By Tyler Kirk at April 24 2019 19:46:54
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.
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!