Educating children with special needs since 2005



Aren’t these complaints what we often hear from our children? Don’t such thoughts go through our minds after our child shows us their tests or exams results?

Now that it’s the second half of the year, do you notice that the school begins to place more emphasis on preparing your child for the end of the year exam or a big upcoming exam to come? It is a common scene for educators and parents to impulsively buy more assessment books and practice papers for their children. It is definitely not a bad thing to give assessment books to children, but before we give our children more practice questions, let us remember that quality is always better than quantity. Let’s think about how to make each worksheet a meaningful learning experience where children have the opportunity to REFLECT on how to approach their work, to be AWARE of WHAT they are learning about and WHY they are learning, to be able to LINK previously learnt knowledge to what is being required, and to ACTIVELY CHECK their work.

Below is a list of strategies to help transform a worksheet into a meaningful active learning experience and such strategies can be applied to other worksheets. The following steps are flexible and not need to be carried out for every worksheet. You can follow the steps for some worksheets and then fade the steps away as the main aim is for your child to be an independent learner and thinker.

The FOLLOWING steps in going through the worksheet come from the principles of mediated learning. You can look at this link for more information.

You can refer to the worksheet attached and go through the worksheet using the following steps.


  • Before doing the worksheet, you can ask your child “What do you see in this worksheet?”, “What do you need to do for this worksheet?”, “How do you know your need to do this?”

Rationale: Encourage your child to notice what is in the worksheet so that he/ she will understand what is required. It also facilitates their noticing of details in the worksheet and prevents the impulsiveness of quickly completing and handing in their work without reflecting or analysing.

  • Ask your child to do the questions independently and let you know when they are done. Observe if they check their work.
  • During checking time together, ask them to read the questions and answers aloud and observe how aware they are of how they are reading. If you have observed them skipping words, and or misreading words (for example, if they read “rooms” as “room”, you can tell them that you are going to rate their reading according to whether they have skipped or misread words. Gradually get them to rate their own reading.
  • Encourage your child to explain aloud how they will check each question to see if their answer is correct. Observe if your child knows what to check for. (for example, for this worksheet, get your child to explain why his/her answer was “Those” for question 2. Encourage him/her to explain that “Because of the clue words ‘across the road’, the answer can be ‘that’ or ‘those’. The answer is ‘those’ because of the word ‘children’. There is a capital letter ‘T’ for ‘Those’ because it is in the beginning of the sentence.) You might need to guide your child at the beginning in explaining how he/she checks his/ her work, but gradually encourage them to do this themselves so that they develop the habit of checking their work.

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