Recently I wrote a post for Hands On As We Grow entitled Simple Number Line Car Race to Teach Math about a fun activity I used with one of my daughters to reinforce the concepts of addition and subtraction.
I enjoy doing simple at-home learning activities with my daughters that don’t require worksheets; however, worksheets can serve a purpose.
Some worksheets seem tedious and boring. Others include interesting information and colorful pictures.
One of my daughters enjoyed doing the activity shown above when she completed addition and subtraction worksheets.
Below are two additional techniques I have used with my daughters to make math worksheets more fun.
Turn Worksheets into a Scavenger Hunt
One of my daughters used to get very overwhelmed with math worksheets. I could tell she was frustrated and the worksheets took much longer for her to complete than necessary. To remedy this situation (while still having her do the worksheets), I turned the worksheets into a timed scavenger hunt.
I simply cut the worksheets into small sections, wrote “clues” to where the next section of the worksheet could be found, and hid the sections around the house. After she completed a section of problems, she would read the clue, and then race to the next small section of problems.
I set a stop watch to record how long it took her to complete the entire scavenger hunt (and worksheet). She definitely finished the worksheets much quicker, and she no longer dreaded having to complete them. Turning the worksheets into a scavenger hunt became a fun game.
Use Dry Erase Boards
My daughters enjoy writing on dry erase boards, so I have copied math problems from worksheets on to boards for them to complete. Again, having just a few problems at a time seems to be less overwhelming than an entire worksheet filled with problems. The dry erase board also offers more space than the worksheets often provide to solve equations.
Once they solve the problems, I correct them on the board. If they get the answer wrong, they redo the problem on the board. If they get the answer correct, they write the answer only on to the worksheet. I have them do this step since we homeschool, and I keep all of their finished worksheets as proof they are actually doing schoolwork, progressing in their studies, and learning.
It may seem silly that using a dry erase board instead of a sheet of paper yields better results since they are doing all of the same problems, but this worked well with my daughters when they were younger.
What are your thoughts about worksheets?