I'm so excited to share with you this wonderful post from a brand new guest posting friend: Catherine Ross. She has an awesome blog and some really great thoughts about education and bettering children's lives and experiences whether you are a parent or a teacher!
A positive mention of educational worksheets can evoke a lot of not-so-positive emotions among teachers and educationists. In fact, it is fashionable to condemn worksheets as a cop-out; something that lazy teachers use when they can’t be bothered to use more challenging teaching tools. But a judicious use of worksheets offers more benefits than you might imagine. Let’s take a measured look at how teachers can use them to supplement and improve classroom learning and make it more productive.
1. To reinforce previously learned concepts.
Once you have completed a topic in class, having your students do a couple of worksheets independently helps to reinforce and lock in the relevant information. For instance, once they have mastered the concept of addition in a variety of hands-on ways, an addition worksheet may be all they need to get some extra practice. Once they have understood what figures of speech are, a simple worksheet or two is sufficient to test their knowledge. Worksheets are good as long as you don’t use them as primary teaching tools.
2. To personalize the learning process.
Your students need to explore your teaching material and interact with it in meaningful ways. Printable worksheets help you to do just that. Depending on the lesson you’re teaching, there are several kinds of teacher worksheets you can use to enrich your classroom curriculum. Not surprisingly, there are thousands of these available, so you can easily find one that’s appropriate for the topics you’re teaching.
3. To help students prepare for tests and competitive exams
Most students get a bad case of pre-test jitters even if they seem to be super-confident in class. Worksheets are a great way to help them practice for tests, quizzes or competitive exams and give them an extra boost of confidence before test day. This is particularly true for those appearing for standardized testing like the SAT or ACT. Not surprisingly, worksheets also act as tools to help teachers assess where their students are on a specific topic and identify weak areas, if any.
4. To memorize data
Much as we dislike rote learning, some subjects cannot be mastered except by memorizing key data. Multiplication tables, for instance, need to be mugged up and so do the locations of the states in the U.S.A. A printable worksheet comes in handy because students can use it to practice facts and figures that need to be learned by rote. The appropriate use of worksheets can even lead to internalization, rather than mere memorization, of the relevant data.
If you’re looking to supplement your curriculum with inexpensive teaching aids, printing out a few worksheets might just do the trick!
Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at http://kidslearninggames.weebly.com/