Pascale Mélodie February 3, 2019 worksheets
Rather than using worksheets, a better method is to use individual size white boards and have the child writing entire facts many times. Having a child writing 9 x 7 = 7 x 9 = 63 while saying ”nine times seven is the same as seven times nine and is equal to sixty-three” is many times more successful than a worksheet with 9 x 7 = ___ and the student just thinks the answer once and then writes that answer on the duplicate problems. I will admit that there is one type of worksheet that I used in the past and found relatively beneficial, although it had a different kind of flaw. For my Basic Math, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra classes, I had several books of ”self-checking” worksheets. These worksheets had puns or puzzle questions at the top, and as the students worked the problems they were given some kind of code for choosing a letter to match that answer. If they worked the problems correctly, the letters eventually answered the pun or riddle. Students enjoyed these worksheets, but there are a couple problem areas even with these worksheets. Some students would get the answer to the riddle early and then work backward from letter to problem answer, so they weren’t learning or practicing anything.
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.
Future Use of Color. Other than making sure your socks match, we use color in ways that we, as adults, are often not aware of. Obviously there are traffic lights that require us to know our colors, and road signs are differentiated by their color too. Reading a map, even on a GPS, relies on color recognition to identify certain features. Color also influences the way we behave, our moods, and how we react to other people. Creative Expression. Color is a vital part of creative expression, and while it is important that your child learn that the sky is blue and grass is green, it is also important that they be allowed to experiment with color. Mixing paints and having free rein to color a picture any way they want to, allows children to express themselves creatively, so don’t always insist that they use color accurately. Start teaching your child about color as early as possible. By the age of four years, your child should recognize and be able to name around ten different colors. Reinforce what they learn by playing games using color. Preschool printable worksheets will give your child the opportunity to put their learning into practice in a variety of ways.
Have you ever noticed how many K-12 math content websites are devoted to math worksheets? There seems to be an increase in websites that cater to desperate teachers and parents by offering fast, free ”worksheet generation”, ”10 free fractions worksheets,” etc. Now, as a former teacher I am not saying that one should never use math worksheets; however, I do believe that many teachers are using a very superficial method of instruction that relies too much on low-level math worksheets and hands-off instructional approaches. Worksheet lessons move from reading the directions aloud, to doing sample problems as a group, to completing the worksheet independently (or at home with parents), day in and day out. Teaching needs to be more than passing out worksheets. Whether you are the classroom teacher, instructional specialist, or parent, the methods you use greatly impact the level of understanding achieved by your students.
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.
Remedial Work. If your child studied fractions during the last school year but just didn’t quite ”get it”, don’t worry. Use printable fraction worksheets found on the internet to review with him. These worksheets won’t cost you a dime and you can find all you need. Consider having your child do one quick worksheet two to three times per week during the summer as a stress-free way to review his fractions. When the child doesn’t have a full load of schoolwork, they often don’t mind doing a couple of worksheets. This is an excellent way to review a difficult subject such as fractions and it keeps the subject fresh in your child’s mind. So whether you need to save money in your home school or your child needs extra help with fractions, try using printable fraction worksheets today to save money and make homeschooling just a little bit easier on you.
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