By Gaspar Desnoyers at August 29 2019 18:21:32
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.
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.