By Fayanna Lambert. worksheet. Published at Friday, April 19th, 2019 - 04:53:08 AM.
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.
Do you have students with great artistic abilities? Let them shine as they complete worksheets by asking them to draw or complete art projects. They could label items or talk about other ways that the art applies to the subject. Technology Usage, Rather than completing a worksheet, have students complete an assignment on a website or app. Since students enjoy working on tablets, this could be a fun way for students to practice a new skill. Combined with Engaging Activity, Use the worksheet to prepare students for a fun and engaging activity. Right before you play a review game, lead a discussion, introduce a project, or provide students with a real-world experience, have them complete the worksheet. This gives students information that they can use to make the activity more meaningful to them. 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.
Insert clip art. Again, there are a lot of options for free clip art on TpT. You want to download them and save them to your computer. Then you can open your folder, right click the image and “copy,” then paste onto your page. Many clip artists will include both JPG and PNG images. I personally like to use PNG images. These will have a clear background instead of a white box behind them. If you do decide to sell your work, make sure you create a credits page showing which clip artists you used! There are many great examples online, or even in TpT products you own.
Social Development, Teachers who require young children to perform passive tasks like worksheets may be heard exhorting them, ”Do your own work. Eyes on your own paper.” There are few situations in the adult world in which we cannot ask a friend or colleague for help with a task, or for their ideas about a problem. In fact, leaders in business and industry say they need employees who can work in teams to solve problems. Yet we ask children to do what are often impossible tasks, and insist that they suffer through them alone. The foundations for our social relationships are laid in the early years (Kostelnik, Stein, Whiren, & Soderman, 1993). This is the time when we discover the roles we may play, the rules for getting along in society, the consequences for not following rules, and how to make friends. The only way to learn these concepts is to engage actively with others. When we do not allow children enough time to accomplish fundamental social tasks, we set the stage for social problems later on. Middle and high schools cope daily with antisocial behaviors that in some cases reach the point of violence. If we expect adolescents to know how to work and live with others, and solve problems peacefully, we would do well to begin the process when children are young.
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