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Published at Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 - 01:10:43 AM. Worksheet. By Genevre Paris.

The Worksheet Dilemma: Benefits of Play-Based Curricula. It was three o’clock and preschool was over for the day. Four-year-old Jamaica, her arms full of papers, called out to her mom. Jamaica’s mother smiled and asked, ”What’s all this? Your school work?” Jamaica nodded and handed the papers to her mother. Jamaica had spent a large part of the afternoon in her seat, pencil in hand, filling out worksheets. On one she had drawn lines from the letter ”A” to the picture of an apple; from the letter ”P” to the pear; and from the letter ”O” to the orange. On another sheet she made her pencil go from the dot on the top line to the dot on the bottom line, thus making the lower-case letter ”l.” Jamaica’s lines were a bit shaky, and her teacher had written, ”You can do better” on the page. Jamaica’s mother was concerned when she saw the comment and worried that her daughter was not performing well. In truth, Jamaica’s work was fine. Her teacher’s expectations were the problem.

Appropriate worksheets: For example, children experimenting with objects to discover if they sink or float can record their observations on paper divided into a float column and a sink column. This shows that they are doing actual scientific experimentation and recording the data. Parent Newsletters: Teachers can send home periodic parent newsletters which explain the activities children are doing at school and the teacher’s goals and objectives. When parents understand the value of developmentally appropriate activities they will feel confident that their children are learning and growing, not ”just playing.”. Center Labels: Signs in the classroom describing what children learn in the various learning centers help adults understand the value of children’s work in that area. In the block corner, for example, children learn about weight, length, balance, volume, and shape, as well as problem solving, social role playing, and cooperation. At the art center children learn to express themselves on paper and with other media, to solve problems, and to communicate with others. Signs help skeptics see what is really happening as children work at play. Photographs: Photographs of daily activities in the classroom can be displayed around the room and in hallways. They provide graphic evidence to parents, administrators, and other teachers of children working and learning in a rich, exciting atmosphere.

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