by Structured Learning IT Teaching Team
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m often asked what books I’d recommend for teaching technology in the classroom. Each year about this time, I do a series of reviews on my favorite tech ed books. If you want to fix some of last year’s problems, I suggest you consider the nine-volume K-8 technology curriculum series that’s used in hundreds of school districts across the country (and internationally). It’s skills-based, project-based, aligned with Common Core and NETS national standards and fully integratable into state core classroom standards.
The fifth in the series, the 203-page Fourth Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Any Fourth Grader Can Do, (Structured Learning 2013), available in print or digital, and perfect for Smartscreens, iPads, laptops. It includes many age-appropriate samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections, thematic websites, pedagogic articles, and how-to’s. Because I edited this book, I made sure it includes pieces that I as a teacher knew to be critical to the classroom:
- K-6 vertically-integrated Scope and Sequence
- Certificate of Completion for students when they finish the year
- a summary of steps for a 45-minute class period–usually 2-3 activities, arranged temporally throughout the year for ease of understanding by students. For example, a lesson is likely to include 2-3 activities from among typing practice, student presentations, project that ties into core class activity, problem-solving that assists with 1:1 initiatives
- Common Core and ISTE standards supported
- domain-specific vocabulary
- Big Idea and Essential Questions for each unit
- integrations to core classroom units
- trouble-shooting solutions to the problems most likely to come up in the classroom
- enrichments for those precocious students who finish the lesson and want more
- a list of websites (PDF has active links). Both print and PDF can access a webpage on Ask a Tech Teacher that is updated yearly with new websites by grade level and category
- a help link (to this blog) to a teacher using the curriculum who will help you through the prickly parts of a lesson plan. This is FREE–no charge.
- Where lessons center around purchased software, the authors made an effort to offer free alternatives. For example, instead of KidPix, teachers can use TuxPaint. Instead of Type to Learn, teachers can use a list of online keyboarding websites like Dance Mat Typing and Typing Web
- pedagogy articles to help think through critical issues like keyboarding, use of the internet, how to use wikis in classrooms, and more
- wall posters covering critical technology issues (like mouse skills)
- monthly homework for grades 3-5
- FREE membership in a real-time teaching wiki where you can teach along side an experienced teacher using the curriculum every week
If you purchase the PDF, it’s in full color with hundreds of active links so you can click through to enrichments quickly.
Here’s the blurb:
The choice of hundreds of school districts, private schools and homeschoolers around the world and tens of thousands of students, this nine-volume tech ed curriculum is the all-in-one solution to running an effective, efficient, and fun technology program for kindergarten-eighth grade (each grade level textbook sold separately) whether you are the lab specialist, IT coordinator, or classroom teacher. Each lesson is aligned with both Common Core State Standards* (6th grade: aligned via Table of Contents) and National Educational Technology Standards, and includes an Essential Question, Big Idea, suggested Assessments, required materials, vocabulary, problem solving, teacher preparation required, how to extend learning, examples, grading rubrics, additional resources, and how students can collaborate/share projects. Using a tested approach that promotes literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making, students learn the technology required to prepare for their future. The secret for you, as teacher, is knowing what to teach and when. Each textbook includes a K-6 wide-ranging Scope and Sequence, 32 weekly lessons, monthly homework (3rd-5th only), student Certificate of Completion, a comprehensive list of websites to support learning, articles that address tech pedagogy, and posters ready to print and hang on your walls. With your purchase, you receive FREE access to a wealth of online resources including hundreds of teacher materials that differentiate instruction, websites that extend learning, and free help from professionals using the curriculum (membership included with purchase). Note: Color and embedded links shown in Click to Look Inside are included in pdf only.
Any questions? Post them to comments. I’ll answer them!
Disclaimer: I am one of the editors for this series, though it’s a collaboration of a team of technology teachers.
Where to purchase:
- Amazon.com (print books)
- Teachers Pay Teachers (ebooks)
- Publisher’s website (print, ebooks, specials, sets)
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.