Monday, April 28, 2008


Worksheets are the stepchild of education in many ways. They're trite, dull, lack authenticity, and are pretty much looked down upon in education school. They're also very handy and don't deserve the reputation they have. Plus they may be the one thing to settle a rowdy class down enough to actually teach them.

The reason I'm bringing this up is a conversation that's been going on over at A to Z Teacher Stuff regarding an out of control class that a teacher inherited. There were several good suggestions but the one that stood out was the suggestion that they students get worksheets to keep them busy the entire hour until they get under control. Apparently there is a comfort factor for students with worksheets that gets forgotten by teachers and so-called experts alike. Student gets worksheet, student does worksheet, it's almost pavlonian once you hit middle school. I think that sometimes we spend so much time trying to reach their zone of proximity and trying to make lessons more authentic that we forget that sometimes the simple approach works the best.

Let's see how 6th period likes nothing but worksheets for a while. That and detention slips may get them back into line. Nothing else has worked so far and I did find six algebra worksheets over the weekend that should do the trick.

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