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A Math Worksheet To Inspire Success
It’s amazing the difference in effort you’ll get from spreadsheet to spreadsheet. Admittedly, the amount of effort can vary wildly from year to year depending on the group of students you have. However, in most cases, where a worksheet is needed to help drill down a procedure, standard, or lesson, its effectiveness can and will vary.
Therefore, it is our duty as teachers to ensure that when we need to use a worksheet, we provide students with one that is as inspiring as possible.
Times are different these days. Kids grow up in a world of microwaves, fast food chains, Nintendo, Wi-Fi, iPads, and a ton of other technical marvels.
When I was growing up, we didn’t have computers at home let alone a PlayStation to entertain us. Handheld camcorders were just hitting the retail market when I was in 8th grade, but still a far cry from the YouTube and Facebook arena we see today. The times were extremely different back then and so was the school.
From a teacher’s perspective, our competition is tough. Handing out a handout of 30 problems that are all 534×25= is not as challenging to students as playing games like Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil.
Granted, it’s always going to be an uphill battle for math to trump most video games, but the fact is, today’s students are far more immersed in technology than ever before. So even if you have to hand out a math worksheet to review concepts and formulas, it will greatly benefit your cause if you design the worksheet to be as engaging as possible.
Therefore, creativity is a must for worksheets to succeed.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to revise math, science, reading, writing, health, or social studies, your goal should always be to try to create something that will spark a desire in students to do it. If you can do that, the battle is almost over already.
For example, since I want to make sure my students get used to reviewing the different math concepts and standards we learned throughout the year, I have them practice regularly. I want them to get to a point where they are so familiar with grade level math content, that solving these types of problems becomes automatic.
However, caution should be exercised when revision is repeatedly discussed in your class. You don’t want your students to get bored or frustrated with repetition.
Another important point I keep in mind is that I never want that regular math review time to take up an hour of class. I want it to be fast but effective. This is not teaching time, but time for students to review material they have already learned.
In my 5th grade class, we use a math review series that is both engaging and entertaining. Essentially, they are simply half-page handouts with ten standards-based math problems woven into a special image or exciting scene. Remember, I want math review time to be quick, but efficient.
My students are engaged in the activity because they are always eager to find out what the next scene will be and how the math problems will be nested within. They also like the way I write the title in each document in a way that matches the theme of that particular scene – another attention-grabbing technique. And since this review activity only takes about fifteen minutes of class time, it is quick but extremely beneficial.
The point is, all it takes is to actively engage students in the review process where they don’t get bored and effectively revise grade-level material to prepare them for national or quarterly assessments.
I hope this has inspired you to develop exciting and engaging revision worksheets for your class when needed and that your students get as much as they can when it comes time to test.
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