Arjean Alice February 20, 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.
If you have read my article ”Helping Your Child With Basic Arithmetic? Stay Away From Worksheets” then you know that I am not a fan of traditional worksheets. After writing that article, I found another credible teacher who has written many ezine articles expounding on the benefits of worksheets. I decided some clarification of position is in order. The primary problem with most math worksheets is that the problems are already written out and the child need only write the answers. For learning and practicing the basic skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, it is much more beneficial for the child to write out the entire fact and say the entire fact out loud. A child will learn a multiplication fact much faster if they are writing out 6 x 8 = 48 at the same time they are saying ”six times eight is forty-eight” than if they just see 6 x 8 = ___ and only have to supply the 48.
The children should love to do the worksheets; they should not be thrust upon them. Also doing only worksheets alone repeatedly would not be very productive. You should have a range of physical games and activities as well that would reinforce the concepts learnt. Here are a few ideas for such activities: The alphabet song: This remains a lovely way to practise the alphabet. Sing it slowly and sing it often. If you have a large alphabet chart and point out to each letter while you sing, it will be of great value. You can give all children letter cards in order (alphabet flashcards); they can hold up each letter as it is sung. Show a magazine or picture book to children. Ask them to identify all instances of the given letter in any page. Hand out letter cards to all children. Call out a letter. The child with that card has to come in front of the class and display the letter. Divide the class into two groups. Give one group letter cards. Give other group various objects. The first group will hold up a letter. The second group should hold up an object that starts with that letter. Where can we get kindergarten abc worksheets? You can design them yourself and print them out. Many printed workbooks are available. A good alternative is to download printable kindergarten abc worksheets. This is advantageous because you can then usually print out any sheet any number of times.
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.
Benefit-1 – Innovative worksheets for kids created by educationists can be used to teach Maths, English and EVS to make the foundational concepts easy and intriguing in an enjoyable format. Benefit-2 – Rewards in the form of stickers can be given on completion of worksheets to the young learners. These rewards have the potential to keep them motivated and boost their confidence. Benefit-3 – Worksheets give the added advantage of transforming into colouring worksheets where kids can express their creativity while playing with colours. Benefit-4 – 1 worksheet per day keeps tuition’s away. Kids have a short attention span, Worksheets simplify the learning process and each preschool worksheet can be completed in about 7 – 10 minutes. Benefit-5 – Educationists create sets of worksheets as per the academic curriculum of the learners. The learning objectives are set as per the kid’s level of understanding. Therefore, worksheets for Class 1 will vary from nursery worksheets.
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.
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