Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2018 September

Use Old-Fashioned Worksheets in Class

Just because new technology exists (e.g., webforms, smart devices, apps, online quizzes), doesn’t mean we have to use it in the classroom. In fact, every tool should be evaluated based on necessity, effectiveness, and whether it fits your teaching style. Teachers that are the most comfortable with new technologies are not necessarily the best teachers. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to discourage the use of technology. But there is something to be said for the proper use of old-fashioned worksheets.

Worksheets are not quizzes, so don’t use them to assess students. Use them to teach students how to study your topic:

  • Create worksheets for your lessons that lead students through the learning objective, building on the topic with increasing depth as they answer subsequent questions.
  • Include at least one open-ended question that encourages critical thinking. This is especially useful if there are multiple possibilities for the answer.
  • Plan group activities that allow students to work together to discover the answers on the worksheets.
  • Wrap up the worksheet activities with introspective questions that personalize the material for your students: how does this information affect me, what do I think is important or not important about this information, what lingering questions do I have, what else do I need to know about this topic?
  • Encourage students to use the completed worksheets as study guides.