A Sharing and Collaboration Network 

for Middle and High School Math Teachers 

who want to escape from the textbook 
for a lesson, a unit, or an entire course

As secondary school math teachers, we find that almost every off-book activity we plan is well received by our students, leads to greater interest and motivation, and promotes deeper learning. Freeing ourselves from the constraints of set-in-stone curricula allows us to better respond to the realities of the individual classroom, to better tackle situations such as heterogeneous classes, and to better implement cooperative and hands-on learning models. However, the pressures of coverage, lack of time, external mandates, and isolation from like-minded teachers can undermine our efforts. Working together, we can help each other escape from the textbook, whether for a lesson, a unit, or an entire course.

While our schools are very different from each other (large and small, middle and high school, public and private), the challenges facing us are similar. The Escape from the Textbook! network can help us take up those challenges through:
  • networking with like-minded teachers
  • sharing of successful approaches
  • multischool collaboration groups that focus on specific courses or topics
  • strategies on how to complement or replace textbook material
  • assessment ideas
  • different lenses to analyze curricular and pedagogical ideas
Join our online and in-person community!

On line: we have a community on www.edWeb.net, for long-distance sharing and collaboration with over 500 fellow math teachers all over the US and the world. Members ask for suggestions on anchor problems for algebra, for feedback on new worksheets, for approaches to developing students’ understanding of angles, and so on. Other members respond with helpful ideas.

Sign up by going to www.edWeb.net/escape.

In person: we have quarterly meetings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we do math together and discuss pedagogical questions. (The meetings are announced on the edWeb site.) If you organize meetings in your area, be sure to announce them and report on them on edWeb.

Questions? Contact us: info(at)EscapeTheTextbook.org

We hope to see you soon — on line or in person!

— Henri Picciotto and the other members of Escape from the Textbook!

February 12, 2011 conference

Much of our Saturday, February 12 conference at the Urban School of San Francisco is archived here.