By Ophelia Delannoy. Kindergarten Worksheet. Published at Wednesday, October 09th, 2019 - 07:51:22 AM.
Worksheets Take Away the Love of Learning. I see parents all the time in different Facebook groups mention something like this… I’m at a lost. My 2 year old is frustrating me with learning her letters. I have tried everything, we do a worksheet a day, but I feel like I’m beating a dead horse. Well that should be a clue right there! If you are frustrated and your child is frustrated when worksheets are being used, then it’s not an effective learning tool. I know what you’re thinking! But what if my child loves doing worksheets?. I’m not going to tell you that a young child isn’t going to love worksheets because I was the type of child that loved worksheets. I would sit for an hour and complete a whole workbook. My mom couldn’t buy enough workbooks to keep me satisfied, so I know that some kids do love them.
Ah, worksheets. I hesitate to even write this post because I don’t want to open a giant can of worms. The truth is that “worksheets” is one of those words that stirs up a lot of emotion among educators. Actually, I get pretty worked up about worksheets. I’m not going to claim that today’s post is indisputable fact. It’s my opinion — and while you may or may not agree, I want my readers to know where I stand.Are worksheets good or bad? First of all, what do I mean by “worksheet”?. My definition of worksheet: A printed page that a child completes with a writing instrument. No other materials are needed.
“Teachers who use worksheets believe they are demonstrating children’s learning progress to parents. Unfortunately worksheet activities are not developmentally appropriate and can cause many problems.” Dr. Sue Grossman.
Worksheets Leave No Room to Challenge The Norm. This is a huge one for me. When I taught in the public schools, we were told to get kids to think for themselves and defend their answers. But, their answers and evidence must match the teacher’s guide and test answer key. Really? How is it possible to get a child to think for themselves and defend their position, but also be correct 100% of the time according to an answer key? It’s just not possible! I look at it this way, if a child can defend their answer to any question using evidence then it’s correct whether the answer key says so or not. In 20 years, do we want people running this country who only know how to give one answer, or do we want people who can be creative and think outside the box?
Homework, “My kids beg for worksheets because they want to be like their older siblings and do “real” homework. There’s nothing wrong with sending a few worksheets home, it’s not like we’re doing them at school. FALSE. When we send worksheets home for “homework” we are sending the message to parents that worksheets are the way that young children learn best. Most parents are not professional educators, it’s our job to not only do what is best for our students but to also educate their parents about what is best as well, if we don’t then who will? Many parents don’t know any other way to help their children at home other than worksheets and workbooks. For this reason we hold a “Homework Night” early in the school year every year to educate our parents about how they can help their children at home. Our presentation includes information on how worksheets are not appropriate for young children and why. We explain that worksheets teach children that there is only one right answer and they do not allow children to think for themselves. We explain how writing on paper with lines (two solid and a dotted line in the middle) is not appropriate for certain ages and why (visual acuity, fine motor not developed enough, creates frustration and lack of desire to write etc) We also tell parents that there is a difference between their young child and older siblings and how older children are more developmentally ready to profit from using worksheets occasionally. Then, we introduce our homework program and show the parents specific ways they can help their children at home each night.
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.
Any content, trademark’s, or other material that might be found on the Psruckman website that is not Psruckman’s property remains the copyright of its respective owner/s. In no way does Psruckman claim ownership or responsibility for such items, and you should seek legal consent for any use of such materials from its owner.