Is anyone NOT assigning textbooks?

Discussion in 'High School' started by Caesar753, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2008

    I'm not assigning textbooks next year. I'll have class sets of all my books available for students to use during class. If they really, really need to check out a book overnight, I do have plenty of extras for that purpose.

    I've decided not to assign books to individual students because too many of them have gotten lost over the last couple of years. We have an extremely high transiency rate here in Vegas, with around 40% of our students leaving at some point before the end of the school year. Many of those kids attend class one day and then withdraw the next day, never having turned in their books.

    I'd say I lost about 25 textbooks that way last year--and at over $50 apiece, that's a ton of money in replacement costs! (We do charge the students, but we can't do much about it if they don't return to the district.) With our huge budget crisis going on right now, I'd rather spend my money on other stuff, you know?

    What do you think about it? Can you think of any reasons why I absolutely must assign textbooks to individual students?
     
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  3. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I almost never do. We just don't have enough. If I was only teaching one section of something, I could sign out the books. I do this for my honors course, because there is a lot of homework. Other than that, all bookwork has to be done in class. I even refuse to let them take them home if they are absent - they have to do the work in my classroom. We also lose way too many books that way. And if we right an obligation form for a student, and they pay for the book, the money goes into the general fund - they don't actually replace books with it.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I think you make a very good case for not giving students text books. I would rather have my students have access to their books while they're doing homework, since it saves me time and money in copying materials...I can just assign problems out of the book, BUT, your case it totally different than mine. The only think I could think of that might be a problem is studying, but if they have other resources, then even that's not an issue.
     
  5. mrduck12

    mrduck12 Companion

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    Aug 24, 2008

    Most of my students take their English anthologies (which I hate teaching from because so little of the peripherals address the critical reading and thinking skills needed), throw them in their back packs, lockers, etc., and don't use them outside of class.
     
  6. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Aug 25, 2008

    I have a class twice a day and don't have enough books for everyone to have one, so they just get a book when they come in and return it at the end of the class. If they need to take it home to finish up some work, they can check it out.
     
  7. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    If the SD doesn't pony up more money soon we are going to have to start doing that for the ninth graders. Everybody else checks out their books from the library but for some reason the 9th grade books are still done the old-fashioned way.

    I had good luck getting mine back this year when I threatened not to grade their final exams if the books weren't returned or paid for. Of course that doesn't work with kids who don't stay long enough to take the exam but I got back all of the rest of them.

    Our textbook has an online version that I give usernames and passwords for. As a result I think the books go home less often and are less likely to be lost - they just get buried in lockers instead. I don't keep a class set or any extras because they are hard to keep track of and easy to walk out with. Plus, if someone writes in them you can't tell who it was.
     
  8. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Well, I got two new students today. Now we are really short on books. We can't even order new ones since these are so old.
     
  9. mylonite

    mylonite Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2008

    I know this doesn't really address the issue, but if anyone is looking to stick to class sets but wants a few extras for students to check out...

    Try www.campusi.com - I'm consistently amazed at the deals I can get on some really great texts. New books are still pretty expensive, but older ones are downright cheap! Some topics really could use the updates, but I've gotten hold of some classic texts that have never really been improved upon.

    My favorite source is http://www.betterworld.com - shipping is included on all items, they offset their carbon emissions, and some percentage of each sale goes to one of a whole slew of worthwhile causes. Plus, they're cheap.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 25, 2008

    I haven't issued textbooks in close to 10 years. The literature books are just HUGE, and I don't cover even 1/2 of the stories in there. I scan the stories I use in as PDF files and have the kids download them.
     
  11. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    In my language arts class last year we just kept the anthology in class. If a student happened to need a book to take home to finish unfished classwork I just let the student take one home that night. I wrote down the book number and name of the student to keep track. This happened only a few times though.

    I say if there's no reason for them to have the book at home then this is a great plan. With the 40% turnover rate you're just bound to loose so many books. Seems like the perfect solution as long as the kids still have everything they need to review for tests and do homework. And I KNOW you have already thought through that part!
     
  12. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 25, 2008

    Bandnerd, love the scan idea ... may have to do that next year.

    I've considered not issuing the text for the same reason Bandnerd described: HUGE text and is rarely used. However, I would need to develop some sort of system to make sure the book didn't walk out of the room by accident (slipped into bag). I didn't have time to think it through this year, so I issued books.
     
  13. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Many of the books we use at the college are available, in their entirety, online. Maybe we should push to get more secondary books available that way. The schools could buy a licence for X number of access codes/users per year at a fraction of the cost of a book. They could buy a minimal number of books for students who don't have access at home. We could all save money, and, after the initial start up expense, the text book publishers could make more money since maintaining an online book is MUCH cheaper than cranking out books.
     
  14. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    We are getting so far into technology that I wonder is there an online version of the book? When I was in highschool (2yrs ago) we had Zoology books that came with a website with the exact thing as the book. We could go to the website and not have to take the books home. Also, could you make them a study guide and have them work on it in class and then you give them the answers after they have had time to complete the SG? Then they would have correct answers and only have to take the SG home to study for tests. I also, think you should send out a note to parents saying that they can not take home books. My mom used to ask where a certain book was that she knew was a class of mine since she never saw the book. I told her we were not allowed to bring it home.
     
  15. brotherbartlett

    brotherbartlett New Member

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    Aug 29, 2008

    I wish

    I really wish that we didn't have to assign texts this year. But for the money that the district put out on them, it's a given. But I honestly think it's more trouble than it's worth. I would LOVE to be able to have just class sets. I would not have to deal with covers, damages, lost texts, homework assignments could be reflective journals instead of me feeling obligated to use the text. But oh well, guess I'll make do.
     
  16. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    We didn't have lockers due to renovations last year, so the students didn't get books, I kept them in the room under the desks. I teach two different classes, plus a floater teacher was using my room one period a day. There were 3 books under the desks. It was HORRIBLE. Books were always on the floor, opened, pages torn out because the students step on or over not picking them up. There was never just 3 under a desk, some ended up with 5 and students would spend 5 minutes or more looking for the book they need. I spent every day after school picking up the books and straightening. This year, they have lockers and have their books. My room stay so much cleaner, and this is only going on the 4th week! Its WONDERFUL! I tell them to bring books everyday, of course some don't, but dealing with I don't have a book is alot easier-they get deducted points for not bringing all supplies. I let some go to lockers if its close or tell them they have to use a neighbors. I don't use books alot, so this isn't a big problem. I'm hoping this will increase tests scores since students will have books and notes.
     
  17. kickatstars

    kickatstars Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2008

    I'm required to pass out books, but they basically go home and collect dust since I don't assign work in them and have a class set. Last year I actually got every book back (two/kid). I might actually have my kids do more reading at home this year so we can focus more on writing in class.
     
  18. Engteach13

    Engteach13 Rookie

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    Sep 1, 2008

    My district is trying to do away with hard copy textbooks and going with online textbooks. We do, however, have a class set and those individuals who don't have computers or internet acces will get a hard copy text to take home. Our publishers really do have an amazing website and I plan to utilize all the perks as soon as I figure out how . lol....the website is hrw. com if anyone wants to check it out.
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Since my school is 100% online, physical textbooks aren't on the agenda. Fortunately, many of the kids have figured out how to print out things and create their own booklets for when they need to get away from the computers.
     
  20. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    we use hrw...the students don't know about accessing it online though. I use it to get tests and manipulatives.
     
  21. CKaras

    CKaras Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2011

    I have never assigned textbooks. I place one under each student's desk and they can pull it out as we use it. We don't refer to the textbook that often, anyway. But if they feel the need to check one out, they can do so.
     

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