Worksheets are integral to student learning as a teaching resource. Teachers are able to issue each student with their own copy to interact with. All worksheets include explicit, clearly written, age-appropriate instructions that all students should be able to follow without teacher guidance. Each worksheet states the text it refers to, making the experience for the student an autonomous and self-paced one.
Worksheets are usually able to be done by a student without significant assistance from an adult.
A worksheet might be based on:
- an independent idea or
- might extend one of the teaching ideas or lesson plans.
The teacher must determine:
- Are the students able to carry out the task independently?
- Are the students best positioned to complete the worksheet individually, in small groups or as a whole class?
Worksheets deliver a wide variety of activities from issue to issue, and cater for a variety of ability levels aligned to the individual magazines — Countdown, Blast Off, Orbit and Touchdown.
NAPLAN style comprehension worksheets are delivered early in the year as relevant and appropriate resources that support teachers and students.
Worksheets identify which parts of both the Australian Curriculum and the NSW Syllabus are being addressed on that worksheet, giving teachers guidance and support in their lesson planning.
A student-friendly resource
In preparing each worksheet, we focus on the student. We use friendly, engaging language when writing instructions, providing a worked example, when needed, to get students started. Our aim is always to avoid exhaustive and exhausting worksheets that require students to find every example of something in a text, or fill in every cell of a blank table. Worksheets need to be purposeful. At least one worksheet in each of Teaching Guide incorporates higher order activities.
Types of worksheets
Here are some common types of worksheets that we employ:
- comprehension that uses a range of question and thinking skills, for example, literal, inferential and evaluative
- multiple choice
- cloze passage
- comprehension: true / false (used sparingly)
- scaffolding a text (in response)
- language focus (for example identifying words or structures …)
- modifying a text (for example rewriting by changing present tense to past).
Wherever a worksheet has specific answers (such as a character profile, or a set of comprehension questions), we ensure we supply the answers to the questions.
If your worksheet is based on a video, worksheet answers are particularly helpful to busy teachers. We don’t presume that teachers will have time to work out all the answers.