Good textbooks?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by yl358, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. yl358

    yl358 New Member

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Hey all, I run an afterschool program for K-5. I'm looking for a good textbook for both Language Arts and Math that is good enough so that the students themselves can complete them by with minimal assistance from the teacher. Meaning, the textbooks not only introduces new topics step-by-step but shows examples of how to solve them without confusing the students. Can someone recommend a good textbook for this situation? Thanks!
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2011

    I'd probably recommend looking into specific after-school curricula. There are a couple of issues with what you've mentioned you're looking for - first, most textbooks aren't designed for independent use, but for supplementary support or reference for class lessons. So, if you're just looking for worksheets or independent work, textbooks probably aren't the best.

    The second problem is that you might confuse kids by introducing different skills than they're learning in the classroom during school. So, if a child is learning multiplication facts with 3s for example, and you're trying to teach 4s, that could cause problems.

    So, there are probably 2 good options - first, try to sync up with what's happening at school by staying in constant contact with the teachers, knowing the skills they're working on, and finding resources to support those skills. This option will be time consuming because you'll have a lot of communication with a lot of teachers on a daily basis, and will have to create independent lessons for each student based on those skills. Your second option is to go with an program designed specifically for after-school use that doesn't attempt to directly compete with the classroom curriculum.

    For a good description/listing of those resources, you could either good or go to this website, which has a database of after-school curricula by area:

    http://www.sedl.org/afterschool/resources/curriculum.html

    More broadly, I'd caution against independent academic work altogether in an after-school setting. I know a lot of after-school programs have a lot of kids, and creating meaningful activities for a lot of kids across age ranges can be tough, but giving kids academic worksheets that aren't tied to their school curriculum isn't likely to be too helpful, even if seems to be "academic." There's a lot of buzz in after-school programs now about them being "academic," and a lot of pressure on after-school leaders to make things more academic, but there are a lot of great things after-school programs can do beyond academics that schools can't address because their schedules are too packed. One of the great things about after-school programs is that they are smaller and more informal communities for kids where kids can feel supported on a different level than at school. Trying to turn after-school programs into just another 2 hours of school is really taking away from the true benefit of after-school programs.

    Sorry for the tangent, but thought I'd share my thoughts!
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2011

    I agree with EdEd wholeheartedly.

    I would focus more on academic activities that you can do that are not textbook based. It is bound to not be that beneficial anyway... most kids are not that great at following directions independently and doing the skill and truly understanding what they are doing.

    Kids can get a lot out of tasks at an after school program that are done differently than in school. Schools often don't have time to do the "fun" projects. You can do that, and they will get reinforcement of their skills! I have a few of these kinds of books, but can just hardly ever get to them in the classroom! It would be so wonderful if kids could do this after school. Their brains are busy enough all day.

    http://www.amazon.com/Math-Art-Hand...=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318385162&sr=1-4

    http://www.amazon.com/MathART-Projects-Activities-Grades-3-5/dp/0590963716/ref=pd_sim_b1

    http://www.amazon.com/Mega-Fun-Card-Game-Math-Grades-3-5/dp/0439448557/ref=pd_sim_b2

    http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Ki...r_1_27?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318385992&sr=1-27

    http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Kids-Geography-Book-Barrier/dp/1598696831/ref=pd_sim_b2

    http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Life-M...r_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318386097&sr=1-17

    http://www.amazon.com/WordPlay-Cafe...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318385464&sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Kids-Write-Autobiography-Adventure-Williamson/dp/0824967712/ref=pd_sim_b1

    http://www.amazon.com/Awesome-Activ...=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318385636&sr=1-6

    This whole series is awesome:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...ds+series&url=search-alias=stripbooks&x=0&y=0
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2011

    No. Math is something that must be taught at this age except for some top students. You are using a textbook in the wrong way. I'd get the older students to teach the younger ones. This type of idea could work in high school, but not well with K-5. It was a popular idea in the 1960s and early 1970s, but failed miserably.

    Kevin
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Are you required to teach/ provide academics in the after school program? It might be more productive to offer homework help, then plan some fun activities, crafts, outside games...
     

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