Liliane Louison February 28, 2021 worksheets
To summarize: math worksheets don’t teach, teachers teach. Of course, there is a place for math worksheets. After some instruction has occurred, math worksheets can provide extended practice and support development in fluency, provided the teacher is engaged with students as they work. Teachers who are effective at grouping students can use math worksheets as a springboard for discussions, discovery, and communication. So the next time you do a search for curriculum materials, skip the worksheets. Instead, consider resources that provide interactive experiences or consider sites that provide students with challenging problems. These sites will more likely engage students, foster discussion, and build a true understanding of the purpose and joy of learning math. Lauri Susi has over 20 years experience as a classroom teacher in grades pre-k through high school. Throughout most of those years, she taught at the university level as well, and she continues to hold a university post today. Lauri has a masters degree in special education and educational technology. She is an expert in matters involving students with special needs, students who struggle, and the strategic use of technology within school districts. She has co-directed a research project on fractions software for upper-elementary students, and has co-directed the implementation of a large-scale research project on technology to teach math to second grade students. Lauri is an excellent teacher-trainer and consultant to district administrators. She lives in Orlando, Florida.
Although preschool workbooks are popular, many parents like the convenience that is associated with printable preschool worksheets. The only problem with printable preschool worksheets is that they can use up a lot ink, especially if the selected preschool worksheets are in colored ink. To save yourself money and printer ink, you may want to search for preschool worksheets that are in black and white. If you are unable to find black and white preschool worksheets that you like, you can still go for the colored ones; however, you may want to consider adjusting your printer settings. Instead of having them print off in colored ink, you may want to adjust your settings to gray scale. This will save you a considerable amount of money and printer ink, especially in the long run. Doing this can also create an additional activity for your child, as you can have them color all the pictures themselves.
2. Math worksheets don’t promote critical thinking. Math worksheets rarely ask students to think critically or creatively. They usually present multiple examples of the same problem type with the hope of reinforcing a skill or procedure. They do not challenge students to use higher order thinking skills such as comparing, analyzing, deducing, and synthesizing. These skills are built through activities in which students discover concepts, explore ideas, test a hypothesis, solve a problem, and discuss their thinking with their peers. Exploring concepts and problems in many different ways builds interest and promotes critical thinking. 3. Math worksheets don’t promote communication and collaboration. Math worksheets are often assigned as an independent activity, however research indicates that communication and discourse are needed to build a deep understanding of math topics. Students need opportunities to explore mathematical ideas in different ways and to build their own connections. This involves communicating their ideas, listening to the ideas of others, arguing a viewpoint, describing, and explaining. Math worksheets are rarely used as a catalyst for conversation. Instead of assigning worksheets, find activities that encourage discourse, such as ”number talks,” or collaborative group work. During the session, be sure to require students to explain their thinking and listen to the strategies and thinking of their peers. If you are fortunate enough to have an interactive whiteboard in your classroom, using it with interactive math software creates many opportunities for group discussion and student participation. Teachers can can begin by posing problems and modeling approaches, and then ask students to work together to find solutions. Then have them come to the board to demonstrate their solutions in front of the class. These days, many examples of how to teach math concepts on an interactive whiteboard can be found online in the various whiteboard community sites, educational sites, YouTube, etc.
Even the youngest students–kindergarteners–will benefit from printable worksheets. They will help your little one learn and master basic concepts in way that will capture and hold their attention. Remember that small kids enjoy doing things rather than simply reading or listening. For this reason, attractive, well-illustrated worksheets with something to do will make learning fun for them. What’s more, completing your worksheet will give the child a tremendous sense of fulfillment. Remember to select worksheets that are the right level difficulty for your child. Get something too hard, and your child will become discouraged. Make it too easy, and they won’t learn much. Homeschool worksheets are far more than busy work. They are an important part of making sure that the concepts you teach in your home school stick with your child. Just make sure you have a good source for providing the worksheets, and that they’re the right ones for your kid or kids.
Another problem with almost all worksheets is that they don’t prevent incorrect answers. Self-checking worksheets just let the student know they did something wrong–after the fact. I am a firm believer in the concept that, if at all possible, learning should be structured in small chunks in such a way that there is very little possibility for error. Worksheets often allow for mistakes to be made and then to be repeated many times. A mistake that gets practiced is extremely difficult to correct. This especially happens when worksheets are used as time fillers or baby sitters and the work isn’t really being supervised. There are some new materials being developed now based on what we are learning about how the brain learns. These brain-friendly materials should be an improvement over what has existed. I recently bought a book by Marcia L. Tate titled ”Mathematics Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites.” I highly recommend her book. She gives a great deal of information on alternative activities that are better for your child’s brain development and for learning.
Find the Subjects. As you search out free worksheets you can print for use in your home, you should keep a list of your subjects close by. This will enable you to check your list to see how well a worksheet fits into your plan for teaching your child. This will keep you from printing up worksheets you aren’t going to use. Some websites will actually provide an extensive listing of worksheets from which to choose, allowing you to get most of the worksheets you need in one place. Print Them Up. After you find the online worksheets for kids that will work for the subject matter you are going to teach your child, you can print them up. This will allow your child to complete the work offline. Because many people like to restrict the amount of screen time their child gets, especially when the child is young, doing some work off the computer will be beneficial.
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