Instructional Technology/Enhanced Mathematics/Worksheet Generating Software
Although the term "worksheet" currently has a negative connotation in education, putting pencil to paper is still a practical way for students to practice what they have learned. There are many software programs available that generate worksheets with just a few clicks of a mouse. These can be customized for any content area, including math.
Types of Worksheets
Types of sheets that can be created range from basic counting to complex algebraic equations. Depending on the robustness of the program, teachers can input custom information and generate worksheets that are specific to a single aspect of a particular concept. An example of this would be a sheet of multiple digit multiplication problems that allows regrouping only from the hundreds place with all problems having a zero in the tens place of the top factor.
Another way these customized worksheets can be beneficial is from the perspective of motivation. Students' names can be used as part of the text for word problems. Shared experiences can be incorporated into the worksheet to make them more relevant, as well. Using prices and products from the school store or from a fundraiser are an excellent example of this. Some programs allow the use of graphics. In addition, because these programs also supply answer sheets, teachers can easily have multiple versions of the same test. Worksheets are maninly beneficial for homework and additional practice or drill. Worksheet generating software can allow a student to focus on a specific skill or object and provide additional practice.
Special Needs Students
Textbooks rarely contain enough practice, especially for students with special needs. With these worksheet generators, teachers have a quick and easy way to provide specific and appropriate practice so students can achieve mastery.
Teachers can also use worksheet generators to create their own lessons and units on subject matter that is not supported by the mainstream publishers.
For many students with special needs, traditional textbooks and worksheets are designed in such a way that they hinder, rather than enhance learning. Teachers that understand their students learning styles can design work and study sheets accordingly. Larger fonts, more white space, and fewer problems are examples of how this might be done. Keeping the content consistent with the regular education classroom but writing at a lower reading level allows students with special needs to access the curriculum as dictated by NCLB and other laws governing special education.