Leonda Fatima February 28, 2021 worksheets
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.
Other Benefits of Worksheets. In addition to the benefit of completing some of the work away from the computer, you will be able to take these worksheets with you anywhere you go. This means if you go on vacation, your child can still complete some of his school work. With the use of these worksheets, your child will also be able to work on his penmanship skills. With the use of computers, too many people are losing their penmanship. When you choose to homeschool your child, it is important to use all the resources available to you to ensure your child gets the proper education. This includes finding online worksheets for kids in the subjects you intend to cover. You can then print up the worksheets so your child can complete them away from the computer, allowing your child to work anywhere you go. In addition, these worksheets will allow your child to work on his penmanship, serving more than one purpose to your child’s education.
No matter what materials you choose, it is most important that you supervise your child constantly so that mistakes get caught rather than practiced. I learned this particular lesson the hard way. When my daughter was young, she did something that needed ”attention.” I no longer remember what it was that she did, but I told her to write the sentence ”I will not disobey my parents again” 50 times. I should have known better, but I didn’t check on her at the beginning and then I got busy. So, sometime later, she brought me 50 sentences of ”I will not disobey my parents agen.” She had just practiced misspelling ”again” as ”agen” — 50 times! I’m not certain that we ever really got that fixed. This issue of NOT practicing mistakes is extremely important. Parents shouldn’t give worksheets as busy work and teachers should only use them if you are going to have a non-math teacher substitute. White boards with supervision are always a better way to practice skills. If you need some time to do chores, your child will get much more benefit by helping you with the chores. And maybe you can work in a little discussion of numbers or counting while you do chores together.
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.
Quality may be a little more expensive, but good worksheets will motivate your child to produce neat work that they can be proud of. If you want to start preparing your child for preschool, kindergarten or even junior school, you need to find preschool worksheets that provide a variety of activities. Literacy, numeracy, reading, writing, drawing, social and natural sciences are some of the areas that children between the ages of 3 and 7 can and should start learning about. Look for variety in the worksheets, as repeating the same exercise over and over will bore your child. Lots of pictures, fun activities and clearly laid out worksheets are what you are looking for. If you’re just looking for a few fun pages to keep the kids busy while you cook dinner, then many of the free printable worksheets available will be suitable.
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