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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Worksheet Alternatives Part #2

As I stated in my first article on Worksheet Alternatives, worksheets are a popular teaching strategy being used in classrooms today.


The second set of three strategies I would like to recommend to replace the traditional worksheet is SMART, Basketball, and Around the RoomSMART, Basketball, and Around the Room are all games, and games can be easily used to replace a worksheet.  What are worksheets?  Worksheets are ways to review material previously taught by the teacher.  SMART, Basketball, and Around theRoom are all games you can play on and off in your classroom for an entire class period or in elementary school for an entire day.  In middle and high school you are teaching one subject and would use the games to review this subject; while in elementary school, you would use these games to review all of the subjects you are teaching in one day.  First, the teacher would either present material or the students would obtain knowledge in a student centered way.  Next, the teacher would evaluate whether the material had been learned by the students by asking questions in one of the recommended game formats instead of passing out a worksheet.  In SMART and Basketball each student works alone and either attempts to spell SMART or collect chips for shooting baskets at the end of the class period or the end of the day (See directions for SMART and Basketball).  Aroundthe Room is just like SMART and Basketball except students are divided into two groups and one group is lined up on one side of the classroom and the other group on the other side of the classroom (See directions for Around the Room).  Again the teacher asks questions and students remain standing as long as they continue to answer questions correctly.  The last student standing is declared the winner.  Sometimes it is nice to work alone while at other times it is nice to be able to get out of your seat. You will notice in Around the Room there is still individual accountability.  Around the Room can be done multiple times very quickly so if students do not do well the first time I would recommend you repeat the process.  During any review, the questions should be repeated multiple times so that all students have ample opportunity to commit the information to memory by the end of the game session.  The teacher will then present a second lesson segment and return back to the game to check for understanding of the material.  The second review of new information should also review the information from the first lesson segment as well.  The process should continue until the end of the class in middle or high school or the end of day if you are teaching in an elementary school.  Your day should always be divided up into small chunks where the students are learning new information and then they are practicing/reviewing this new information.  Good luck using games to replace worksheets.

Find more Teaching Strategies like this on the Teaching Strategies Page

For more see Worksheet Variations.

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