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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Worksheets are boring

Here is a worksheet, there's a worksheet, read this worksheet, finish this worksheet. Really, are we still living a worksheet world. I am an adult so my attention span is supposed to bigger than that of school age children. If I had to sit a desk and do worksheets or read out of a text book five days a week for several hours a day you would need to order my straight jacket in XL. We expect young children to do this day in and day out? Then if a child is easily bored with sitting and doing worksheets and it hard to keep on task society wants to label them with a disorder. We have too many resources for children to sit all day and do worksheets and read from textbooks. This is not teaching, it is sucking the life out of children. With the use of technology, a ton of teaching strategies, and more importantly; our brains, we need to get these kids up and moving a little. Must they be doing something active all the time? Of course not. Plan activities not just lessons. They need to get OUTSIDE every now and then for something besides a few minutes of recess. Teach them how to stop and smell the roses...what are roses anyhow? Are they plants or animals? How do we know that?....sorry one of those teachable moments just clicked. How about group work? Oh, they are to rowdy? Is it because there haven't been guidelines and procedures set for them for group work? If they do not know what to do then, yes, it could become quite chaotic. My son once came home from middle school telling me how he despised group work. He tends to be a loner, more of an intrapersonal learner but I ask him why. Shrug of shoulders, of course. "Were the kids not doing their assigned 'jobs'?" He looks at me like I lost my mind. "Did you want to do something else in the group besides what you were told to do?" Crickets could be heard chirping for miles. "I don't know what you mean Mom. Nobody does anything but sit around and argue about who needs to do what." Yes, if kids do not know their roles this could be a big problem. If you have a group of finger pointers and tattle tales it would probably be best if you assigned the roles yourself. I think it is a good idea to give them a list of the roles needed and let them decide in a timely manner. Plus, less trees are killed in the process and the copier gets a little break so much more important things can be printed out, such as, school lunch menus. ;)

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