Showing posts from May, 2010

Textbooks: the Curriculum Security Blanket

I watched my 2 year old carry his blanket around the house this weekend, and for some reason it brought to mind the argument I had with a teacher about textbooks.  I don't know why the two things paired up in my mind, but they did.  Perhaps because (as with our previous boys) we are starting the process of weaning our son off his blanket.  It's a multi-year process in our household: first restricting it OUT of certain areas (for example the kitchen), then restricting it TO certain areas (the crib & the car), then restricting it to ONE area (the crib... or bed as it may be!).  After that, it is up to them (hey~ if they want to take it college, who am I to say?).

I feel that likewise, I am trying to wean many of our teachers away from the security blanket of seeing their textbooks as their curriculum.  Somehow, at some time, a vast number of educators got sold on the idea that the textbook is the be-all, end-all of what they need to teach.  It became the easy way to "ma…

Teach Me: Kindergarten App Review for IEAR

Grade Level: Elementary (including Pre-K)

Purpose: A

Program Functionality: B+

Overall Educational Value: A

Cost: $0.99 (Site says special sale price)

Overview:  TeachMe: Kindergarten is a "game" type learning app with four subjects: sight words, addition, subtraction and spelling.  It uses the Dolch sight words.  Addition is up to a total of 10, and subtraction is from 10 down.  Spelling involves completing the word by providing the first letter.  Each of the four subjects can be turned on/off, and the sub-topics under each subject can be marked as "learned," "unlearned," or even "disabled."   It allows for personalization for up to four "players."  Each player's settings can be adjusted individually, to allow for different learning levels on the same device.

The app uses a reward system where the user earns "coins" for a set number of correct answers (this can also be set in the user settings).  The user can then use th…