Published at Sunday, 17 January 2021. Reading Worksheets. By Lauren Leger.
The next step is learning to write numbers, and this is where mathematics worksheets become almost a necessity. Unless you have great handwriting, lots of spare time and a fair amount of patience, writing worksheets will help you teach this valuable skill to your child. Dot-to-dot, tracing, following the lines and other writing exercises will help your child learn how to write numbers. A good set of worksheets will include practice sheets with various methods to help your child learn to write numbers. Patterns and sequencing and basic addition and subtraction should follow on from counting and number recognition. By the time your child is starting kindergarten or school, they should be able to count to 20 with ease, write numbers, do simple addition sums, and have some understanding of patterns and sequences. Even if they are attending preschool, extra practice at home will help them improve their math.
In my first year of teaching and for many years that followed, I spent an inordinate amount of time preparing my own first day of school handouts. I thought it was the "hook" that students needed. I thought that teacher dominated discourse represented learning. But it really wasn not. It was actually a cover up for understanding the true purpose of what a good handout actually is all about.
I know that many people will ignore the science in favor of the convenience. It is very difficult to fight the tide when there are so many internet sites pushing worksheets at parents, and so many reputable textbook companies doing likewise. It is difficult to remember the reasons to avoid them when one has very little time to devote to working with math. Worksheets just seem so much easier than doing things any other way. Can they really cause harm? The answer, of course, is YES they can. In my perfect world of mathematics education, no pre-school child is ever exposed to a worksheet of any kind. I would swing my magic wand, all worksheets would disappear, and the memory of them would be gone forever. In the real world, I know that simply will not happen. There will still be some parents who will insist on using worksheets.
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