I go into a lot of detail about meaningful experiences in this post. Basically, a child needs to have a reason for learning the concept. Completing a worksheet is not a good enough reason for a child.
This is a huge one for me. When I taught in the public schools, we were told to get kids to think for themselves and defend their answers. But, their answers and evidence must match the teacher’s guide and test answer key.
Don’t just let your students fill out worksheet after worksheet. Instead, create fun teaching worksheets that can keep students engaged in the material. Use these tips to make them more interesting to students, so they can make the most of the assignment.
Of course, you will need to make multiple copies of the worksheet for your students. Consider printing one copy of the worksheet at home or in your classroom, and using the color copier in your school office, if one is available.
A worksheet does not teach, no matter how hard you believe they do, they just don’t. Children, young children especially, need time to explore concepts and manipulate materials in order to learn.
I still count these as worksheets. You really only need the manipulatives anyway, and the child will get far more out of the lesson if he writes his own equations rather than writing an answer down on a worksheet.
Really all worksheets do is test rote memory, a way for children to just spit back information to you. In the end, do we want a child to memorize concepts, or do we want them to understand them and apply them to different situations? I bet it’s the latter.
A worksheet is paper and pencil. There are no other materials used in conjunction with the worksheet. These include handwriting practice sheets and coloring pages. Sometimes parents like to pull out manipulatives for math worksheets to help the child “build” the answer.
When we use a hands on material like unifix cubes to help solve problems on a worksheets, it’s not okay. But if the worksheet (or printable) is used to enhance the activity such as counting mats, it’s okay.
An effective way to ensure students explore new topics and practice new skills on a daily basis is by answering worksheets. Whether you are teaching vocabulary, writing, science or math, you can easily create worksheets that match the lessons for the day.
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