Book reviews / homeschool / lesson plans / third grade

Book Review: Sixth Grade Technology Textbook

technology curriculum

7th in the series, a year’s worth of technology lessons for 6th graders

Sixth Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Sixth Grader Can Accomplish on a Computer
by Structured Learning IT Teaching Team

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m often asked what books I recommend for teaching technology in the classroom. Each year about this time, I do a series of reviews on my favorite tech ed books. If you want to fix some of last year’s tech ed teaching problems, I suggest you consider the nine-volume K-8 technology curriculum series that’s used in hundreds of school districts across the country (and many more internationally). It’s skills-based, project-based, aligned with NETS national standards and fully integratable into state core classroom standards.

The seventh in the series, the 170-page Sixth Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every Sixth Grader Can Do (Structured Learning2012), available in print or digital, and perfect for Smartscreens, iPads, laptops. It includes many age-appropriate samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections, thematic websites, and how-to’s. Because I edited this book, I made sure it includes pieces that I as a teacher knew to be critical to the classroom:

  • PDF version is in full color
  • PDF version has active links so you can click through to enrichments when required for student-centered learning
  • each lesson summarizes a 45-minute class period–usually 2-3 activities, arranged temporally throughout the year for ease of understanding by students. For example, a lesson is likely to include 2-3 activities from among typing practice, student presentations, project that ties into core class activity, problem-solving that assists with 1:1 initiatives
  • each lesson is aligned with NETS standards
  • each lesson includes required vocabulary
  • each lesson provides integrations to core classroom units and topics
  • each lesson includes trouble-shooting solutions to the problems most likely to come up in the classroom
  • each lesson includes enrichments for those precocious students who finish the lesson and want more
  • includes a list of websites (PDF has active links, print version goes to Ask a Tech Teacher Great Websites). Both print and PDF can access a webpage on Ask a Tech Teacher that is updated yearly with new websites by grade level and category
  • there’s a help link (to this blog) to a teacher using the curriculum who will help you through the prickly parts of a lesson plan. This is FREE–no charge.
  • Where lessons center around purchased software, the authors made an effort to offer free alternatives. For example, instead of Type to Learn, teachers can use a list of online keyboarding websites like Dance Mat Typing and Typing Web
  • includes pedagogy articles to help think through critical issues like keyboarding, use of the internet, how to use wikis in classrooms, and more
  • includes wall posters covering critical technology issues (like mouse skills)

Here are comments from users of the K-6 series:

Finally, I discovered a sequential technology lesson plan that rips through a diverse selection of applications. As an elementary school teacher and homeschool parent, I appreciate this single curriculum covering K-6th grades. While creating outrageously fun projects, students unknowingly learn MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, Google Earth, Photoshop, keyboarding, and problem-solving among many others plus acquire the ability to combine the applications for report and research projects. My students are highly motivated to finish other assignments so that they can get to the computers. The lessons are fun, age-appropriate and content-appropriate. The lessons are fun and are self-directed to the extent that the child can read and is self-motivated. I am thankful for such a simple yet a gem of a product. Highly recommended!

–Tracy, teacher

kindergarten technology

This workbook is a great tool for helping your primary school student learn hands on skills for the computer. Typing exercises, key hardware terms and other activities are included and can be used pretty independently by the student. It’s been a great tool for our 3rd grader and supplements the activities given in class. Would definitely recommend!

–B Johnson, parent

kindergarten technology

My daughter is using this as a text in her computer class at school. The lessons are easy to follow and informative. She has learned a lot so far this year.

–Lori

Any questions? Post them to comments. I’ll answer them!

Disclaimer: I am one of the editors for this series, though it’s a collaboration of a team of technology teachers.

Where to purchase:

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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, Cisco guest blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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