Published at Monday, 02 September 2019. Kids Worksheet. By Bernadina Gilbert.
Are the problems too close together? Make sure you can distinguish between the problem number and the actual problems. The problem numbers should be less obtrusive. Students with and without ADD and ADHD can become distracted by too many distractions!? Are there too many problems on the page? Some authors attempt to pack in the problems, leaving little room for students to show their work. The opposite can also be the case. Maybe there are not enough problems to accurately assess student knowledge. Are the digits on the printed page large or small? In my opinion and within reason, the numbers can never be too large. Exhibiting stress at an early age on elementary students eyes from staring at small print can lead to stronger prescription lenses.
Another problem with almost all worksheets is that they do not prevent incorrect answers. Self-checking worksheets just let the student know they did something wrong-after the fact. I am a firm believer in the concept that, if at all possible,learning should be structured in small chunks in such a way that there is very little possibility for error. Worksheets often allow for mistakes to be made and then to be repeated many times. A mistake that gets practiced is extremely difficult to correct. This especially happens when worksheets are used as time fillers or baby sitters and the work is not really being supervised.
Is it his fault that he lacks confidence with word problems? Not entirely. Our actions, as educators, seem to imply a belief that solving word problems should come more naturally than simpler operations like arithmetic and algebra. Many parents and teachers feel justified in encouraging (i.e. forcing) a child to work hundreds or thousands of math worksheets, drill multiplication tables, long division but few encourage solving hundreds of story problems. One suspects that the relative ease of creating and checking ordinary math worksheets keeps the focus of math education on simple, atomic operations at the expense of more holistic story problems.
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