The key to the nevermind strategy is to not let kids stop when they get to the nevermind (or just kidding) part of their problem solving process. This is a golden opportunity to see problem solving in action and create a classroom that values (and does not judge) mistakes, wrong answers, and sharing our thinking. What do we do when we realize we are on the wrong path? Much like the guess and check strategy there is a lot of math reasoning and number sense involved in realizing that your answer needs adjusting and calculating what adjustments will make it better. The nevermind strategy opens up the class discussion to see who else tried something that didn't work. Often times my favorite conversations start, not by asking who has an answer and how did you get it, but instead by asking "Does anyone have an answer they know is wrong?"
In my classroom I want students to take risks, explore new things, and feel comfortable making mistakes and sharing them. By giving this a name, such as the nevermind strategy, it seems to have somehow legitimatized it in the minds of my students. I plan to continue emphasizing this strategy in my class this year. When students are stuck on a problem I will encourage them to use the nevermind strategy. They can try something and if it doesn't work they can adjust accordingly. Some students claim they don't know how to do a problem or they don't know where to start. Often this is because students feel they need to have all the answers before they even start. I am going to challenge that this year in my classroom with the use of the nevermind strategy. I will teach my students to be flawsome!