By Riley Scaddan at May 14 2019 05:51:46
Engagement entails much more than rote repetition of a procedure. Math worksheets tend to present very similar problem types over and over, leading to mundane practice of disassociated skills. For students who understand the material and successfully complete an assignment, another worksheet becomes meaningless. On the other hand, for the students who don't understand the material, an alternative method of instruction is what's needed. Another worksheet simply adds to the student's frustration, or worse, contributes to a belief that "I'll never understand math." A cute image or a "fill_in_the_blanks" riddle does nothing to increase engagement or learning (and let's face it, those riddles are not funny!). Instead, teachers need to increase engagement by providing students with exercises in which they discover patterns and relationships, solve problems, or think creatively about math relationships.
Problems should use the Courier font. Why? Every Courier font character uses the same amount of space. A comma is the same width as the number 5. This means that all of the numbers line up perfectly for carrying during addition and bringing the zero down in division. Are the problems too close together? Make sure you can distinguish between the problem number and the actual problems. The problem numbers should be less obtrusive. Students with and without ADD and ADHD can become distracted by too many distractions!? Are there too many problems on the page? Some authors attempt to pack in the problems, leaving little room for students to show their work. The opposite can also be the case. Maybe there are not enough problems to accurately assess student knowledge.