By Cameron Dyett at April 15 2019 14:32:17
I have said "Don't Use Worksheets" about every way there is to say it, and each time I have included solid brain_based, researched reasons for this statement; and yet, I know that many people will ignore the science in favor of the convenience. It is very difficult to fight the tide when there are so many internet sites pushing worksheets at parents, and so many reputable textbook companies doing likewise. It is difficult to remember the reasons to avoid them when one has very little time to devote to working with math. Worksheets just seem so much easier than doing things any other way. Can they really cause harm?
The answer, of course, is YES they can. In my perfect world of mathematics education, no pre_school child is ever exposed to a worksheet of any kind. I would swing my magic wand, all worksheets would disappear, and the memory of them would be gone forever. In the real world, I know that simply won't happen. There will still be some parents who will insist on using worksheets.
In 1986, mimeograph machines were (for the most part) replaced by digital copiers in elementary schools. Those of us teachers who experienced using mimeograph machines will forever remember the distinct smell of the still_damp, purple_ink worksheets that we handed out to our students _ by the ream full. (If you're like me, you can remember that smell right now!)
Creating a Sum across worksheets. This is also an inter_active link. If a number changes on one worksheet, the sheet with the summary formula will also be updated. If a worksheet is inserted between worksheets in the sum, the sum will automatically be updated. Some of the disadvantages of this method are that all of the linked cells must be in the same location on all worksheets. Also, you can only sum one cell at a time (although you can copy the formula to other cells in the summary worksheet.) Using group mode to create identical spreadsheets will help when using the sum function across worksheets. This method is also limited to within a workbook and cannot be done across workbooks.