By Amy Ostendorf at April 14 2019 19:06:22
We have come a long way as teachers since those purple_ink mimeograph machines introduced us to worksheets, so let's be vigilant! Avoid lower_level_thinking worksheets, do not use too many worksheets (even good ones) and NEVER use worksheets as busy work. Instead, let's fill our classrooms with meaningful, thoughtful lessons and activities that peak student interest and promote higher_level learning. And that is a message worth copying and handing out!
Both lower_level_thinking worksheets and too many (even high quality) worksheets can hold students back by not providing stimulus and challenge. Studies have shown for years (just do a Google search!) that children learn best through active involvement and real_life experiences. Virtually every teacher knows that children learn to read by being exposed to books and by being read to, NOT by completing worksheets. The same applies to all areas of learning. As far as using worksheets for busy work, the verdict is in. It is destructive to classroom learning to assign worksheets to simply keep students occupied. Busy work creates monotony, causes boredom and increases the likelihood of behavior problems. Period.
Know what you are buying. If you can't see it (there is no sample shown), then do not buy it. There are many people out there trying to make a buck off the current popularity of worksheets. Many, if not most, of these people know nothing about mathematics, teaching, or how the brain learns. Anyone can type columns of addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc. problems; but these worksheets will be bad for your child. Don't trust what you can't see.
Reading comprehension worksheets should be patterned moderately. That is to say, it should not be so hard to understand neither should it be so easy to solve. Some publishers make their worksheets easy for students to pass so that the school admin will continue to order for their products. That is not a good educational practice.