Friday, 12 July 2013

Tips for Using the Kindle in the Classroom

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.

- TeacherNyla


The Teacher's Desk 6 said...

I would give ANYTHING to have a set of Kindles in my classroom. I LOVE my Kindle and frequently purchase books for my classroom on it. Currently, I use the Cloud Reader app on my PC to project the Kindle screen onto my widescreen TV. I can read aloud to my sixers and use the text to indicate literary devices, comprehension strategies, figurative language, punctuation, etc. LOVED reading this post! Thanks for sharing.

Teacher Nyla said...

Thanks for your lovely comment Angela! Yes, projecting the Kindle screen via your computer is another great tip! Thank you.

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As a Caribbean primary school teacher, I share my unique classroom with the world through this blog. Readers step into my class through the pictures, articles and classroom samples of games and lessons used in my class. I have been teaching since 2005 at the std. 4 primary level in Trinidad and Tobago. I am particularly interested in sharing my own personal lesson plans, tests and activities. Teachers need to share ideas and support each other because in doing so, we help to educate our students and develop ourselves as teachers. Technology is ever evolving and we as teachers should get on board with it, collaborate and keep up to date with this new age that we live in. Our students belong to this technological era and we must embrace opportunities to learn from each other in this global community. I also love to express my creativity in the classroom. I am a bit of a craftster . So I'm always cutting, gluing or making something... a game, a chart, a learning center, etc. So, teachers and parents, feel free to stop by and see what's new at Nyla's Crafty Teaching!