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A pirate’s life for me

December 30, 2013

The mathtwitterblogosphere has easily revealed the booty of Fawn, Andrew, Michael, John and others. Here are two more we can loot: Eric Bright and Emily Hecht. They don’t blog or tweet. If they do then they’ve done a good job of covering their tracks. That’s why they’re a hidden treasure. They are classroom teachers from Charleston Middle School in central/southern Illinois.


What’s their swag? Instead of complaining about the cost of purchasing new common core pre-algebra textbooks the two sat down to create their own, and in the spirit that permeates the teaching profession they have made it available here…for free.

Eric and Emily set out to design a “bare bones” textbook to keep printing costs down and provide students a resource. The e-textbook is a series of nine units with 5-8 lessons per unit. It also includes pre-tests and unit reviews. According to their teacher website, “No, there are no bells and whistles in this book, but it’s meant to be a resource only. The bulk of the bells and whistles should come from the teacher. No amount of cool pictures in a textbook showing kids having fun riding a roller coaster will actually help them learn more.”  Eric calculates the cost of printing the pdf files is $5.70 per student.

If you know of other teachers or school districts that are doing something similar please reveal the hidden treasure. I discovered this one while digging through conference resources from the 2013 Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual meeting.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. cmee permalink
    December 30, 2013 10:57 pm

    You are such an amazing teacher –

    Two of my students have recently visited your blog and left comments – Thanks for being such a good role model for them.

    • December 31, 2013 7:53 am

      Actually, I’m just a schmo who recognizes that teaching and learning are a continuous process. Happy New Year!

  2. December 31, 2013 12:30 am

    Thanks for this link – it’s an inspiration to me as I am about to dive into a similar project for my school. I’ll be working on creating a geometry text that actually reflects our school’s curricular needs rather than having all of our students purchase yet another bloated text that includes an awful lot of material that we do not think is vital.

    • December 31, 2013 8:15 am

      Yes! The textbook is not the curriculum; it’s a resource. Our middle school lit/la teachers developed a reader/writer handbook and I think their work is one step closer to such a handbook.

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