By Gaspar Desnoyers at March 09 2019 16:02:42
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!)
If the materials do not specifically indicate "brain_based," determine if they are at least "brain_friendly." This would mean that you are looking for lots of color, material interesting to the child, many varied activities_especially involving movement, and using several of the senses. I saw one company whose worksheets included the instruction to "say the number out loud as you..." This is very good! Speaking out loud is very important for learning to occur. Ideally, all worksheets should include this instruction. If you can't find any that do, then you need to add that instruction yourself. NEVER use "skill and drill" worksheets. These are the worksheets just made up of columns of problems. There are better materials out there, so don't resort to skill and drill. The very worst problem of skill and drill worksheets is the greatly increased chance of a practiced mistake. The same problem will likely appear several times on the same sheet. A wrong answer once means a wrong answer several times; and a practiced mistake takes hundreds of correct repetitions to fix. This danger alone is important enough to never use any worksheet. I am quite serious about how difficult it is to repair a practiced mistake. Learning is hard enough. Re_learning is much more difficult.