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Kindle Update

I was recently asked to share my thoughts on our school’s Kindle program with Digital Book Readers.  I liked to share the article with you today because I feel it’s important to continue to help and assist other educators as they embark on establishing their own e-reader program.

It’s my hope this article with be of benefit to you: Digital Book Readers: e-readers guide and review.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Kathleen

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Launching a 2nd Grade Kindle Pilot Program

Cover of "Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic...

Cover via Amazon

Based on the success of our middle school Kindle program (each of our 8th grade students now have their own Kindle to use for their Literature class plus our 7th graders are using Kindles in their Literature class as well) I had wanted to see how we could use the Kindles in the lower grades.

I recently read in, The Reading Teacher Magazine, an article written by Lotta C. Larson, “Digital Readers: The Next Chapter in E-Book Reading and Response.”  I did a bit of searching to see what else she had written and found at ReadWriteThink an excellent lesson plan she had written!  The lesson plan was for grades 2-4.  The name of the lesson was: “Going Digital: Using e-Book Readers to Enhance the Reading Experience.”  It was like I had discovered GOLD!!  Following the proper channels, it was decided we would pilot this program in the K-4 building using this lesson plan with a group of 5 second grade students.

After a few meetings with the second grade teacher, she recommended using the ebook, Thanksgiving on Thursday, part of the Magic Tree House Series, by Mary Pope Osborne.

It was a very exciting day when we introduced the Kindle pilot program with these 5 students!  Prior to my teaching lesson with the students, their teacher gave them a brief orientation over the past three days.  You should have seen their bright eager faces!

The main teaching ideas and hands-on experiences I taught these students were the following:

1. Turning on the device.

2. Familiarizing the students with the Home Screen.

3. How to access the book from the Home Screen.

4. Discussed the Location Feature and how it was different from “pages in a book.”

5. How to use the Font Size Feature.

6. How to use the Dictionary Feature.

7. How to use the Highlighting Feature.

Once all of this orientation was done the 5 students read teh first page to themselves.  After they were done reading I asked each of them what they thought which sentences sentences wer were going to highlight and why.  After the highlighting was completed, I had them go back to the Home Screen.  At the Home Screen I pointed out the “My Clippings” which was now added.  I asked them to use the five way cursor to open up “My Clippings.”  I had them read what was mentioned.  They noticed the title of the book, the sentences they had highlighted, the day and time they had been highlighted, and the location of the highlighted sentences.

The lesson took us approximately 35 minutes to complete.

I asked each of the students to tell me what they liked most using the Kindle.  Here were their responses:

 I liked the highlighting feature!”

 “I liked reading on the Kindle!”

 “I liked that I could change the font size!”

 “I learned that it was a small computer!”

 “I liked the highlighting feature too!”

The December issue of School Library Journal featured our 2nd Grade Pilot Kindle Program in this article by Lauren Barack, A Kindle Program of Their Own: Second graders try out ereaders, courtesy of librarian Kathy Parker.

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Kindle Thoughts from 7th and 8th Graders!

Here is an update from our Seneca Grade School 7th and 8th grade students who have been using the new Amazon Kindles for approximately two weeks in their Language/Literature classes.  Patrick Mish, CEO of M-EDGE Accessories graciously donated M-EDGE Leisure and Latitude Jackets for our newly purchased Kindles. Pictures of the donated Kindles are found at the end of the article. The students have written letters of appreciation to Mr. Mish which he’ll be receiving next week.  I thought you might enjoy what the students had to say about the Amazon Kindles, the M-EDGE Accessories Leisure and Latitude Jackets, and about Patrick Mish himself.  I was quite proud of what the students had to say!

  • The jackets keep the Kindles safe from scratches, keeps them clean, and safe.
  • The Kindles are awesome!
  • We are honored that we were given the spectacular Kindle jackets.
  • Our school is very privileged to receive the donated customized covers.
  • We love that the school name is embroidered on them.
  • The dictionary feature on the Kindle is a favorite among many students.
  • We love the text to speech feature on the Kindle!
  • We enjoy how quickly a book you want to read can be downloaded.
  • I like the Back Button feature on the Kindle.
  • These are amazingly awesome and cool Kindle jackets!
  • The Kindles will help to enhance our learning & the ability to change the font size is awesome.
  • How did you (Patrick Mish) think of donating Kindle Jackets to our school? It was such a nice thing to do!
  • Patrick Mish, YOU are a great person and your company must be AWESOME!
  • The Kindle Jackets protect the Kindles.
  • The pocket to keep the cord in is a great feature on the Kindle Jacket.
  • I like that I don’t have to take the Kindle out of the jacket because it has the clear plastic cover over it.
  • Patrick Mish, how did you come up with such a great idea? You are a genius!
  • The Kindles and the Kindle Jackets MAKE READING FUN!
  • I like the Highlighting feature on the Kindle.
  • The Kindle is cooler than a book!
  • The M-Edge Kindle Jackets protect the kindles from damage and fingerprints & we love that they are in our school colors.

The M-EDGE Latitude Jacket will be used by the 8th Grade Students:

 The M-EDGE Leisure Jackets will be used for the 7th Grade Students:

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“As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words.” William Shakespeare

I wonder what William Shakespeare would think today of the Amazon Kindle ?!  The love of words and kindle used in the same sentence by Shakespeare hundreds of years ago. – amazing! The Amazon Kindle has sparked an interest and a new way for book lovers to read.

It was my interest in technology and as a librarian, my fondness and devotion for reading, which led me down this path to discover the Kindle! 

This past year at my school, Seneca Grade School, I helped to implement a Kindle pilot program in the 7th and 8th grade Language/Literature classrooms.  It has received many positive responses from students, teachers, administrators, and the board of education.  Recently, Lauren Barack, a freelance writer for School Library Journal, interviewed me.  The article is now available to read in the May 2010 School Library Journal!  It can be found in the TechKnowledge section.  The name of the article is, “Librarian Brings Kindles into the Classroom.”

I have heard from many school librarians all over the United States since the article has been published. I’m happy that I’m able to help them to pursue their own Kindle programs.  There are many different digital readers but I like using the Kindle and the features it offers.  A few features are the ability to change the font size, the text to speech feature, the dictionary feature, and highlighting and note taking features.  Will DeLamater, the founder of Edukindle and Edukindle.ning, recently wrote a study entitled, “How Larger Font Size Impacts Reading and the Implications for Educational Use of Digital Text Readers.” I especially like the ability to have an ebook at my finger tips in less than 60 seconds!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!

“The instruction we find in books is like fire.  We fetch it from our neighbors, kindle it at home, communicate it to others and it becomes the property of all.” Voltaire

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