Textbooks

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by historybuff91, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. historybuff91

    historybuff91 Companion

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    Feb 4, 2007

    I was wondering if there were any other seventh / eighth or hs. American History teachers that could recommend a textbook to me. My district has a approved the purchase of new History Textbooks and i want good ones this time. We are currently using Prentice Hall : The American Nation, which in my opinion is useless. They have watered it down to a point where it is absolutely ridiculous. I like Gencoe (McGraw Hill's) The American Vision. It seem in depth and easy to understand, but then again that what previous s.s. teacher said about the American Nation. So i was wondering if anyone could tell me their opinions on workbooks, and textbooks for American History.
     
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  3. mr.gilmore45

    mr.gilmore45 New Member

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    Feb 6, 2007

    I couldn't agree with you more. I cannot stand Prentice Hall's The American Nation. I normally photo copy pages from The American Vision textbook for my students. I would do a little bit more research (Try Amazon) before definitely going with The American Vision, but I must say it's a lot better than The American Nation. In my school's book storage room I found some retro textbooks from various decades and they were even more informative than The American Nation. As for workbooks I have no idea. I prefer to just make up my own worksheets, that way I can put exactly what I want on it and nothing else. But if I had to choose one I'd use McGraw Hill's workbook that corresponds with the textbook. It's okay.
     
  4. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    Feb 7, 2007

    Everybody has their own opinion, but if you just want a generic recommendation, check this site out... The ones with the plus sign have been found to have better content... The books with a minus sign are lacking in content.

    http://www.historytextbooks.org/adoptions.htm

    But before making a final decision between two books, always ask for a preview version to assess beforehand.
     
  5. katerina03

    katerina03 Devotee

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    Feb 11, 2007

    My school uses Prentice Hall's Grammar and Writing books. I hate them. They are so boring and confusing. I use the McGraw-Hill books that my coop teacher gave me years ago. They are colorful and incorporate grammar and writing activities together. I wish my school used that system.
     
  6. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Feb 11, 2007

    We are using History Alive. I love it and the kids are really enjoying History. However, if you rely heavily on the textbook, it is not the one for you.
     
  7. historybuff91

    historybuff91 Companion

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    Feb 11, 2007

    I dont heavily rely on them, just heres the thing : I myself dont like giving notes so i normally give brief lectures and then have students learn from things such as photographs, stories, and things like that. However, i have 2 students that said they did bad on tests because i didnt give notes (its not like i didnt give them anything to study, i just didnt give things that were like 3 pages long with nothing besides notes on them). So now i do powerpoint presentations were i give them fill-in notes, which they answer as we do the PP. However one of those 2 students then said that she did bad on tests because i didnt assign any reading materials, which is a pure lie because i give atleast 2 worksheets per unit that have a short passage and follow-up questions. So now i made up worksheets that highly suggest to use the textbook but is not mandatory (i grade 1 hw at random each week, so if they dont need their t/b then they wont use it, but if they do i know they will use it because i know they want a good grade). So what exactly is History alive? What's the price, age levels, and curriculum? It sounds interesting, perhaps my director will pitch the idea to the school board.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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  9. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2007

    We use McDougal Littell. It has tons of ancilliary materials- map transparencies, pictures for the overhead, test practice for the overhead, books for ideas on interdisciplinary projects/activities, hands-on ideas, primary sources, history maker activities, PowerPoint presentations with interactive maps, short video clips, and such. There are even DVD's that have a movie pertaining to each lesson. The web site is also great too. There are references and links to web sites for further research in addition to webquests. The only bad think I find is that the book needs more information. It's pretty darn dry. If you aren't a history buff (like myself) you pretty much have to rely on the book. How do you all teach social studies? I teach medieval world history and I hate it! I think it's interesting, but it's hard to get the kids to see how interesting it is. I hope this is the last and only year I teach world history!
     
  10. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Feb 12, 2007

  11. historybuff91

    historybuff91 Companion

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    Feb 12, 2007

    which series of McDougal Littell are you using?
     
  12. Mr. Windchill

    Mr. Windchill Rookie

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    Feb 12, 2007

    We (high school) are using McDougal Littell as well.

    "Ancient World History: Patterns of Interaction" for World History ... not great, not awful would be my analysis. Part of the indifferent bias is my partiality toward U.S. History particularly, but also Modern World History over Ancient World History.

    "Creating America" for U.S. History. I am a fan of the book. I feel it could get a little more in depth; however, anything that may cause my student to have to think harder would only serve to push them further away from the subject. I think it does a great job covering the nuts and bolts, good visuals, etc. in the book.

    I like the workbooks, or reading study guides as they are called, that go along with the textbooks.
     
  13. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Feb 12, 2007

    I agree with Wig, the History Alive textbooks are great for MS, but they do not fit with HS, JMHO. Personally, I don't think any history teacher should rely havily on a textbook it should be used as a resource, I know it takes more work, but it is worth it in the end to your students. I am a department head and have all but one teacher who stay away from the textbook. I compared that one teacher's final exam grades (the exam is created by myself and the other teachers who teach that course) to my classes and the other teachers. I found that the students who had teachers that use the textbook strictly as a a refrence were more successful on the exam.
     
  14. historybuff91

    historybuff91 Companion

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    Feb 12, 2007

    I agree a 100 %. I only use the textbook as an optional guide. I tell my students that if they get stuck not to leave a question blank but to find the answer in the textbook. However, my district is buying new ones and well we need something so i was just wondering which ones were good and which ones werent. I personally hate using the textbook because to me its just plain out boring to learn that way. To me history can be either really fun or really boring. I always try to make it fun and interesting for students because i want them to be curious about history, i want them to ponder things and their history, and i want them to be interested!
     
  15. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2007

    For those of you who don't rely on the textbook, how do you give them the information? Do you have them take notes? If it were my choice, I wouldn't rely on the textbook. I have no idea on how to teach it without it. I'm not a medieval world history buff. For the person who asked what series I use, I use Medieval and Early Modern Times by McDougal Litell. If you can tell me specifically how to teach without a textbook and give examples It would give me a better idea on how to. I would totally be open to it to get me by until the end of the year.

    Thanks!
    Terrence
     
  16. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Notes are my main way to get infomration across to my students, who are in HS and need to get used to lecutring (I lecture using Power Point. However, I only lecture about 3-4 times per week (depending on the unit) and only for 30 min max. I also use readings from other primary and secondary sources, class skits, roleplays, and powepoints (work well with the ethics portions of my units.) as other ways to give information I know I am missing some, but those are my major ways. Vidoes are also a good way to get information across. I teach middevial history in my Western Civ class so if you need any fun activies to use with your student's let me know. What are you currently studying now?
     
  17. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Right now I'm on medieval china. We are learning about conficianism, buddism, and daoism. We're also learning about the different dynasties and the mongol empire, but that's a few chapters later. Next will be Japan.
     
  18. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Feb 13, 2007

    Sorry I can't help you there the only course at our HS that covers this is an elective. I cover Medevial Europe in Western Civ. so if you need help with that I'd be glad to help. I don't even think this is tuaght in our 7th grade social studies classes which is ancient history.
     

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