I have been toying with a new idea for my class – using Kindles to promote literacy. I’ve seen my fellow teacher bloggers in the US do it successfully with their students with both iPads and Kindles. I decided to chose the Kindle over the iPads or other tablet brands because I think that tablet use could be difficult to control because they are so powerful, I would not want students to use it for games or anything that is not encouraging them to read. However, with a simple Kindle e-reader like the Kindle Paperwhite, its use is strictly for reading so I wouldn’t have to worry about my class turning unto an arcade. I think that this is the way to go in terms of monitoring and sharing the content that I would want my students to read.
I did some research and found some tips for using the Kindle in the Classroom:
- The first thing you should do with your students is to establish ground rules for using the Kindles. This will promote order and harmony and also keep the Kindles in good working order. Click here to download a free word doc of Kindle Rules created by Wise Guys at TpT and click here to download his editable Kindle use letter to parents.
- It is also important to ID each Kindle and keep a logging system so that you’ll always know where your Kindle readers are. Download Wise Guys’ Free log sheet here.
- When they are in use, encourage your students to use the dictionary tool. Kindle readers give you the ability to highlight a word and look up its meaning. For students reading difficult texts, this can very helpful to them and it will increase their vocabulary.
- Different students read at different proficiency levels, but with the anonymity of the Kindle reader, no one will know who’s reading what. So beginner readers do not have to be embarrassed to read among the other students.
- Free books! Many classics—such as works by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen—are now available for free on the Kindle. Students can read these masterful works for learning and pleasure. Click here to download a list of Free Kindle books for schools created by Wise Guys!
- Using Wispercast – Schools can now centrally manage a Kindle reading program using Whispercast, Amazon’s free self-service tool. I included this YouTube video about using the Kindle at school. It’s an introduction to Wispercast.
I must admit that getting used to my e-reader seemed overwhelming at first but I am ready to introduce it to my students. They have a knack for catching on to any thing that looks like a gadget so I think they’ll love it.
As we are on the topic of Kindle e-books and reading, you can see my 10 Classroom Library Tips for helpful and creative ways to have the best library for your class.