Monday, November 30, 2015

Kids Say The Darnedest Things--Textbook Adoption Edition

I've written before (here and here, for starters) about the mess our district has made of piloting math textbooks for adoption next year.  I have a classroom set of statistics books sitting, unused and still in the boxes, on the floor of my classroom; I have 3 statistics classes.  No way could I just "drop in" a different book into one of those classes, that just wouldn't work, it's not the way things are supposed to be done.  So I got the textbook publisher to give me online access for all of my stats students; this gives them access not only to the online version of the textbook but also all the additional (and costly) goodies that publishers now include to make their crappy books more palatable.

I offered students a small amount of extra credit to "review" the online materials for me.  They had access for two of our chapter tests, so I suggested they look up the topics we're studying, find the pilot textbook's coverage of those topics, and see if it helps them at all.  They could take practice tests/quizzes, read how a different textbook explains material, and watch the videos that are designed to enhance instruction.  I told them bullet points for "pro" and "con" would be enough, and several students went above and beyond that standard to give me very detailed feedback.  I'm pleased at their efforts.

Here's how one student described the videos in particular:  "video has the resolution of a potato".  I actually burst out laughing when I read that :-)

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