By Laurette Barbier. Kindergarten Worksheet. Published at Saturday, October 12th, 2019 - 03:19:31 AM.
In my opinion, an occasional worksheet doesn’t hurt. Many educators would disagree with me on this one, and I respect their opinion. But I think that when worksheets are the exception, rather than the rule, of what we give our kids (even preschoolers), it’s okay. I do think that we should never force young children to do worksheets. If your preschooler is not interested in (or even resists) a worksheet, Put. It. Away. You may also find that your preschooler is excited about a worksheet but wants to stop after a few problems. Let him!. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to teach kids to sit for a few minutes and complete a simple pencil-and-paper assignment. And for young kids, I mean it when I say “a few minutes.” Thirty minutes is not a few. Worksheets might be a useful assessment tool. If your child is doing a worksheet on a learned skill, you might see what he understands and what you need to revisit. In the early childhood community, however, some educators believe that worksheets are inappropriate for this age level and may not tell you what a student truly understands.
“Worksheets typically have a ‘right answer.’ a child is expected to circle the rhyming words or match the pictures of things that start with the letter ‘G.’ children may learn quickly that putting down a wrong answer is emotionally costly. Worksheet activities may make them feel ignorant and incompetent, so that they learn to stop taking risks by guessing.” Dr. Sue Grossman
Arguments against using worksheets. Some of the worksheet quotes below are taken from the article above. “While children may have the ability to perform a task, that does not mean that the task is appropriate and should be performed” Dr. Sue Grossman. Worksheets can be used only one way. Worksheets and coloring books are generally considered convergent materials. They lead children to think that there is only a single correct way to use them, and they require little, if any, higher-order thinking. Our goal as professional educators should be lessons that encourage divergent thinking, not convergent thinking. Worksheet-based curricula dampen enthusiasm for learning. If worksheets have a place in the classroom they would be better found in classrooms of older children who have a background for working with symbols and abstractions (Bredekamp, S., 1987; Rosegrant, T., 1992). Worksheets and workbooks should be used in schools only when children are older and developmentally ready to profit from them (Bredekamp, S. & Rosegrant, T., 1992).
Below are some common misconceptions about the use of worksheets in the classroom. FALSE. Children do not always know what is best for them, just because they like something is not an indication that it is good for them. How many times have your students come to school dressed inappropriately for the weather or chosen to eat candy for lunch rather than the sandwich their mother packed for them? Because children do not know what is best for them, that is why we, as educators, must purposefully prepare appropriate materials and activities for our students instead of just copying off another worksheet, that is a cop-out in my opinion. As trained professionals in the field of education it is our duty to teach our students to the best of our ability and keep their best interests in mind while doing so. If we do not do that then we are cheapening the profession and adding to the already tarnished image teachers hold in this country.
My kids like them. Wait, doesn’t this contradict a point I made above? Not really. If my kids want to sit at the table while I’m making dinner and do a few worksheets, I don’t have a problem with that. It can be relaxing for them. It’s not a replacement for other learning because I wouldn’t be teaching right then anyway… and I don’t have the space or time to set up a big hands-on learning center while the stove is on, the baby is crying, and the toddler is hanging on my leg. Sometimes a parent or teacher just needs a break. You’re going to use worksheets once in a while? I won’t judge you. Planning hands-on activities takes time and resources we don’t always have. Sometimes we just need something simple. Like when you’re 9 months pregnant to the day and the baby shows no sign of making an appearance. My bottom line? A steady diet of worksheets is bad news. For some preschoolers, worksheets are never appropriate. For preschoolers who enjoy them, I don’t think worksheets are harmful every once in a while for a change of pace. For older kids, worksheets are appropriate when nothing else will do the job. Thoughtful teachers and homeschooling will strive to limit their use of worksheets in favor of activities which promote higher-level thinking and hands- on experiences.
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