Spring Survival Tip #8: Ditch Those Textbooks

Here in Georgia, we have eight weeks to go until summer break. Eight. Weeks. In other words–an eternity. A text came from our principal this morning after first block, “Watch out for dress code violations!”

Tempers and attention spans shorten right along with hem lines, and if you’re anything like me, this is the most difficult time of the year. So in the spirit of spring, I’m doing a series every Monday (except for spring break :)) on tips for keeping the kids engaged and yourself sane. If you missed last week, you can check it out here.

Ready for spring survival tip #8 for teachers? This time, I'm suggesting that you ditch the textbook - if you can. If your school has access to iPads, Chromebooks, or computers, then utilize those! It's easy to make a blended classroom environment, and your students will appreciate the change. Click through to get more ideas, including how to make QR codes!
My department is fortunate enough to have an IPad Cart!

That leads us to this week:

Spring Survival Tip #8: Ditch Those Textbooks

If you can, that is. If you have access to tablets and/or smartphones, then with a bit of discernment, the internet can offer so much more than the dated textbook of one publisher, and (also with discernment) has a much better chance of engaging the students than opening the textbook to page 198.

Have students take virtual tours, analyze pictures, read primary sources, search for examples, watch tutorials, take online quizzes and surveys, study vocabulary on Quizlet….The possibilities are endless.

The ease of creating and using qr codes makes using the internet just as easy as flipping to a page. Gone are the days of laboriously typing out URLs. If you’re late to the qr code bandwagon, it’s easy and free to generate static qr codes. I tend to use qrstuff.com, but there are a ton of sites out there.

Ready for spring survival tip #8 for teachers? This time, I'm suggesting that you ditch the textbook - if you can. If your school has access to iPads, Chromebooks, or computers, then utilize those! It's easy to make a blended classroom environment, and your students will appreciate the change. Click through to get more ideas, including how to make QR codes!

Ready for spring survival tip #8 for teachers? This time, I'm suggesting that you ditch the textbook - if you can. If your school has access to iPads, Chromebooks, or computers, then utilize those! It's easy to make a blended classroom environment, and your students will appreciate the change. Click through to get more ideas, including how to make QR codes!
Click here to see the lesson my students are working on!

And so they learn (hopefully). Here, my sociology students are reading current articles. Their textbook was published in 2003, so that’s a definite benefit.

I’m constantly pinning articles, pictures, and videos to Pinterest that I want my students to analyze so that I have a lot of up-to-date information to choose from. It’s empowering not to be limited to a single source!

How do you “ditch those textbooks” in your classroom? Leave a comment below to let me know. And be sure to check back next Monday for Spring Survival Tip #7.

8 more weeks! Hang in there!

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