By Karoline Marin. Worksheet. Published at Thursday, April 25th, 2019 - 03:57:47 AM.
In many preschools, child care centers, and kindergartens, young children spend their time on worksheet paper and pencil tasks. Teachers who use worksheets believe they are demonstrating children’s learning progress to parents. Unfortunately for Jamaica and the other children in her class, worksheet activities are not developmentally appropriate and can cause many problems. Worksheets typically have a ”right answer.” Jamaica is expected to circle the rhyming words or match the pictures of things that start with the letter ”G.” She may learn quickly that putting down a wrong answer is emotionally costly. Worksheet activities may make her feel ignorant and incompetent, so that she learns to stop taking risks by guessing.
Worksheets might be a useful assessment tool. If your child is doing a worksheet on a learned skill, you might see what he understands and what you need to revisit. In the early childhood community, however, some educators believe that worksheets are inappropriate for this age level and may not tell you what a student truly understands. My kids like them. Wait, doesn’t this contradict a point I made above? Not really. If my kids want to sit at the table while I’m making dinner and do a few worksheets, I don’t have a problem with that. It can be relaxing for them. It’s not a replacement for other learning because I wouldn’t be teaching right then anyway… and I don’t have the space or time to set up a big hands-on learning center while the stove is on, the baby is crying, and the toddler is hanging on my leg. Sometimes a parent or teacher just needs a break. You’re going to use worksheets once in a while? I won’t judge you. Planning hands-on activities takes time and resources we don’t always have. Sometimes we just need something simple. Like when you’re 9 months pregnant to the day and the baby shows no sign of making an appearance. Ahem. (Update: our baby finally made her appearance, two weeks late!). My bottom line? A steady diet of worksheets is bad news. For some preschoolers, worksheets are never appropriate. For preschoolers who enjoy them, I don’t think worksheets are harmful every once in a while for a change of pace. For older kids, worksheets are appropriate when nothing else will do the job. Thoughtful teachers and homeschoolers will strive to limit their use of worksheets in favor of activities which promote higher-level thinking and hands- on experiences.
I’ve had numerous people ask me recently to teach them how to make worksheets for their classroom and products for TeachersPayTeachers. Being a visual learner myself, I decided to lay it out step-by-step in the hopes of making it as simple as possible! Yes, there is a LOT of information included, but I tried to make it as simple as possible. There will be variations if you have a different version of PowerPoint, but it shouldn’t be too hard to modify the steps. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them below! Open PowerPoint and click “layout.” Select the blank layout. When I started creating, I used Microsoft Word. I can’t even tell you how overjoyed I was the day I learned to use PowerPoint instead! It is SO much easier to move things around where you want them!
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. If your worksheet has a lot of color on it, then it will use up your printer ink pretty quickly. If your school does not have a color copier, then consider taking the worksheet to a quick copy place like Kinkos or Office Max to run the copies for you. This won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and your copies will be done quickly and easily.
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