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No books at school

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by tortuman, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Who had the brilliant idea of not allowing the kids to have their own textbook?
    Is it just me thinking it is backwards not having a proper tool to take home to revise?

    My school has the latest technology, but no books. So, kids copy things, most of the time wrong or misspelled, thus wasting precious teaching time copying rather than doing something productive. Often neither the parents nor the kids know what to revise at home because they don?t have a manual (textbook) to follow at home.

    Maybe it?s just me, but I always thought having a textbook you can take home and study from is more important than having the latest interactive whiteboard?

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Who had the brilliant idea of not allowing the kids to have their own textbook?
    Is it just me thinking it is backwards not having a proper tool to take home to revise?

    My school has the latest technology, but no books. So, kids copy things, most of the time wrong or misspelled, thus wasting precious teaching time copying rather than doing something productive. Often neither the parents nor the kids know what to revise at home because they don?t have a manual (textbook) to follow at home.

    Maybe it?s just me, but I always thought having a textbook you can take home and study from is more important than having the latest interactive whiteboard?

    What are your thoughts?
     
  3. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    All our KS4 MFL students take home their text book to study and do homework exercises from (or to finish classwork). It is impractical to do this in KS3 because there are so many students and so few pennies in the coffers. I would love to be able to give each student their own book - it would save a fortune in photocopying - but I know that I would never see some of them again. Many of my students can't be trusted to bring in a pen or an exercise book so £15 worth of text book leaving school is definitely not a good idea.
    On a more positive note, we always have a few copies of each text book in the school library so that the students can borrow one if they so wish, or they can go to the library and do their homework in there.
     
  4. Invest in a home-made grammar/vocab book for them? It's what my last school did and it worked a treat - simply affix it with an elastic band into the middle of their exercise books and away you go.

    My current school doesn't have anything like this - drives me slightly mad!
     
  5. I know that in our authority there has, historically , been a snobbishness associated with textbooks. Sorry, but I don't see Mathe English PE or any other teachers ********* around making second-rate resources (mine) late into the night. LFB - get books for them. Also, in fairness - if I had a letter to write in French I am pretty certain that, although I consider my French to be pretty good, I would have recourse to a dictionary to check something or other at some stage.
    I vowed as an NQT never to work in a school which did not have books for all to take home.
     
  6. mpc

    mpc

    My current school has dealt with the book thing in two different ways in recent times..
    In ye olden days, all the students had a book (which they frequently left at home and which ended up looking like a dog's dinner if they did return it).
    In more modern times, our students don't have a textbook but, at GCSE, have booklets (wordlists, useful phrases etc).
    I hear what you're saying about making stuff, Gorgybaby - I seem to spend a lot of my life doing this - BUT it's sometimes difficult (a) to find the right textbook (we have half sets of bits and bobs which we dip into) (b) to find the money to finance everybody having their own book.
     
  7. I hear you, and I understand what you all are saying. But I cannot simply believe that children have changed so much in the last 15-20 years.
    Back then all students had books, in other countries all students have books. How come there are schools in UK that have books and others don't?
    To be honest the "they lose them" or "they get spoiled" just sounds like an excuse. The school where I studied was a tough one and even the roughest kids manage to keep their books.
    I agree with gorgybaby, if I get the chance to apply for another school I will defo only go if they have books. For lost of reasons, firstly photocopying is not cost effective, copying in class wastes time, kids write things wrong anyway, and you need a "proper" book with an index if you want to revise, I am sure you can think of more like educating the kids by trusting them with a book rather than assume they are all stupid and not giving them a book.
    I am sure lots of parents will be happy leaving a deposit for the books, parents who work would have the money, parents who don't, well, probably the ELA would pay for them.
     
  8. They really do lose them! Or forget them, or ruin them, in my experience anyway! That's the reason we don't issue students with a copy of their own textbook at KS3. THat and the fact that hardly any of the work done in our department is from the textbook so they are not used to the style etc or it doesn't fit in with what we are doing.

    The reason we don't issue them at KS4? Well, we hardly have any left, because the students who were issued with them before lost them, forgot them, ruined them, never brought them back!!!!

    Sad, but true unfortunately.
     
  9. PierreImport

    PierreImport Administrator

    ...and these books are so flimsy and large these days. Why not have littler ones with hard back covers?
     
  10. In France, there is a kind of union for books where you go before 'la rentree' and literally BUY your books. At the end of the year you come back to resell them if you wish to.
    Problem solved.
    Never heard anybody complaining about it.
     
  11. Well, sorry forgot to complete the story.

    That meant that everybody could have a book and if parents cared enough about getting their money back or most of it at least, they would brief their kids to take care of the books. It wasn't cheap but but a good incentive to get your money back. Books were standard stuff that could be used year after year.

    Oh, those evenings spent around the kitchen table folding books in protective plastic, in different colours and with a nice label with pictures on! Quite nostalgic about that time actually, when kids cared more about their stuff and could be bothered to learn!
     
  12. This sounds like a daft question - even to me...

    Would it not be feasible, at least in certain departments and age groups, to ask for a price-of-book deposit, refundable if the book comes back in a semi-decent condition?
     
  13. Just think, if they had their own books they might actually be expected to learn something or produce something worthwhile. Can't have that now, can we? We might even have to return to a more academic way of teaching rather than drawing pictures, playing games, singing songs and now, of course, making cheesy videos with Playpeople. How much time is invested in making those? I wonder at the world of MFL, I really, really do.



     
  14. Geekie

    Geekie New commenter

    Now duck to avoid the bullets, MFL Maverick.
     
  15. The kids at our school don't have their own textbook, and yes it creates a bit more thought on the teacher's part, but it works out quite well. Each pupil has a vocab folder (A4 ringbinder) where they put vocab sheets and basically anything that they can use to revise or write an essay. If they keep it tidy etc, it's a great resource for them - like a dictionary. This is particularly good for ks4 because they make different sections for each topic so it's straightforward when they need to write up coursework or revise. I find exercise books, once finished are forgotten about, which is why the vocab folder thing works well.
     
  16. A colleague of mine who worked in America had a copy of a text book which was like a hard back version with suggested lesson plans . It was worthy of displaying on your coffee table and three times the size of the the student version with worksheets etc. Truly amazing- nothing like in Britain - forget the complimentary CD rom of suggested SOW - not a patch on this

    I loved my MFL textbooks as a wee student. Finding that I give out so many worksheets now that some students associate any textbook work as cover lesson work ( therefore not worth doing in their eyes) Have found KS5 only seem to "remember" or value certain exercises
    when p'copied and pasted into shiny booklet type thing even when in textbook originally.

    P.S. I miss Projekt Deutsch! I loved this text book to teach from ( pre National Framework)

     
  17. Sorry, but I still think the "they lose them" argument is just an excuse. I agree with MFL Maverick.
    How come in France, Spain, Germany... even in many schools in England they don't lose them?

    I am sure that even less afluent families would be happy to invest money in books for their kids if they knew it would benefit their education.
    I don't think this no-book thing is something that has always been like that. I talk to many people who used to be teachers 20 years ago and they are really shocked to know that kids are not allowed to have their own books, also every English person I ask says they used to have their own books and are outraged at the idea of depriving children of this important tool.
    So, really, what's happened? It doesn't have anything to do with children losing the books, it's just some new government policy that everybody follows blindly, looks like.
     
  18. Why would I need to avoid bullets, when I'm just stating the truth? Am I the only one who's willing to admit the emperor is in the buff?

    You know, people succeeded perfectly well without all these silly IWBs and things in the past, when they studied the languages academically with textbooks and grammar. It's amazing that such an efficient way of teaching is now regarded as a contrarian perspective.

    Have you all sold out, or are you just pretending to keeps your cushy jobs?
     
  19. Sadly few of the students make good use of their textbooks at home and they do get spoiled. However we give all our students the official 'grey' workbook that comes with (in our case) équipe/voilà and they then have access to all the vocab and there are plenty of HW opportunities.
     
  20. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    I don't know when the 'no text book' brought home culture started. I was shocked when my eldest started secondary school some years ago and came home without a text book and reams of photocopies. Most schools do not have lockers so the children have to carry everything around - one reason for not having them in their bags, it would be too heavy.

    Now I teach and we aren't supposed to use text books in the classroom!! We are de-skilling children not to be able to cope with a text book. The tables have turned and now we want independent learners, so no more drip feeding information etc. The text book will return but in the guise of these small mini laptop things.

    I don't believe the book battered argument either. Photocopying costs are astronomical and a complete waste of paper.
     

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