Saturday, May 23, 2009

21st Century Literacy in My Classroom

This week, I had an interesting experience. I'm currently reading aloud Found (The Missing series) by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It is engaging from page 1 and the perfect read aloud to keep my students' interest as the school year is winding down.

Many of my students are so intrigued by this book, that they've either purchased their own copy of Found, or they've gotten a copy from the library. They're huddled in groups around the room, looking at various books, following along as I read aloud.

And then, on Tuesday, a first happened for me. One of my students (we'll call him Jay) brought in a Kindle that had Found downloaded onto it. The other students swarmed around Jay, wanting to see how the Kindle worked. Jay was the most popular guy in our class that day.

Some of you may have seen a Kindle before, or maybe you own one yourself, but for me, this was my first encounter with this wonderful tool. Jay gave me a 5 minute tutorial on how to turn pages, and how to download books. It was fascinating!

For me, that tutorial and watching the engagement of a variety of students with this reading tool, was a wake-up call. I realized that the Kindle was a reading tool that I could see myself using. I think that it will be something I may give myself for my birthday.

I still love the feel of a paper book in my hands, however, the ease of downloading a book with the Kindle, its ability to fit easily in my purse and travel with me, and the large font that is easy to read are just a few of the reasons I'm looking forward to owning this tool.

So, a huge shout out to Jay who brought 21st century literacy into our classroom. And, a huge thanks to Margaret Peterson Haddix for writing a book like Found, so engaging that a student had to get it on his Kindle!!!


  1. Interesting story, Karen. Geez...these kids are moving right ahead in the tech world, aren't they? I LOVE gadgets and think Kindles are just so cool. But I don't really travel much or have any other way to justify one (although that's never stopped me before).

    Buy one! You deserve it.

  2. I have mixed feelings about the Kindle. I don't have one, yet. It is way too pricey. I am a big library person. We recently stopped getting our Dispatch. We've stomped out to the end of our driveway for 25 years to get it and I have to say, I miss it! I think I would miss books...the smell, the feel, the whole experience even more. I'll let you take the plunge, Karen. You can let me know what you think. Lisa Guzik

  3. Lisa,
    I am also a library person and a newspaper person. I actually am sad at how much has been pared out of the Dispatch lately. But I still read it daily. And I love the quest at the library of finding the right book. I also love knowing I can go online to reserve a book I've been dying to read, and then pick it up at the library. All very satisfying.

    I see the Kindle as a supplement, not a replacement to all of those things I love.

    I'll let you know...

  4. ...a book by any other name would read as sweet....well, I think the digi/print debate will be around for a while, but the exciting part is definitly the aspect of getting those wee ones interested in the written word. Oh yeah, don't forget that SENT will be out in late August.