Francine Eugénie August 10, 2020 worksheets
We have come a long way as teachers since those purple-ink mimeograph machines introduced us to worksheets, so let’s be vigilant! Avoid lower-level-thinking worksheets, do not use too many worksheets (even good ones) and NEVER use worksheets as busy work.Instead, let’s fill our classrooms with meaningful, thoughtful lessons and activities that peak student interest and promote higher-level learning. And that is a message worth copying and handing out!
– Are students excited about learning in my classroom? (The answer should be yes!)
In 1986, mimeograph machines were (for the most part) replaced by digital copiers in elementary schools. Those of us teachers who experienced using mimeograph machines will forever remember the distinct smell of the still-damp, purple-ink worksheets that we handed out to our students – by the ream full. (If you’re like me, you can remember that smell right now!)
Other activities for kindergarten include jigsaw puzzles. There are also worksheets that teach children about some biblical characters, and how to help a community. These activities are not limited to individual work. There are also worksheets that require a group effort to finish the task. This way, children learn to work in a team. This is a very effective group activity in helping them realize the importance of cooperation and teamwork.At a young age, kids are first taught to write letters in print only. When kids reach the age of eight to ten, they are taught how to write in cursive. They may find this quite difficult and boring at first. But one fun way to teach them this is to use worksheets also.
I have said ”Don’t Use Worksheets” about every way there is to say it, and each time I have included solid brain-based, researched reasons for this statement; and yet, I know that many people will ignore the science in favor of the convenience. It is very difficult to fight the tide when there are so many internet sites pushing worksheets at parents, and so many reputable textbook companies doing likewise. It is difficult to remember the reasons to avoid them when one has very little time to devote to working with math. Worksheets just seem so much easier than doing things any other way. Can they really cause harm?
As far as using worksheets for busy work, the verdict is in. It is destructive to classroom learning to assign worksheets to simply keep students occupied. Busy work creates monotony, causes boredom and increases the likelihood of behavior problems. Period.
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