Published at Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 - 22:07:31 PM. Worksheet. By Fantina Picard.
Worksheets do not teach. They check what kids know. If someone handed me a basic calculus worksheet and said, “Here you go. This will help you learn calculus,” I’d be at a complete loss. Now if I got on the phone and called my twin brother (for whom calculus is simple math), he could talk me through it and I might have a chance of understanding it. Please keep this in mind when handing your child a worksheet. If it’s a new skill, sit right there and coach him through it. Worksheets can be a cop-out. Sound a little harsh? My opinion is that teachers and homeschoolers who rely on worksheets are choosing not to find ways to really challenge and interest their kids. It’s the easy way out. Worksheets might not allow higher level thinking. Most worksheets have just one right answer, or one way to complete them. If we consistently keep our kids inside a box, they won’t be able to stretch. Teachers who use worksheets may not be teaching what their students are ready to learn. It really, really makes me cringe when a teacher or homeschooling parent has an entire year’s worth of worksheets printed and ready to go before the school year starts. (And yes, I’m including pre-printed workbooks here.) How do you know that’s what your child will need to learn? Maybe your first grader struggles with addition in August. But she could have a firm grasp on it by December. Are you still going to give her all those pre-printed worksheets or have her complete every page in that workbook? Challenge her with something new.
Next, you need to design your worksheet on paper. To do this, you can use the word processing program on your computer, such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher, or you may opt to use a worksheet generator that you can find on the Internet. There are many places where you can worksheet generators, such as at Teachnology. If you opt to use your own word processing program, then you have to be sure to set your margins correctly so that you are able to fit all of the material onto the worksheet. Choose a font that is easy for kids to read. Make sure that the colors you choose will show up nicely on a printed version of the worksheet. Sometimes yellows or purples can come out light, even though they look okay on your computer monitor.
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