Choosing textbooks can be a tedious project. There are many factors to take into consideration. Grade level, subject matter and budgeting expenses are some of the bigger factors to consider. Since most teachers use textbooks as guiding sources in their teaching, it's very important to choose carefully.
Pull up or printout the state teaching standards for the grade level for which you are purchasing textbooks. The teaching standards are what students are tested on at the end of each school year. Teachers normally have to plan lessons that center on the teaching standards. Looking for textbooks that incorporate the standards into the text is beneficial.
Start by reading reviews on elementary textbookpublishers. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School Publishers is a textbook publishing company that produces a large volume of elementary textbooks in all subjects. McGraw-Hill is another popular textbook publisher. They also publish a large volume of elementary textbooks. Both publishers are very popular with most schools.
Visit some of the textbook publishers' websites. There you will be ableto find more information about their textbooks, resources and most anything you need to know. You can see samples and email or call the publisher to ask questions about the textbooks.
See if the textbook content correlates to the teaching standards. Scan through the standards and look through the textbook to make sure some of the standards can be found in it. If so, you might havefound an appropriate textbook.
Check the budget to make sure you can afford the textbooks you want for your classroom. You may need to hold a fundraiser if you don't have enough money. Without extra funding, you'll have to find less expensive textbooks.
The Role of Materials in Relation to Other Elements :
Since the end of 1970s, there has been a movement to make learners rather thanteachers the center of language learning. According to this approach to teaching, learners are more important than teachers, materials, curriculum, methods, or evaluation. As a matter of fact, curriculum, materials, teaching methods, and evaluation should all be designed for learners and their needs. It is the teacher's responsibility to check to see whether all of the elements of the learningprocess are working well for learners and to adapt them if they are not.
In other words, learners should be the center of instruction and learning. The curriculum is a statement of the goals of learning, the methods of learning, etc. The role of teachers is to help learners to learn. Teachers have to follow the curriculum and provide, make, or choose materials. They may adapt, supplement, andelaborate on those materials and also monitor the progress and needs of the students and finally evaluate students.
Materials include textbooks, video and audio tapes, computer software, and visual aids. They influence the content and the procedures of learning. The choice of deductive vs inductive learning, the role of memorization, the use of creativity and problem solving, production vs. reception,and the order in which materials are presented are all influenced by the materials.
Technology, such as OHP, slides, video and audio tape recorders, video cameras, and computers, supports instruction/learning .
Evaluations (tests, etc.) can be used to assign grades, check learning, give feedback to students, and improve instruction by giving feedback to the teacher.
Though students should bethe center of instruction, in many cases, teachers and students rely on materials, and the materials become the center of instruction. Since many teachers are busy and do not have the time or inclination to prepare extra materials, textbooks and other commercially produced materials are very important in language instruction. Therefore, it is important for teachers to know how to choose the best...