The [updated] 261-page 6th Grade Technology Curriculum is the seventh in a series designed to teach technology by integrating it into classroom inquiry. The choice of hundreds of school districts, private schools and homeschoolers around the world, this nine-volume suite 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’re the lab specialist, IT coordinator, or classroom teacher.
The 32-week 6th grade tech curriculum is designed with the unique needs of middle school technology IT classes in mind. Each lesson is now aligned with both Common Core State Standards and National Educational Technology Standards, including Scope and Sequence. step-by-step weekly lessons, articles on tech pedagogy, emphasis on comprehension/problem-solving/critical thinking/preparing students for career and college. Focus is on transfer of knowledge and blended learning, collaboration and sharing.
Online support is offered FREE through a help blog
Each lesson includes: Common Core Standards, ISTE Standards, essential question, big idea, materials required, vocabulary, problem solving for lesson, time required to complete, teacher preparation required, steps to accomplish goals, assessment strategies, troubleshooting, how to extend learning, additional resources, examples, grading rubrics. Units include:
- Desktop Publishing
- Digital Portfolios
- Digital Rights & Res.
- Genius Hour
- Google Apps
- Google Earth Lit Trip
- Internet Search
- Intro and Digital Tools
- Khan Academy
- Problem Solving
- The Debate
- Web-based Tools
- Word Processing
- Write an Ebook
Note to readers: Color shown in the sample image gallery are included in PDF version only, sold separately. Please contact publisher for a discounted price with Amazon proof of purchase.
Here’s how to use this curriculum effectively in your classroom:
- Don’t be alarmed by the amount of material included in this textbook. There are more units than can fit into a school year. Why? It’s simple. You may find tremendous interest in one unit and decide to spend lots of time on it. Or not. Because each unit is a stand-alone, feel free to mix and match, pick what you want to cover, in the sequence you want to cover it.
- Throughout the Units, you will often see instructions to ‘pick which program works best’, and/or ‘devise a plan of action to accomplish the goals’. It means exactly that. Differentiate instruction for your unique group. Be flexible, open-minded, and adventurous with these choices.
- Units focus on strategies useful throughout a student’s learning day. Collaborate with grade-level subject teachers on cross-curricular planners that involve technology.
- A lesson is forty-five minutes. A Unit is two lessons—in most cases, accomplished the same week. Some units require multiple weeks.
- Use domain-specific language noted under ‘Vocabulary’. This supports Common Core standards as students learn by your example.
- Check off each item in the text’s Scope and Sequence as it is completed. Some Scope and Sequence entries link to Common Core standards where you can get more detail.
- Treat students as ‘authors’ and ‘doers’, rather than passive consumers. A good step in that direction is to consider a BYOD approach in your classes so students can use the devices they have easiest access to and are most comfortable with (if your school IT folks and infrastructure can support this approach). Because lessons cross content boundaries, learning can be optimized by encouraging students to complete projects when most convenient for their schedules.
- Support differentiated instruction. If students have an alternative approach to a lesson and it accomplishes the goals, consider allowing them to pursue it. By 6th grade, we want students to take responsibility for their own learning. This is nicely accomplished by allowing them to come up with the plan that accomplishes expectations.
- Expect students to be risk takers. Don’t rush in to solve their problems. Ask them to think how it was done in the past or what strategies might provide a solution. Focus on problems listed in the Unit, but embrace all that come your way.
- At every available opportunity, use technology—to schedule meetings, take a poll, read, time an activity. Expect students to devise tech alternatives to common activities.
- The Units use free software and web-based tools wherever possible. If there are programs you can’t access, email us and we’ll help you develop a work-around.
- Assessment isn’t a static thing—nor is it ‘bad’. Unit assessments aren’t limited to traditional quizzes and tests. Be creative. We offer formative and summative options, but tweak them to suit your needs. Remember why you assess: 1) to see if students understand the lesson, 2) to see if what was taught can be transferred to life, 3) to help students prepare for college and/or career.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re a Mac or PC school with desktops, laptops or Chromebooks. We don’t push anyone’s products. In lessons, adapt the software, device, and/or platform to your school. For example, if you’re a Mac school, take any reference to ‘Windows’, ‘Word’, ‘Office’ and adapt for Mac’s fine offerings. Can you do that? Of course— you’re a techie.
- If you have the print curriculum and need a link, Google the name. If that doesn’t work, visit the Help blog (http://askatechteacher.com) and ask the teacher there for the link. If s/he is too slow (which s/he won’t be), email Zeke.Rowe@structuredlearning.net with name, textbook, page number. He’ll track it down.
- Any questions on any part of this textbook? You can get answers from AskaTechTeacher.com. There’s always a teacher there familiar with the K-8 curriculum. Let them know where you need help and they’ll figure it out with you.
Sound good? Here’s where to purchase:
Site Licenses–if you want these Common Core lessons available in all classrooms, across all platforms (iPads, desktops, laptops, more) for one low price
Disclaimer: I am one of the editors for this series, though it’s a collaboration of a team of technology teachers.
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, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.