By Karla Jacques. Kindergarten Worksheet. Published at Wednesday, October 09th, 2019 - 05:44:18 AM.
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.
Why I occasionally* pull out a worksheet. *By occasionally, I mean less than once a month with my preschoolers at home. In the classroom, when I taught first grade and above, we used a couple of worksheets each day — but if I didn’t need sleep, I would have replaced even those with more thoughtful Sometimes, a worksheet is all that will do. When my kids have created letters in a variety of hands-on ways, it’s time to practice writing them. You need a handwriting worksheet for that. When kids have explored math concepts in hands-on ways, a worksheet may be helpful for additional practice.activities.
Worksheets Do Not Allow for Higher Level Thinking. Again, worksheets are there for spitting out information. Where is the thinking in that? Hands on manipulation of objects, gives children the opportunity to create hypothesis, test them out, and use their problem solving and critical thinking skills to completely understand how it works. Worksheets May Be “Teaching” What a Child is Not Ready For or Interested In. This is more towards workbooks, especially if you follow the workbook page by page. Just because the workbook says it’s for 3 year olds, does not mean your child is ready for it.
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.
Worksheets are Too Abstract. Young children are still in Piaget’s Pre operational Stage, which means they need symbols to represent objects.These young children cannot think abstractly. For example, they need a ball in their hands to understand what a ball is. Seeing the word ball on a worksheet or sometimes even just a picture of a ball, means nothing to them. That’s why hands on learning is best because it gives the child a symbol for their thinking. Writing on Lines is Not Appropriate. A very popular type of worksheet for this age group is handwriting sheets where the child is expected to trace the letter. These are not developmentally appropriate for young children. Even though huge letters that take up the whole page may be annoying to most adults, it’s normal for a child to write this way. Their fine motor skills are not refined enough to focus on tracing small letters. I know worksheets are the easy way to give a child something to do and easy to plan, but sometimes the best things in life are not easy.
FALSE. Following written directions? I find this statement very disturbing because preschoolers and kindergarteners can’t read, how can they be following any written directions? “The mere accomplishment of the worksheet task does not signify the child’s ability to read or comprehend.” As for the fine motor part of the statement, there are many more appropriate types of activities children can be doing to develop their fine motor skills than doing a worksheet, again, I find this to be a cop out. It’s easier to copy a worksheet and slap it on the table in front of the student rather than carefully planning out activities that will really engage them and develop their fine motor abilities at the same time.
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