Worksheets should be used to help guide students through their learning and understanding of a topic. In order to get them to actively engage with the material, and develop critical thinking skills and techniques appropriate to the subject matter or field, they need to practice the thinking process related to that topic or discipline. Worksheets are designed to help scaffold the thinking process and allow students to learn how to think like a professional in the discipline.
Worksheet activities can take on many different forms. The key components are:
– A source of information that will give the students the content knowledge they need to work with (e.g. Course readings, in-class presentations, research of additional sources)
-A document with structured and scaffold prompts that guide students through the thought process for that topic.
-A point where the students can consolidate their understanding and verify their responses with a model that demonstrates the correct answer or a strong response.
Worksheet activities can be done in various ways in class, incorporating moments where they work alone, with others in small groups, are as a whole class. The goal is to get the student not just to think about the response but to apply their understanding by writing it out on the worksheet. This will then create an artifact that both the student and the teacher can use to evaluate and verify the student’s understanding of the topic.