By Chantell Giraud. Kindergarten Worksheet. Published at Thursday, October 24th, 2019 - 21:15:32 PM.
I’m not saying you should never use a worksheet, especially with those kids who LOVE them. Really you should only be using them with the kids that love them. If your child doesn’t love worksheets, you should be finding a new way to learn. Now that doesn’t mean you give them worksheets everyday, all day. Think of it this way, what if your child loved candy as much as they loved doing worksheets and they wanted to eat candy all day long? Would you let them? Most likely not. Just like candy, worksheets should be used in moderation with the ones who love doing them.
Worksheets can be a cop-out. Sound a little harsh? My opinion is that teachers and homeschooling who rely on worksheets are choosing not to find ways to really challenge and interest their kids. It’s the easy way out. Worksheets might not allow higher level thinking. Most worksheets have just one right answer, or one way to complete them. If we consistently keep our kids inside a box, they won’t be able to stretch. Teachers who use worksheets may not be teaching what their students are ready to learn. It really, really makes me cringe when a teacher or homeschooling parent has an entire year’s worth of worksheets printed and ready to go before the school year starts. (And yes, I’m including pre-printed workbooks here.) How do you know that’s what your child will need to learn? Maybe your first grader struggles with addition in August. But she could have a firm grasp on it by December. Are you still going to give her all those pre-printed worksheets or have her complete every page in that workbook? Challenge her with something new.
This page came about because I receive many questions from teachers looking for worksheets for their Pre-K or Kindergarten classes. This deeply saddens me because while that teacher is taking the time to look for worksheets on the internet he or she could be using that time to search the internet for valuable teaching ideas that will benefit their students so much more than a worksheet ever could. I realize that some of you may be angered by the implication that worksheets are not good teaching practice or even harmful. My goal is to provide information only, if you choose to read it you can agree or disagree with my views, but at least I have put my message out there. A new “code name” for worksheets is “morning work.” What a child really needs in the morning is a warm greeting from the teacher and interaction with peers! My No More Letter of the Week page that also fits with this theme.
Practice for Kindergarten, “I need to use worksheets because they need the practice for kindergarten, that’s what they’ll be doing in kindergarten”. FALSE. My job as a professional educator is to help each child be as successful as possible in my classroom. “I will not prepare my students for inappropriate practices by doing inappropriate things in my own class.” If worksheets are what they’re doing in Kindergarten then perhaps the teaching practices in those classrooms need to be examined. This is how the worksheet cycle perpetuates itself, one teacher or grade level relies heavily on worksheets for instruction and then all the other grades/teachers fall in behind them at the copy machine. I challenge teachers everywhere to break the worksheet cycle and actually teach young children instead of occupying them with worksheets. It’s just like peer pressure in high school, don’t let yourself fall victim to it.
What is a Worksheet? A worksheet is paper and pencil. There are no other materials used in conjunction with the worksheet. These include handwriting practice sheets and coloring pages. Sometimes parents like to pull out manipulative for math worksheets to help the child “build” the answer. I still count these as worksheets. You really only need the manipulative anyway, and the child will get far more out of the lesson if he writes his own equations rather than writing an answer down on a worksheet. A worksheet is not a printable that is used to enhance a hands on activity. Do you see the difference here? When we use a hands on material like unifix cubes to help solve problems on a worksheets, it’s not okay. But if the worksheet (or printable) is used to enhance the activity such as counting mats, it’s okay. The worksheet should be an afterthought, not the reason for the manipulative. With that in mind, lets talk about why worksheets should not be in the early childhood setting.
Innovative worksheets for kids created by educationists can be used to teach Math, English and EVS to make the foundational concepts easy and intriguing in an enjoyable format. Rewards in the form of stickers can be given on completion of worksheets to the young learners. These rewards have the potential to keep them motivated and boost their confidence. Worksheets give the added advantage of transforming into coloring worksheets where kids can express their creativity while playing with colours.
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