Worksheets are a great tool for teachers to use in order to understand just where students are in their understanding. However, worksheets can get tiresome and tedious after too much use. So, how do you get away from the worksheet? We find ways to get creative and go beyond the worksheet for students.
Why Go Beyond the Worksheet?
Going beyond the worksheet can be great for so many reasons. One thing doing this does is create variance in your classroom. When you do the same thing over and over again, it can create a great routine. However, too much of the same thing can get dull and incite behavior issues. Another reason you should think about going beyond the worksheet is you! As a teacher, you are already overwhelmed with so much to do. By going beyond the worksheet, you are giving yourself a well-deserved break because you will have less to grade in the end. These are just two reasons why going beyond the worksheet is worth it. Now, how do you do it?
Gamify Your Review
Review is always a great way to refresh your students’ memories as well as get ready for test season. However, doing worksheet after worksheet isn’t the best thing for review. Instead, try using games to get a good review in. For example, Scoot gets your students up and moving and trying a variety of levels of problems. In addition, you can also use BUMP games that are perfect for adding games to your math and literacy centers.
Make Your Math and Literacy Centers Picture Perfect
Speaking of math and literacy centers, you can go beyond there too! Whether you’re playing a game or doing a variety of activities, it’s not always a worksheet that you need. If you have students creating something, have them take a picture of it using their iPad or Snipping Tool and add it to SeeSaw or Google Classroom. The picture will provide the evidence you need to prove the students are doing the work. In addition, you can also have students take progress pictures and post them in science class. This is a great way to add STEM to your centers! For example, if you’re growing grass, instead of an observation sheet, have students complete an observation picture. Every day they take a picture of the “grass” to see how it grows. This is a quick and easy way to see growth. Then, you can practice your writing skills in your literacy centers!
Ditch the Worksheet and Go Digital
Another way to go beyond the worksheet is to get ahead of the times. The digital world of education is exploding and while there is still room for true hands on learning, going digital can save you a ton of worksheets. Several online platforms help with grading and you can create amazing projects and activities that get you thinking way deeper than a worksheet ever could! In addition, you can implement digital elements into your math and literacy centers to help enrich and review material without the worksheet.
Focus on the Process
Finally, it’s important to focus on the process of getting to the end sometimes. Therefore, when you’re looking at the process, you aren’t really needing a worksheet to show growth. Instead, you can have students record discussions and post them to their online classroom or you can have them use pictures to show the process. Whenever you are learning something knew, knowing how to get from point A to point B is vital. Therefore, going beyond the worksheet and thinking solely of the process can make the end result that much better.
Worksheets are always going to be around. However, they don’t need to be the only thing we use in the classroom. By branching out and going beyond the worksheet, you’re creating variance in your classroom that is beneficial to you and your students! Plus, it’s easy to go beyond the worksheet in every aspect of your class.
Until Next Time…
Keep Being Educational Rock Stars