“Not all worksheets are created equal” - I recently read the “Frickin’ Packets” blog post by Jennifer Gonzalez - @cultofpedagogy where she discusses the difference between “busysheets” and “powersheets”. Busysheets being the “kind where students are either doing work that’s fairly low-level recall stuff–filling in blanks with words, choosing from multiple-choice questions, labeling things–or work that has no educational value at all, like word searches, word scrambles, or coloring stuff in cases where coloring adds no extra layer of understanding.” Powersheets, on the other hand, support thoughtful, relevant, high-level learning. Most “worksheets” fall somewhere within this continuum. Gonzalez does a thorough job of classifying different busysheet activities and gives an extensive list of ideas for lessons and activities outside the realm of worksheets and packets (stapled worksheets) that can engage students, promote more rigorous and relevant student learning, and save teachers time with tedious grading and stacks of papers. Her post is pertinent to the discussion of student engagement and relevant learning and definitely gives us all something to think about as we plan for the remainder of this year and next.
"So my challenge to you is simple: From now on, every time you’re about to use a worksheet, ask yourself if it’s contributing to student learning or if it’s actually just keeping them busy. If it’s the latter, start replacing your worksheets with better, richer alternatives. Your students will learn better, school will be more fun, and you’ll waste a whole lot less time in line at the copy machine." - Jennifer Gonzalez
Link to @cultofpedagogy article Frickin’ Packets
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Secondary Technology Integration Coach for GFPS. Former high-school history and psychology teacher. Montana native, and avid user of ed-tech!