By Cameron Dyett at April 10 2019 10:37:37
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.
There are many more worksheets available. They vary in complexity of the activity depending on the age and grade level of a child. Other activities for kindergarten include jigsaw puzzles. There are also worksheets that teach children about some biblical characters, and how to help a community. These activities are not limited to individual work. There are also worksheets that require a group effort to finish the task. This way, children learn to work in a team. This is a very effective group activity in helping them realize the importance of cooperation and teamwork.
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.
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!