they will need to identify the misconceptions and how to correct them. Then you will know that they have understood.


Stage Five: Practise the Correct Version

Students need to have the opportunity to practise the corrected schema.  Our learning sequence is ‘prior learning ® explain ® scaffold ® model ® practise’. So, in effect, a stage could be added after the ‘explain’ section called ‘address misconceptions’. By repeatedly using ideas that support the corrected schema, future recall will be easier; the correct schema will become default and will replace misconceptions. 


Our Feedback-Plan-Teach mantra is supported by this Walkthru as teachers use the feedback to feed forward and should plan knowledge and understanding tests around the misconceptions to ensure that the correct version continues to be default.


Previous blogs and Walkthrus in this cluster:

  • Deliberate Vocabulary Development
  • Worked Examples
  • Dual Coding
  • Big Picture, Small Picture
  • Abstract Models, Concrete Examples
  • Live Modelling
  • Scaffolding
  • Metacognitive Talk
  • Set the Standards


CPD Cascade

National College

Remember that there are subject-specific watchlists available in National College.


Free Sessions – VSH



Wednesday 23rd March  9.30am

Trauma-informed Working in Schools

Wednesday 23rd March 3.30pm

Supporting Children and Young People with Low Mood and Depression

Friday 25th March 9.30am

Supporting Children Following Loss and Bereavement


Posted by Rachel Long

Category: Teaching and Learning Digests

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