4579285092_92d78a9924Worksheets, like lectures have taken a beating in the 21st century education dialogue.  A few weeks ago, a hard-working and thoughtful teacher said to me, “But my kids like worksheets.”  I do not doubt the veracity of that statement.  I do, however, take issue with the implied value because they like it.

Instructional approaches need to be varied and many, diverse, differentiated, interesting, scaffolded, layered, remediated, curiosity invoking.  Sometimes a worksheet can be a means to that end.  Similarly, so can a lecture or even… *gasp* … a reading out of a textbook.  The issue is not that these are instructional tools that are bad, the issue is when these are the only instructional tools being used.  Much like McDonald’s, if a kid has a worksheet a week, they will be fine.  If McDonald’s is all they ever eat… I think we all know how that turns out.

Let’s think critically about what kind of instructional diet we are feeding our students everyday.