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By Vachel Simon at April 08 2019 08:10:30

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.

To know if you are on the right track with worksheets in your classroom, answer (honestly) these simple questions: _ Do my students groan when I hand out a worksheet? (The answer should be no.) _ Are my lesson plans based on worksheets? (The answer should be no.) _ Do I feel anxiety if I don't have worksheets copied? (The answer should be no.) _ Are students excited about learning in my classroom? (The answer should be yes!)