Engagement entails much more than rote repetition of a procedure. Math worksheets tend to present very similar problem types over and over, leading to mundane practice of disassociated skills. For students who understand the material and successfully complete an assignment, another worksheet becomes meaningless. On the other hand, for the students who don't understand the material, an alternative method of instruction is what's needed. Another worksheet simply adds to the student's frustration, or worse, contributes to a belief that "I'll never understand math." A cute image or a "fill_in_the_blanks" riddle does nothing to increase engagement or learning (and let's face it, those riddles are not funny!). Instead, teachers need to increase engagement by providing students with exercises in which they discover patterns and relationships, solve problems, or think creatively about math relationships.

There are many math_based games available in educational toy stores that will help to reinforce the principles your child learns in worksheets. Computer games can help too, but depending on the age of your child, it is best not to encourage too much computer use at an early age. Everyday activities can be turned into math lessons too. A trip to the grocery store can turn into a math lesson if you encourage your child to help you count how many items you are buying, or add up the bottles of milk as you add them to your cart.

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