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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Teacher Editions/Guides

Teacher Editions/Guides

Related Tags: 6-8 Middle School
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8 Replies 1459 Views
Have you looked at a Teacher Edition/Guide text recently? There is just so much information. I'm not even sure where to begin when I look at a math TE/TG. Personally, I go for the answers and not much else. So, I am currently on a task force looking at possible revisions in the content of TEs/TGs. Theh goal is to make these more user-friendly. My primary focus will be math books, but I'd love to get feedback from teachers in all disciplines. Which brings me to the following questions: * What features of Teacher Editions/Guides do you use the most? the least? * Is there something that you would like to see in a TE/TG that does not exist in your current TE/TG? * How would you feel about a digital-only TE? or a hybrid TE (part print/part digital? * Are there any support resources from your TE/TG publisher that you just can't live without? I'd love to hear your thoughts about any or all of the above questions. Thanks! Sybrina

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Heather Wolpert-Gawron's picture
Heather Wolpert-Gawron
Middle School teacher by day, Tweenteacher by night
Blogger 2014

I figured it out. Our ELA books are currently 8 years old. We've been put on hold to buy new ones for 5 more years. So in other words, if we're talking about dog years, our textbooks will be 91 years old before we adopt again.

By then, I hope that tech integration is more aggressive, internet literacy is present in textbooks from each subject matter, and remedial and GATE techniques are present in all.

But I think that textbooks need to also get on board with the fact that hybrid education is in our future. A kid might be 60% in the classroom and 40% online. And teachers will have to learn how to deliver content online as well. Unless textbook companies want outside companies providing that content, they had better get on board too.

Hope that helps!

-Heather WG

Ernie Rambo's picture
Ernie Rambo
Electives teacher (drama, TV, Future City)

I teach in our school's theater, which has its advantages. Sometimes I'm asked to teach a core class for a semester to help out with scheduling issues. You can imagine what it would be like to have several sets of textbooks sitting in a theatre -- the fact that we have no backstage area means that we have no storage space at all! I prefer teachers' resources for the textbooks to be all online or on CD's. I can access the handouts on my computer and project them, I don't have to find room for another five or six books (the reproducibles, the ELL guide, the annotated text....). It seems that the textbook publishers go overboard with all of the components of support materials, but I have noticed that each teacher at my school prefers to use different components than other teachers -- more reason to make the stuff available online so that we use less resources to publish the teachers' resources!
Moving slightly off topic, with the cost of textbooks rising daily and the student loss of textbooks also rising, I question why more schools do not consider signing out laptops to each student instead of textbooks. I imagine each student receiving a "middle school laptop" when they enter 6th grade. In addition to having access to all online textbooks with the laptop, it could also have a word processor and spreadsheet installed, along with whatever other programs the school chooses. When the student leaves the school, one laptop gets checked in instead of five or six textbooks.

Sybrina's picture
Sybrina
Former Classroom Mathematics Teacher and Math Coach

Hi, Helen,

Thanks so much for your comments. I really appreciate your feedback... and was quite sorry to hear about your textbook dilemma.

If I may ask a couple of questions
* What are GATE techniques? I must confess that this is the first time I've heard of those.
* When you write about Internet literacy, do you have any specific skills in mind? Do you have any resources/references that you would recommend on the topic?

Thanks again for responding.

Sybrina

Sybrina's picture
Sybrina
Former Classroom Mathematics Teacher and Math Coach

Hi, Ernie,

Thank you for posting a reply. I really appreciate your thoughts.

Your perspective on resource storage is an excellent one. This would also apply to those floating teachers who teach from a cart rather than from a single classroom... and to teachers in modulars.

It is also interesting that you mention different teachers preferring different components. That brings to mind that there are often times when there is only one of a particular resource/book in the publisher's kit and the resource/book doesn't circulate amongst all staff members. CDs would certainly be a way for all teachers to have access to all resources. What are your thoughts about resources being downloadable from a Web site instead of from a CD?

I see that you also work with the television medium. Are there any media literacy items/resources that you would like to see included with textbook teacher resources?

Thanks again!

Sybrina

Heather Wolpert-Gawron's picture
Heather Wolpert-Gawron
Middle School teacher by day, Tweenteacher by night
Blogger 2014

Hey Sybrina,
Gate is gifted and talented. It's hard sometimes for textbooks to convey lessons for both remedial and for GATE. It's also tough for them to incorporate different modalities, so I would strive for that as well.

In regards to Internet Literacy, I've written a couple of workbooks on the subject which you can see here:
http://www.teachercreated.com/products/search-results.php?q=internet+lit...

and which you can also buy on Amazon. I also have done a number of presentations on Internet Literacy: the Genre for teachers as well. Textbooks need to start thinking about online distribution, video conferencing, and mobile technology options, because the books we buy now (offline or digital) will be in classrooms for a while before adoption money becomes available again. So they need to incorporate those 21st Century skills (even in offline form) if they are to remain applicable 5 years down the line.

Please contact me if you want more details.

Also, just so you know, my name is Heather, not Helen. I'm the moderator of the middle school group. It's totally not a big deal, but if you're looking to email me directly you'll need the right one!

Again, feel free to drop me a line through edutopia, follow me on twitter @tweenteacher and direct message me, or whatever.

Take care and hope this helps!

-Heather WG

Sybrina's picture
Sybrina
Former Classroom Mathematics Teacher and Math Coach

Heather,

Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea culpa!

It is indeed a big deal that I used the wrong name. As someone whose name is often misspelled, I've felt similar pain. I am so sorry!!!

Thanks for the information, I may very well take you up on your offer to get in touch.

Sybrina

Rhoonda Howard's picture
Rhoonda Howard
6th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies; 8th Grade Language Arts

For the past two years I have had two prep periods because of my specialist position. It has given me the time to actually look into all of the materials in our SS and LA adoptions. While I use the textbook regularly, I always look for additional sources - articles, current news, picture books, etc. I find most worksheets that come with the series unnecessary. Always use the objectives to tell students what and why, type up the enrichment activities (usually found on the far left and far right) as possible tasks for projects or extra time activities, and I always use the graphic organizers to help students organize the information. In SS, any primary sources in the text are used, and in LA, I always search the textbook for information on the authors. I sometimes use the quizzes with my senteo response system for quick assessments.
As for math... I'm not sure. I'd most likely focus on your primary objectives and weed out the extra stuff unless you are using it for special ed or hi-cap students.
In my SS text, we have our teacher text on a cd, and students can get to the text on-line. I still prefer to have a hard copy and so do some of my students.
Not sure that was all solely about the TG, but those are the things in my huge box of teacher books which I look for.
Hope that helps!
Rhonda

Sybrina's picture
Sybrina
Former Classroom Mathematics Teacher and Math Coach

Hi, Rhonda,

Thanks so much for your comments. I really appreciate hearing from you.

I will definitely pass along your thoughts to my colleagues. Your comment about typing up the enrichment activities especially caught my eye. Wouldn't it be great if those kinds of items could be copied and pasted into a document? Not sure what would be involved in making that happen, but I'll definitely pass it along to our digital team.

Thanks again!

Sybrina

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