By Colette Frechette at May 07 2019 20:50:29
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.
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.