Kahlilia Bouteflika September 11, 2020 Math Worksheets
Teaching kids can be tough. Not only is it a full time job to make sure they're on task, but you also have to address their individual learning needs and make sure that they're appropriately challenged.
There are a few ways to make this not only engaging but also interesting. It's important to be sure that kids are learning at their most appropriate level without making the material too difficult or too simple.
When material is too simple, boredom ensues and the result in a typical classroom is acting out and general malaise for the whole situation.
Many children find that it's a waste of their time to simply fill out worksheets or do rote exercises again and again. I was a student like this and quickly realized that I could easily complete the material and then draw in my notebook or fake an illness to go home and watch television, all while getting the work done and not upsetting my parents or my teachers.
In other words, I got away with having it all my way, but I'd have been much better off with teachers who knew what I needed in the way of an appropriate challenge.
On the other hand, when material is too complex, frustration occurs and often the result comes down to behavior problems.
As an example, many of my students when I was teaching in the classroom would find certain material frustrating. My response was to adjust the material accordingly and then be sure to reevaluate the child at a later date to make sure she/ he was on the right track.
More than a few of my coworkers did not know how to make this adjustment and had their students working on material that was simply too hard for them to complete at that juncture. The unfortunate result was kids acting out and causing trouble in the classroom, often with the teacher having no idea why.
This is an element of teaching that is clearly not addressed sufficiently in college and student teaching programs as evidenced by my own experience.
To illustrate just how to keep kids on track better, whether the student is in the classroom or is completing homework at home, let's use the example of an elementary student who is working on mathematics.
Given a basic worksheet that concentrates on multiplication, consider how a student who finds the work to be too easy may react. As mentioned above, they will find themselves bored and generally not happy with being at school.
In this scenario, the child will not benefit by practicing more and more of the same- the best way to address this student is to use activities which challenge their knowledge and have them apply it in new ways such as with multiplying larger numbers and adding in some addition and subtraction as well.
Given that same basic worksheet concentrating on multiplication, let's consider what would happen if the material was not yet fully grasped by a student. As I stated above, the common result is frustration and a resulting acting out of the student in the school setting.
Here, the child would benefit greatly from a set of math manipulative. Even something as simple as a box of rubber balls would be helpful in illustrating the concept of multiplication. In this way, you meet the child where they are academically and help them to build their understanding and skills in a constructive and positive manner.
All children need to be taught in a way that works best for their particular method of learning and current level of knowledge. A few minutes of assessment and planning for each individual student will help the teacher, whether in a classroom or at home, to be confident and rise to academic challenges appropriately and happily.
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