Textbook or No Textbook, That is the Question

I have done something this year that I have never done before in my teaching career. I taught two units of study without total dependence of a textbook OR a teacher’s edition and I survived!
The first unit I taught was the election process from September until November and the second was a unit covering information about Ft. Caroline in preparation for our field trip last week.
I have always been an advocate for using texts as a “springboard” for my lessons. Since I did not have this option with these two topics I had to base my lessons on my own research and I found this to be a wonderful way to teach and I learned so much in the process.
At the same time I was preparing my lessons, the students were involved in lessons with Karin dealing with skills when using the internet for research. I learned so much from her that helped me find my materials for my lessons. For example, there are so many “tricks” that I didn’t know about when using Google!
With each lesson I taught without the luxury of a textbook, I found myself so much better prepared and so much more knowledgeable about the topics. There weren’t many questions that the students asked that I didn’t know the answer to because of my extensive preparation.
So now, I am rethinking the use of textbooks (with the exception of math-there is NO way I can solve some of the 5th Grade word problems without the teacher’s edition!) I think that with the wonders of the worldwide web, maybe textbooks are quickly becoming a thing of the past. They are so limited with the information they provide students and teachers.
I did spend a lot more time planning and preparing, but it was worth every minute!


(images from: http://www.school-clip-art.com/book_clipart.shtml & http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/category/tech.html)


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July 2018
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