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I dont find it surprising. Not at all. I have never found any English curriculum worth using. High school lessons are usually comprehension oriented. There is no depth. Most writing programs just repeat the same pts over and over again without stretching skills and analysis. 

Why do I design my kids' classes?  Yeah.

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I'm not surprised either. They aren't generally selling a curriculum, but an isolated "unit" and by the time you get to high school, stitching together units from different providers isn't going to make a coherent year and doesn't invite any kind of depth.

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In my teacher planning classes, we were constantly being told to look on TPT for lesson plans and stuff.  But the quality is just....ugh.  I mean, there's a lot of cute stuff.  But solid curriculum?  Coherent lessons that follow each other?  Not so much.  But especially for elementary, the focus tends to be on cute rather than GOOD.  

Important exception:  I have seen some good autism stuff.  Can't remember where exactly, but I recall being impressed with it.  It wasn't really lesson plans as room organization and setting up routines, however.  

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Oh, I will fully admit that I use TPT stuff in the class I teach at our church. But...it's not the lesson itself, you know. I go there to look for a craft or activity to reinforce the lesson for the week. The concept of teachers using it as curriculum is just sad to me, as to me it's obvious that it's not designed for that.

I wouldn't be surprised if 80% of teachers use it. But I'd hope that the majority aren't using TPT resources as their full curriculum for reason others have stated.

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The other issue is that you have to realize that many schools no longer have textbooks, so no teacher's guides.  You're just given standards and expected to create lessons to support them.  Which is fine, but very time consuming when you have to do so for six subjects a day, plus differentiation for English Language Learners, various disabilities, and reading levels that may span eight grades.  

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5 minutes ago, Terabith said:

The other issue is that you have to realize that many schools no longer have textbooks, so no teacher's guides.  You're just given standards and expected to create lessons to support them.  Which is fine, but very time consuming when you have to do so for six subjects a day, plus differentiation for English Language Learners, various disabilities, and reading levels that may span eight grades.  

I don't envy the position we've put teachers in. 

But why is it that way? Didn't teachers always create their own lessons back in the day? 

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Just now, Plum said:

I don't envy the position we've put teachers in. 

But why is it that way? Didn't teachers always create their own lessons back in the day? 

They generally created their own lessons, but there were usually textbooks to provide a coherent scope and sequence, sometimes readings and exercises/ questions.  Where I really struggle is teaching math without a textbook.  Content subjects it's not a big deal at all, but math and grammar are just a slog without them.  Phonics really benefits from a carefully prepared sequence, too.

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1 minute ago, Terabith said:

They generally created their own lessons, but there were usually textbooks to provide a coherent scope and sequence, sometimes readings and exercises/ questions.  Where I really struggle is teaching math without a textbook.  Content subjects it's not a big deal at all, but math and grammar are just a slog without them.  Phonics really benefits from a carefully prepared sequence, too.

My cousin works at an expensive private school and he mentioned not using textbooks. I just don't get it. 

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Just now, Plum said:

My cousin works at an expensive private school and he mentioned not using textbooks. I just don't get it. 

It's really frustrating, especially when I'm trying to help my kids with their homework, but I can't see how it was taught or any examples, and my 8th grader keeps yelling, "But that's not how we were taught to do the algebra problem," but she doesn't remember how she was taught, and my memory of algebra could use some refreshing because while I can do the problems, I'm not exactly sure of alternate ways to explain it, etc.  

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Dont confuse issues. First, many schools no longer use physical textbooks. That is bc they use online programs. But,when English courses have used textbooks, they were snippet anthologies with equally weak, superficial lessons. (I was given several by my sister's mil. No thank you.)

This is way more complicated than no physical textbooks. We are a country without a clear educational direction that lets (cough) non-profit companies like CB steer the ship. What the heck kind of power does David Coleman have to shift the direction of education to Common Core? US educational standards are a mess and the root cause is bc those in charge are clueless as to what defines "educated."

https://www.publishingsolutionsgroup.com/blog/common-core-nonfiction/

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I dont find it surprising. Not at all. I have never found any English curriculum worth using. High school lessons are usually comprehension oriented. There is no depth. Most writing programs just repeat the same pts over and over again without stretching skills and analysis. 

Why do I design my kids' classes?  Yeah.

I have probably said this before and I really hope I dont sound too stalkerish, but you are one of the main reasons I started participating on these boards. I have gleaned so much wisdom from your posts. I know I am a random person on the internet, but thank you for the time you have invested here. It has not been in vain.

When I started homeschooling out of desperation 4 years ago I read, read, read to figure out how to do right by my kids. And over time I have learned more and gained more confidence to the point where I now know what I want my kids to learn and how I want them to learn it. And I am doing it myself to my standards. And it is so freeing. And partly because of you, this is not as daunting of a challenge. 

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I understand wanting to quantify things and make them official and all that, but was a study really needed to state what seems rather obvious? I am sure that sounds snobby, but in the limited time I have spent on TPT, I have mainly found a bunch of random worksheets what seem to have limited educational value and much more "show we did something" value. Unless there is a treasure trove of awesomeness lurking on there, I cannot imagine how the worksheets I have found give anyone confidence in the schools/teachers that use them for teaching purposes. 

Then again, I have the luxury of sitting on the couch with a globe/Google Earth/fun geography books and exploring with my kids. I have the luxury of reading aloud and asking my kids to narrate to check for reading comprehension. I have the luxury of listening to SOTW in the car and discussing historical events. There is no way that some worksheets are a better educational value. But worksheets are much better at producing something tangible to show "learning". 

Obviously, we are not a worksheet kind of family😁😂

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18 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Dont confuse issues. First, many schools no longer use physical textbooks. That is bc they use online programs. But,when English courses have used textbooks, they were snippet anthologies with equally weak, superficial lessons. (I was given several by my sister's mil. No thank you.)

This is way more complicated than no physical textbooks. We are a country without a clear educational direction that lets (cough) non-profit companies like CB steer the ship. What the heck kind of power does David Coleman have to shift the direction of education to Common Core? US educational standards are a mess and the root cause is bc those in charge are clueless as to what defines "educated."

https://www.publishingsolutionsgroup.com/blog/common-core-nonfiction/

And non-profits like The Gates Foundation. When a country's educational system is divorced from the voters and at the mercy of billionaire philanthropists and the CB, well, we get this. 

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33 minutes ago, annegables said:

I have probably said this before and I really hope I dont sound too stalkerish, but you are one of the main reasons I started participating on these boards. I have gleaned so much wisdom from your posts. I know I am a random person on the internet, but thank you for the time you have invested here. It has not been in vain.

When I started homeschooling out of desperation 4 years ago I read, read, read to figure out how to do right by my kids. And over time I have learned more and gained more confidence to the point where I now know what I want my kids to learn and how I want them to learn it. And I am doing it myself to my standards. And it is so freeing. And partly because of you, this is not as daunting of a challenge. 

:blush: (blushing emoji 😉 )

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3 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Dont confuse issues. First, many schools no longer use physical textbooks. That is bc they use online programs. But,when English courses have used textbooks, they were snippet anthologies with equally weak, superficial lessons. (I was given several by my sister's mil. No thank you.)

This is way more complicated than no physical textbooks. We are a country without a clear educational direction that lets (cough) non-profit companies like CB steer the ship. What the heck kind of power does David Coleman have to shift the direction of education to Common Core? US educational standards are a mess and the root cause is bc those in charge are clueless as to what defines "educated."

https://www.publishingsolutionsgroup.com/blog/common-core-nonfiction/

While I prefer physical textbooks over online textbooks, there ARE a lot of school districts not using EITHER physical textbooks or online programs.  I taught in one and my 8th grader is attending one.  It makes for a very haphazard approach to learning and teaching.  

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

While I prefer physical textbooks over online textbooks, there ARE a lot of school districts not using EITHER physical textbooks or online programs.  I taught in one and my 8th grader is attending one.  It makes for a very haphazard approach to learning and teaching.  

Interesting.  Most ps kids we know do not have textbooks, but they are issued laptops and all of their coursework is on their laptop, so not "nothing."

I have zero problems with not using textbooks for English classes. (I never had an English textbook in school, but my English teacherse were excellent and taught to a high level.)

Math?  yeah, that would be a problem.  

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Our system issues laptops to grades 8-12, and they do use them, but more for document sharing and such.  They don't have online textbooks.  Math is really where I feel the lack the most.  

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When I originally heard no textbooks, my first thought was cool, so lots of living books and some non-fiction? But no, it meant worksheets and online links to videos. 

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5 minutes ago, Plum said:

When I originally heard no textbooks, my first thought was cool, so lots of living books and some non-fiction? But no, it meant worksheets and online links to videos. 

Yep.

Dd16 took biology at a local school last year--there was no textbook, online or otherwise.

They got packets to fill out from class lectures.

We didn't have textbooks for every course I took in high school but we did have books--in English courses for example we each got a stack of novels and plays we would be reading during the year. We always had textbooks for science and math.

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There is some good stuff, but you have to sort through the rest. I love Print Path for handwriting, and have found good consonant digraph worksheets for 1st grade, etc. And some fun unit study stuff, but plenty of awful unit studies. 

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Curious how you would classify Thinkwell, Edmentum, Discovery, etc courses. The ones we have used do not have textbooks.  I have never used DO's as posters describe, but arent his courses set up as lectures with his designed worksheets for problem sets? 

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Curious how you would classify Thinkwell, Edmentum, Discovery, etc courses. The ones we have used do not have textbooks.  I have never used DO's as posters describe, but arent his courses set up as lectures with his designed worksheets for problem sets? 

We've done some Edmentum; the classes we did seemed to me like an online textbook plus lecture--if I am remembering correctly there was written content. 

With a recorded lecture, at least a student can go back over the lecture multiple times. If all you have is listening to the teacher lecture once in class and attempting to take notes, with no textbook to refer to, it seems far too easy to entirely miss something significant.

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On the bright side, if schools aren’t using textbooks, maybe that means Pearson and the other big textbook publishers aren’t getting money. 

I suppose this is a result of requiring differentiation of students. It’s also an example of isolating skills and sacrificing content. When TPT lets you search by CC standard, you are just looking to check a box, not help these kids make connections to what they are currently learning. 

I don’t use textbooks except in math. I know there are ways to put together a quality program without textbooks. I have no problem not using them. It does seem like a haphazard approach to ps though. Do same grade classes even use the same worksheets? 

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3 hours ago, Plum said:

I don’t use textbooks except in math. I know there are ways to put together a quality program without textbooks. I have no problem not using them. It does seem like a haphazard approach to ps though. Do same grade classes even use the same worksheets? 

No.  Each teacher is just pulling worksheets from various places on the internet.

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I like TPT for cute games, especially for my youngest students (mostly for fine motor/counting). I have also found some good leveled music activities there, and some arrangements of public domain sheet music (often the same people have their own site, and will offer a freebie on TPT and direct to their own site). I have also used it for extra math activities for tutoring students. Basically, I use TPT for the same stuff that I use Mailbox Magazine for. But never as an entire curriculum. 

 

Having said that, the three music programs that I use now are all self-published. I like them better than the core books from other publishers because parents get more for their money and the material is high quality. But they ARE core programs-written by people who saw a need, and filled it. And all three of the authors are very available and have their own private forums for folks who teach, offer a lot of support and extras, and absolutely recommend other people's work when it is a good option for a given child. 

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On 1/12/2020 at 2:10 PM, Terabith said:

In my teacher planning classes, we were constantly being told to look on TPT for lesson plans and stuff.  But the quality is just....ugh.  I mean, there's a lot of cute stuff.  But solid curriculum?  Coherent lessons that follow each other?  Not so much.  But especially for elementary, the focus tends to be on cute rather than GOOD.  

Important exception:  I have seen some good autism stuff.  Can't remember where exactly, but I recall being impressed with it.  It wasn't really lesson plans as room organization and setting up routines, however.  

Was it Autism Classroom News?

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SSO friend i know and I were chatting.  I asked where she gets her curriculum and she said she just looks at the Australian curriculum objectives then grabs stuff off teachers pay teachers.  My jaw dropped a bit. 
 

I think there’s a huge difference between teaching without textbooks because you are so familiar with the subject you can bring it alive without them and teaching without textbooks when you have no idea and are just hoping for the best.  Huge fan of a and not so much b.

some TPT stuff has been good with us.  Dd was hating on math last year and we took a break and did a zoo themed math unit and she loved it.  It wouldn’t be a long term solution but was good for a short break.  Having said that, that particular one was designed by a homeschool mum anyway.
 

one thing to keep in mind is a lot of teachers really actually have less prep time than us.  Many of them have their own families and then work at a school 7 hours or more per day which doesn’t really leave a lot over for PD and planning.  It kind of surprised me to realise this but really homeschool mums who aren’t also working have a tonne of time to research and learn about education methods compared to actual full time teachers.

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I have really loved the things I’ve gotten from TPT, but I’ve never thought of them as curriculum providers. I have used them for cute idiom posters, growth mindset posters, character trait posters and word walls printouts for: Greek and Latin word roots, parts of speech,  figurative language, and math.

I love their word wall printouts.  I do sometimes make flash cards with them but I more often just print them out and put them in a 3 ring folder or binder and make homemade books with them. I usually do that with posters too.

I am a huge fan of large, cute and colorful because those things offer more intense neurological input. I like word walls and posters because I think thoroughly knowing the vocabulary of a subject is very important to understanding the subject. Besides being large cute and colorful, a word, or math concept is often coupled with a picture that helps define it and I think that helps retention.

I think it is very easy to see the quality of their offerings before you purchase.

Love might be too mild of a word for how I feel about TPT. I think it fills a very unique need and I really love that a teacher can make a side income from it and I don’t have to make these things myself, because I’m sure I wouldn’t.

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I think I should add that I’ve never used TPT for high school English lessons, or actually lessons for anything. I just didn’t want all of what TPT offers to get lumped in with “bad” for those who aren’t going to click on the link. Also why I specifically listed what I have found TPT helpful for, since I haven’t used it for lessons.

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On 1/13/2020 at 5:39 PM, square_25 said:

But I basically don’t like any math curriculum or textbooks, so to me, a bunch of disjoint worksheets at least allows me to pick.

 

Aren't you a mathematician? Your brain is a text of sorts, if so. An organized repository of specialized knowledge.  If you're making notes or worksheets (especially if you're making both), you're essentially creating a textbook proper as you go. 

Maybe I am thinking of a different poster!

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On 1/12/2020 at 3:44 PM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Saying more than 80% of teachers use it is a bold claim on their part. I'd like to see how they back that up. 

The company itself made that claim. I suppose it's tied up in their internal market research. 

There was something else that said half of all US teachers use TPT at least once a week:

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2658.html

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TPT is self-evidently mostly fluff. Sometimes a bit of fluff is called for. 

To speak about anything (at all) in a PS setting and a homeschool setting, is to talk about two separate (if related) things. 

In school class periods are timed. If Suzy has a question about Romeo and Juliet, too bad: time for an assembly. If Roger II has something insightful to offer the class about the relationship between Mercutio and Romeo juxtaposed with Henry the Eighth and his best friend...  or whatever... it plumb doesn't matter because not everyone in the class is done filling out their "response sheets." 

Someone, 8 or Lelewel I'm sure, wrote here recently that the advantages of homeschool should be pressed when you're in that position and the advantages of school should be pressed when you're using a school. If anything, TPT caters more to the strengths of homeschooling and not at all to those of PS. On a pretty regular basis I look something over and tell my kids we're not going to do that. Even if it's planned and even if it's "the next thing." There's no such luxury in PS. Aside from the unconscionable number of things they are supposed to work into their infernal lessons now, there simply isn't TIME to stop and dig in, or stop and reconnoiter. Or stop, period. So... if some printable little doodad says it checks the box, then it checks the box. ONWARD FOREVER NO MATTER WHAT, including no matter if anyone has gotten anything out of this lesson at all.

Clearly, some teachers manage, even with the onerous and contradictory expectations placed on them today, to make real learning a priority. God bless them...I don't understand how, the same way I don't really understand how deep the Mariana Trench is. But a whole, whole lot don't. 

So, now...all these kids are coming up through these ridiculous classes. They will be running things after a spell. I already think my own generation is failing the next. How much worse it's going to get! And who is holding the line?? Some rich or lucky private school families and a statistical handful of both PS kids and homeschool kids. 

I can not overstate how bleak I think the outlook is. FWIW, which is nothing 🙂 

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I just want to second pretty much everything Terabeth said. There are a lot of classrooms not using textbooks anymore. It's a huge problem. Teachers think of TPT as a great resource. It's good for finding a nice, pretty version of a worksheet you don't want to make and there are a few gems there, but mostly it's crap.

There are a lot of overlapping issues here around this. One is that many of the textbooks historically sucked, so teachers have always gone off script from them in various ways. And complained about them. Plus, there was a period in education when over-scripted programs were all the rage. Like in the 90's for a bit, just before you could use the internet for everything, especially in the early NCLB era. And there was a big backlash against that. So then lots of teachers welcomed this move to emphasize the textbooks less and give them more freedom to plan and be creative. So that's one thread there.

But also, the relationship between the textbook publishers, the tests, and the school districts has also changed a lot. The best way to do well on Common Core and other state tests is to buy and use the textbooks written by the test makers - the education industrial complex, so to speak. The education industrial complex knows this. So they tweak the tests every year and make new versions of the texts that then specifically give an edge to the kids who got that newest textbook. But only rich districts can afford to shell out. So it helps reinforce rich kids getting higher scores. If your district is using texts (e or physical) that are relatively updated, then you probably live somewhere that's well-funded, as education goes.

Finally, there's the physical vs. ebook issue. Some districts are using ebooks. But the tech is so messy. And I personally think that the intangibility of etexts has made it so that more schools feel more free to ditch the texts overall. Because they see all resources online as mostly equal. There are a lot of issues playing into that.

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4 minutes ago, square_25 said:

That being said, I don't know that I'd trust all mathematicians (or even most?) to teach without a text. 

Just the one is all that's needed for your students 🙂 

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

I just want to second pretty much everything Terabeth said. There are a lot of classrooms not using textbooks anymore. It's a huge problem. Teachers think of TPT as a great resource. It's good for finding a nice, pretty version of a worksheet you don't want to make and there are a few gems there, but mostly it's crap.

There are a lot of overlapping issues here around this. One is that many of the textbooks historically sucked, so teachers have always gone off script from them in various ways. And complained about them. Plus, there was a period in education when over-scripted programs were all the rage. Like in the 90's for a bit, just before you could use the internet for everything, especially in the early NCLB era. And there was a big backlash against that. So then lots of teachers welcomed this move to emphasize the textbooks less and give them more freedom to plan and be creative. So that's one thread there.

But also, the relationship between the textbook publishers, the tests, and the school districts has also changed a lot. The best way to do well on Common Core and other state tests is to buy and use the textbooks written by the test makers - the education industrial complex, so to speak. The education industrial complex knows this. So they tweak the tests every year and make new versions of the texts that then specifically give an edge to the kids who got that newest textbook. But only rich districts can afford to shell out. So it helps reinforce rich kids getting higher scores. If your district is using texts (e or physical) that are relatively updated, then you probably live somewhere that's well-funded, as education goes.

Finally, there's the physical vs. ebook issue. Some districts are using ebooks. But the tech is so messy. And I personally think that the intangibility of etexts has made it so that more schools feel more free to ditch the texts overall. Because they see all resources online as mostly equal. There are a lot of issues playing into that.

I love it when threads get philosophical! I completely agree that TPT is a result of what you said. Oh, the law of unintended consequences.

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I’ll be a dissenter lol! I think TpT has some great stuff. I taught a tk-1 class last year and used quite a bit from TpT. I found engaging lessons that hit state standards (I checked to be sure they did). I just bought a few things last week for my 6th grader, to spice up our Greek study. Of course you have to weed through and spend some serious time researching, but that’s just par for the course imo.

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5 minutes ago, mamakelly said:

I’ll be a dissenter lol! I think TpT has some great stuff. I taught a tk-1 class last year and used quite a bit from TpT. I found engaging lessons that hit state standards (I checked to be sure they did). I just bought a few things last week for my 6th grader, to spice up our Greek study. Of course you have to weed through and spend some serious time researching, but that’s just par for the course imo.

I think the problem is they were relying on it too much, not supplementing with it. 

Quote

 

Reviewers only analyzed complete lessons or multi-lesson units. Individual worksheets or games were excluded because they cannot be expected to fulfill so many educational goals.

 

 

 

Quote

“The market is breaking down, I think, because teachers are not generally experts in creating curriculum materials or maybe even identifying good curriculum materials,” said Polikoff.  “I don’t view that as a failing of them as teachers or as humans. I view that as a failure of… their teacher education programs and their in-service professional development programs in the school districts that they work in.”

This is sad and unfair. If they didn't have so many restraints and requirements forced upon them, I'm sure they could come up with some really good ones. I've also heard of successful teachers getting penalized because it makes others look bad. (See School, Inc. documentary on Amazon Prime) 

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I agree with mamakelly.  I think tpt is great! It is no different than going into any teacher supply store or Barnes and Noble that had materials 10 years ago.  You have to know exactly what you are looking for and search thoroughly to find what you want. You must preview the items. If there is not a good preview, I don't purchase it.  I think tpt is especially good for the younger kids.  I recently bought a few literature studies for 7th/8th co-op group and sight word games for my own 1st graders.  Today I bought an African map of biomes for my kids to color. Could I have hand- drawn a map for them to color? yes.  Do I want to. NO!  Is it a valuable use of their time to understand the different biomes in Africa and where they are located as we dig into African animals and rich children's literature from Africa?  I think so.

Back in the 90's I would buy these crappy literature units from the teacher store for our literature books. They were really low level comprehension sheets all in one book along with some character maps and a few cheesy hands-on activities. I would use a tiny bit of it.  Now I can buy the same thing on Tpt, but I can also search for products that have higher level thinking, develop figurative language, and help kids understand theme.  I have to spend quite a bit of time searching, but it is worth it.  I also rarely use the whole purchase.  I simply pick and choose what suits my needs. There is plenty of bad stuff out there, but there is also many wonderful lessons to find and materials that you don't have to come up with yourself.  It is just like any other store. 

I think it was unfair of the article to look only at High School Level English material.  There has never been good high school level English material. The textbooks have always been terrible with low level questions and short snippets of stories.  Teachers have always had to spend tons of time creating their own stuff.  Now the stuff is just out there to be critiqued.  Some of it is wonderful, a lot isn't.  However, the discerning eye can find material that will enhance their program or unit of study.  I would hope most teachers would be discerning and find the material that fits their needs or they should create their own and post for others to select and learn from.  If the authors of the article really care about quality materials, they should create them and put them on Tpt to find.  

I personally love having an online resource store to supplement my curriculum and specific goals for my children. Need a game to practice adding -ly. Done! Need more practice on the different types of sentences. Easy.  Need high level discussion questions for socratic discussion of a piece of literature.  If I dig, I can find a source that meets some of my needs.  Tpt was never meant to be used as a full curriculum.  I love it. 

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14 hours ago, SRoss5 said:

 If the authors of the article really care about quality materials, they should create them and put them on Tpt to find.  

 

The authors were summarizing a report (linked upthread) by The Fordham Institute, which is an authorizing body for charter schools in Ohio. Their concern is wholly what will be effective in a classroom situation. They were not criticizing TPT on principle and they are not curriculum providers. Having just reported that TPT is saturated with largely useless fluff, as you yourself have confirmed by repeatedly saying how long it takes to sort the chaff from the wheat, even if they WERE interested in writing and selling curriculum, it wouldn't make sense for them to sell on TPT.

----

Incidentally, has anyone ever looked into articles talking about how to make money on TPT? Once you do, the jig is up. The advice isn't "create deep materials for thoughtful teachers." Good for them, the people who have made real money there! But on this end of the transaction...? 

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14 hours ago, SRoss5 said:

 I think tpt is great! It is no different than going into any teacher supply store or Barnes and Noble that had materials 10 years ago.  You have to know exactly what you are looking for and search thoroughly to find what you want. You must preview the items. If there is not a good preview, I don't purchase it.  I think tpt is especially good for the younger kids.  I recently bought a few literature studies for 7th/8th co-op group and sight word games for my own 1st graders.

Curriclick was very much the same way. There were some awesome supplemental materials in there. There was also published complete curriculum at a discount mixed in. It had online classes. Of course there were some duds. It was up to you to figure it out. I remember Hands of a Child unit studies. MM had all of her worktexts in PDF. I found MasterWriter quotation copywork books before they closed. It was an inexpensive way for a new homeschooler to try a lot of options and styles.

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Currclick! I spent so much wasted money there 😆 

IIrc they had Waldorf Essentials (which was neat) and ELTL too, though. Oh and Andrew Campbell's excellent "I Speak Latin." I might be misremembering though.

 

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1 hour ago, OKBud said:

Incidentally, has anyone ever looked into articles talking about how to make money on TPT? Once you do, the jig is up. The advice isn't "create deep materials for thoughtful teachers." Good for them, the people who have made real money there! But on this end of the transaction...? 

*Raises hand* I thought about it when I was making my WR worksheets for Big History Project. Way too much cutesy for me. I would have had to get a bajillion fonts and royalty free clip art and graphics. Reformat for more white space while reducing the number of pages. Meh. 

Is TPT a great idea? It could be. There are some awesome teachers that have created fantastically effective lesson plans that should get some money their way. Sharing their work would be a benefit to other teachers. But that’s not what’s happening. The cream isn’t rising to the top. Quality isn’t getting the attention, colorful and cutesy is. Isn’t that the way of the world...

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On 1/12/2020 at 12:59 PM, SusanC said:

I'm not surprised either. They aren't generally selling a curriculum, but an isolated "unit" and by the time you get to high school, stitching together units from different providers isn't going to make a coherent year and doesn't invite any kind of depth.


Yeah, I feel like what they were researching wasn't what I think are the type of thing teachers are likely to be looking for on TPT.   I think a lot of what they look for are sort of "filler" things.

As a homeschooler though, I have found some really good stuff there, but it does sort of seem to be odd category fringe stuff, and it's in with a lot of mediocre stuff...

Misc. "I need something extra to help my child practice this very, very specific skills" (like ch/th/sh sounds, or not confusing twelve and twenty...random stuff like that which we just needed extra help with in addition to what our main curriculum offered). 

Things on a theme my child is interested in (was I time I could get him to do anything if I could relate it to minecraft...now it's marine biology, though I've found more stuff on that on museum websites than TPT). 

Fun math games (great for practice, not great for initial teaching)

Stuff that combine history and science (found a really great unit on the science of ancient Egypt)

Latin Roots Notebooking Stuff

One really amazing occupational therapist on TPT  has a handwriting programs that I actually did use a main curriculum, with lettering similar to HWT.

Misc. worksheets  math/science/phonics stuff with a HWT compatible font (which is so hard to find other places). 

 

Edited by goldenecho
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On 1/12/2020 at 8:57 PM, Ktgrok said:

There is some good stuff, but you have to sort through the rest. I love Print Path for handwriting, and have found good consonant digraph worksheets for 1st grade, etc. And some fun unit study stuff, but plenty of awful unit studies. 

  Yes!   Print Path is awesome!

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I am another fan of TPT. But just like others said, you still have to be a qualified judge of the work and assignments. Quite frankly, a lot of textbooks are pretty bad, too. Back in the day, I found teacher magazines like Mailbox and Copycat, etc to supplement the curriculum so in one sense not much has changed except for who gets the money. (and it is so much easier to search!) I think the bigger problem is that teachers are constantly paying for materials for their classroom with their own money. 

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