Kindles enhance the learning process in the classroom

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Library donation warmly received at Ocean City schools

Students Tyler and Dolan read on the Kindles donated by the Ocean City Library Board of Trustees. Students Tyler and Dolan read on the Kindles donated by the Ocean City Library Board of Trustees. OCEAN CITY — Kindle e-readers enable users to read, download, browse and shop for a wide variety of products, including e-books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and other digital media through a wireless network.

Thanks to a grant from the Ocean City Free Public Library, students in third grade at the Ocean City Primary School and seventh graders at the Ocean City Intermediate School are now enjoying the popular reading devices.
“They’re very helpful and the students love them,” said Rachel Iaconelli-Scheyer, the district’s curriculum coordinator.
The grant, she said, is designed to empower students to take on healthy habits and enhance literacy and reading.
“We are promoting the love of reading,” she said. “At the same time, we are exposing them to technology. It’s very helpful for them. They’re learning new vocabulary; they’re forming book clubs and literacy circles. The students are using them in different ways, from third grade to seventh grade, when they are doing more advanced reading.”
The Kindles, she noted, are not “fully loaded,” the offerings are limited to what is permitted by the classroom teachers.
Third grade teacher Jen Ferrier said the Kindles are a big hit in her classroom.
“They are a big advantage,” she said. “The children are learning a lot of new skills and they’re really motivated. They are really interested in the Kindles, they make learning a lot of fun.
“The students are happy and excited when it comes time to use them,” she said.
Kindles, she said, entice students to learn more than a standard print book.
“In a book, if they come upon a word that they don’t know, quite often they skip over it,” she said. “Unless they are very inquisitive, they don’t go and look it up or ask. With a Kindle, if they come upon an unknown word, they apply pressure to it and the definition and the pronunciation of the word pops up.”
The students, she said, are looking up all the words, not just what they absolutely don’t know.
“So they’re learning as they read,” she said. “You can also adjust the font on the Kindle, and that helps some of the students who need a bigger font.”
Ferrier said her students each wrote a thank you letter to send to the members of the library board, who utilized taxpayer dollars to fund the Kindles through the grant process.
“We really appreciate it,” she said. “We’re so happy our community works together like this.”
Most of the books on the Kindle, five this year, are chapter books. One of the books, “The Sign of the Beaver,” was also a movie.
“It’s another tool to make literature come to life and teach them new skills,” she said. “The Kindle helps increase their comprehension and develop a more extensive vocabulary. The learning experience is amplified each time they use it.”
Christine Frankle’s seventh grade class has been reading historical fiction novels such as “Fever 1793” by Laurie Halse Anderson on the Kindles and in a literature circle format.
“Literature Circles provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to books. Collaboration and student self-directedness is the heart of this approach,” she said.
Frankle said the Kindles are very useful and the students have enjoyed utilizing them.

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