Students don't get to take home texts?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by TheConspiracy, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Jul 6, 2006

    Okay - I have another "help me figure it out" question (what would I do without all of you?!?)

    I suspected before - but I feel my suspicions are confirmed:

    My students don't get to take home their text books.

    Now maybe this is normal now - but not back in my HS days (about 12 years ago)

    I just want to know how those of you who have this issue (particularly dealing with English) -how do you assign homework and stress reading comprehsion and critical reading skills?

    I just see a LOT of wasted time in front of me having students spend their class period reading their textbooks (aloud or to themselves). In my day texts were expected to be read at home and class time was spent - well- with instruction.

    It seems to me that in a nation in an "education crisis" - we would prioritize giving students books. I mean it is basic. Even more basic than the teacher. I mean - the student could potentially learn from reading the book without the teacher - but the teacher can't teach without a text to teach from (at least English).

    Sooooo... I just need to figure this out. Should I head to the photocopy machine like a maniac - or what?

    And you know.....now that I have my texts i see this as a real bummer - because the texts are REALLY good. It is a shame my students won't have them to take home. One might have even been bored to crack it open to find something unassigned to read.

    And just HOW are the students expected to critically look at a text for homework without the text in front of them? Should I relegate the vocab and grammar for at home study since those items I can make print outs on?

    ~J
     
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  3. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    A teacher that I student taught under never used textbooks and I never understood how she did it. She always had handouts for the students, but this teacher never assigned homework either other than daily reading. Everything she and the students did was in class. She did not copy the textbook either unless it was something really good and important.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Welcome to Florida, Conspiracy. Land of million dollar yachts galore but no textbooks for kids.

    Yes, I think you should just assign the handout type of assignments for homework. You could also consider coordinating historical fiction and other reading with your topics.
     
  5. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    Upsadaisy -

    You mention coordinating historical fiction in the homework.

    I'm losing braincells by the pecks these days...so bear with me....

    What kind of historical texts?

    Could you clarify (I am truly interested....)

    I keep finding lost dendrites on the floor these days - me brain no work so well no more. :(

    ~J
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    You could set up literature circles - where three or more groups are going on at once, reading different books of a similar theme. That way, you'd need less books and perhaps there would be enough copies to go around? They could do readings at home and discussions/responses in small groups at school before sharing with the whole group. I teach elementary school, but I know our school library stocks enough copies of novels at every level to make this possible, too.

    Other than that, the only solution I can think of is to copy portions of the text to send home for reading at home. It's going to take up a lot of time and paper, though...
    Kim
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Do your students get to take home the novels you're studying for reading for homework? Then you could leave the big texts for in-class assignments?
     
  8. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    The students have to purchase some of the novels themselves - and I am provided ONE class set of the novels to give to students that are unable to obtain them (the school offers the novels for a reduced price of $1-$2 a piece. 2 major required works are in the textbook for each year (Romeo and Juliet and the Illiad for the Freshman and Julius Ceasar and The Oddessy in the Sophomore year) so the students are not given those texts separately. I was told that if I choose a major work on my own - the head of the department will purchase ONE class set (to rotate between classes) and i will need to provide other sets myself if I want them (OUCH on the budget!)

    Literature circles may be fine for some shorter works, but I see a problem trying to address larger texts this way. It takes HOURS to read a novel - and for a snail-paced reader like me, it can take up to 10-15 hours to finish a novel. Am I really supposed to give the class 10-15 50 minute periods of just "reading" without instruction so they can read the text? That seems incomprehensible!

    ~J
     
  9. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Jul 7, 2006

    My first suggestion would be to talk to other English teachers at your school and see what they do.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sorry, TheConspiracy, my brain cells were out to lunch, apparently. I thought you were teaching social studies for a minute.

    So, your students won't be able to take home the class sets of novels, either? My school doesn't buy any of my class books. I have bought all of them on my own and have easily 750 books. It hasn't been too difficult to find duplicates at thrift stores. But, it won't be as easy for secondary books. I think you will have to buy books yourself if you want to let them take them home. Until then, yes, the kids will have to read in class. Crazy.
     
  11. wig

    wig Devotee

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    That is such a sad reality today. It is mostly due to the fact that so many books were never returned and the districts could not afford to replace them.

    If you go through Scholastic, they often have classroom sets at a very reasonable cost through their book clubs. You can ask for the students to pay for them, but reality is also that you can not require it and it ends up coming out of your pocket.
     
  12. mrs. dub

    mrs. dub Companion

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    Jul 7, 2006

    I also teach reading (language arts) and the students don't have textbooks or reading books for home. I utilize homework for vocabulary exercises (vocab from our text/reader). The students do the definitions in class, and then I give them a homework sheet with various vocab activities. I use edhelper.com to generate the activities. It's real easy and doesn't require them to have a textbook.

    Also, I am going to add a reading log where I will require students to read 20 minutes four times a week. Parents must sign off, and they can read any item of choice (magazine, comics, etc.) This gets them reading, but doesn't require me to give them books.

    Hope this helps!
     
  13. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I wasn't suggesting literature circles for inclass reading. I was suggesting that the reading be done at home and the discussion and responses be done in small groups at school. That way, you wouldn't have to have a class set of every novel you want the kids to read. If have a class of 30 kids, you could have 4 books being read at once, with 7-8 kids reading each book. You'd need 7-8 copies of each book instead of 30, so that the kids could borrow them and take them home to do the reading at home. Which lead me to the suggestion of seeing if the school library had multiple copies of some novels you'd like to use. Then, you could rotate the books until every circle has read every book.

    If you do end up having to purchase books, you'd still purchase 30 in this case, but you'd get 4 books read by your class without purchasing 120. Not the best route, but maybe it could work? ANd see if your school has an active PTA that would fund buying a certain number of books.

    Sorry if this is idealistic, I don't teach high school, I teach PreK. It was just a thought.
    Kim
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Try looking for books published by Dover - they tend to be reprints, and very inexpensive. Perhaps you can even talk the bookstore into giving you a discount on a class set.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Conspiracy- is your screen name just a little ironic? I think so considering all the twists and turns you've been experiencing lately!!:D
     
  16. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    LOL!

    I am being thwarted by the puppet-masters!

    ~J
     
  17. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

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    No, no.....this is a GREAT idea!

    I think I'm going to give this some thought as to how I would do this!

    I could do this with probably 2-3 books.

    ~J
     
  18. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    My mother teaches AP and Pre-Ap English. She doesn't use a textbook. She's bought quite a few class sets of books in the past when the budget at school wouldn't cover them. When she first started the AP program, she just bought 5-10 copies of each book and used literacy groups to rotate the books.

    Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs & Reading Groups by Harvey Daniels (Paperback - Nov 2001)
    Buy new: $23.50 Usually ships in 24 hours
    Used & new from $18.69
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 7, 2006

    A bit off the subject: (which never seems to stop me :) )

    Check to see what they've been assigned for summer reading. You'll want to get a head start!
     

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