Monday, March 19, 2012

Thinking Tweets

Perusing Twitter this afternoon, I found a few tweets that really got me thinking.  (I am more a twitter stalker than tweeter myself.)

So very true.  Technology is a wonderful gift in the classroom.  However, without the knowledge of what to do with that tech, the tech itself is worthless.  On the other hand, all the PD in the world does no good if the teacher will not use the technology.  The old adage, use or lose it applies very well to technology.  If you don't use it, you will not remember how to use it.

How would the teachers in your school react if all the textbooks suddenly disappeared?  In my elementary school, I don't think most teachers would notice.  The social studies and science teachers would.  Maybe teachers would miss the math textbooks in 6th and 7th grade.  I think in our high school though they would be greatly missed and some would not know what to do at first.  My personal opinion closely relates to the last two tweets about science.  I believe that many times reliance on the textbook takes the discovery out of science, the discovery out of any subject.  When I first started teaching, I taught social studies to 7th and 8th graders and relied heavily on the textbook, but I quickly realized that there were more great resources than my textbook.  From then on, I used the textbook as a guide and supplemented heavily with outside resources.  I wish I had access to the resources there are online now ten years ago.  I am now working with little ones (prek to third grade) but find all kinds of great middle school resources now.  Makes me wish I was teaching those kids again.

What do you think about textbooks?  Like them, hate them, somewhere in between?  I definitely fall in the in between category.


  1. I tend use textbooks more as a guide. I think there is still a place for them in the classroom.

  2. Christina - I agree. Textbooks are great guides. Teaching history, it was like my timeline, to keep me on track.

  3. Having or not having textbooks depends on the availability of other resources. For years now my school has ordered variety of literature (fiction/non-fiction), dvd-s, games, and hands-on-materials + provides field-trip money instead of using textbooks in primary school. Teachers in primary grades are happy. Some parents still have difficult time understanding the change. I have different math books (US, UK, Australian) in my class available for the students for review or for independent study

  4. The comments about PD is right on the money. What I find is that too much of the tech PD is "here is this cool thing, here is how you use it, goodbye" and not enough "let's dive into this tech and figure out how it might enhance your instruction and students learning, and let's play with it for a stretch and then reflect."
    I'm not sure about textbook quite yet. I see some great possibilities with digital formats, but the "access issue" for students of all economic backgrounds still worries me. Who are we leaving behind?

  5. So much food for thought today. We adopted a new math series this year and it has sparked so much. Most teacher hate it but are so tied to it. I keep trying to remind them that we don't have to use it and as long as we're teaching the standards we're doing what we're suppose to. I taught a self contained ELL class for 3 years and my kids couldn't use the text books. I had to create my own materials and units. I love our reading series but I don't stick to it. I use them as a guide but there are so many great books out there I use those more to teach than anything. The technology tweet was good too. I have a promethean board in my classroom. Before our principal will fund a board you have to go through training and pretty time consuming process. But even with that there are teachers taht don't use it for anything more than a glorifeid tv. Thanks for sharing the thoughts.

  6. Hi Jana:

    I have yet to OPEN the reading textbooks this year. I would much rather use trade books and short texts.

    I am sorry to be so late in thanking you for celebrating my blog. I appreciate your kindness in honoring my site with the Liebster Award. Thank you for the recognition and for your kindness.

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade


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