Voleta Fatoumata February 24, 2021 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.
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.
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.
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.
Tip #3 – Use Worksheets Sparingly. Since free multiplication worksheets are so easy to find, it’s tempting to give your child too many. You mean well, but it just seems like a good idea to have them do several at a time. Little brains can only take so much. Keep learning fun by sprinkling worksheets into their curriculum as a fun break from their usual textbook. Tip #4 – Keep it Fun. If you happen to have a competitive child, chances are he will love worksheets always trying to beat his last time. This is great and if this is the case, let him work all of the worksheets he wants. Just be sure that it is ”child-driven” not ”parent-driven” meaning – let it be his idea. As long as he is having fun and asking for more, let him have all he wants.
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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