By Vivien Poirier. Worksheet. Published at Saturday, April 13th, 2019 - 09:53:22 AM.
Worksheets Do Not Allow for Higher Level Thinking, Again, worksheets are there for spitting out information. Where is the thinking in that? Hands on manipulation of objects, gives children the opportunity to create hypothesis, test them out, and use their problem solving and critical thinking skills to completely understand how it works. Worksheets May Be “Teaching” What a Child is Not Ready For or Interested In, This is more towards workbooks, especially if you follow the workbook page by page. Just because the workbook says it’s for 3 year olds, does not mean your child is ready for it. Related: What to Teach My Preschooler and When to Teach It. It’s best to teach your child based on their interests and signs of readiness. A workbook does not allow room for every child’s unique growth and development sequence. Worksheets Leave No Room to Challenge The Norm. 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. Really? How is it possible to get a child to think for themselves and defend their position, but also be correct 100% of the time according to an answer key? It’s just not possible! I look at it this way, if a child can defend their answer to any question using evidence then it’s correct whether the answer key says so or not. In 20 years, do we want people running this country who only know how to give one answer, or do we want people who can be creative and think outside the box?
Developmentally Appropriate Activities, There are many active, and far more interesting, ways for children to begin understanding words and numbers than via worksheets (Mason, 1986). A classroom with a developmentally appropriate curriculum is a print-rich environment. The walls are covered with signs naming objects, stories children have dictated, lists of words they have generated, pictures they have painted and labeled, and charts of classroom jobs (such as feeding the pet and passing out napkins for snack). At the small motor activities table there may be sandpaper letters to feel and puzzles to complete. Creative activities may include squirting shaving cream onto the table and having children make designs and write their names. And always there are many books to explore, examine, wonder about, listen to, and love as they are read aloud. In these ways, children learn that reading and writing are useful skills, not simply tedious activities adults invent to make school boring. It takes a lot of experience with words and print for children to understand why it is good to be able to read.
Now is the time to add some clipart images to your worksheets to give them some personality. You can find tons of clipart on the Internet, but you have to be sure to check out each site’s policies before just using any clipart. Perhaps your school already has a license with a clipart company that allows them to use clipart on school documents. Check with the school secretary to see if this is something you can use on your worksheets. Simple copy and paste the images onto your worksheet where you would like them to go. Take a look at the worksheet that you prepared on your computer screen. Make sure you have included everything that you want. Now take a look at the worksheet in a ”print preview” window. This window shows you exactly what will print. You will want to do this to make sure that everything you put on the worksheet will print out okay. This is an especially important step, if you have adjusted margins in any way. Once you have previewed how it will print, you can either make some adjustments (reducing font size, reducing clipart size, etc.) or just go ahead and print out the worksheet.
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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