By Monika Muller at April 14 2019 12:53:18
Then along came digital copiers and the purple_ink mimeograph machine disappeared. But the teaching tool that the mimeograph machine spawned _ the worksheet _ has lived on... and on... and on. For decades _ literally decades _ teachers have been enamored with worksheets. So what is the bottom line? Are worksheets a serious teaching tool or an over_used form of busy work? The answer, of course, is both.
One of the features of Excel that is often overlooked is working with grouped worksheets. When you group the worksheets within a workbook, you can perform operations to several worksheets at one time. This eliminates the necessity of doing the same operation over and over to different worksheets. To group worksheets which are next to each other in the workbook: Click on the sheet tab for the first worksheet. Hold the Shift Key. Click on the last sheet tab to be included in the group. To group worksheets which are not right next to each other: Click on the sheet tab for the first worksheet. Hold the Control Key. Click on each sheet tab to be included in the group
Students can certainly benefit from practicing new skills and concepts on paper. From letters and numbers to report summary formats, worksheets can provide students with a framework for practice _ an avenue for synthesizing new information in their brains. Well designed worksheets can also give students a platform for expressing creative ideas and reaching towards higher levels of thinking. So what is the concern? There are three big concerns, actually. Our teacher "caution light" should start blinking if we are using lower_level_thinking worksheets (Example: "Check the box next to the correct answer."), if we are using too many worksheets or if we are using worksheets as classroom busy work.
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.