Tagged: student requests

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Check out what students are reading over Thanksgiving break

favicon My experience says that independent reading programs don’t work well unless students approach what researchers call “voluminous reading.” There’s simply not enough time in school for students to complete the 10, 20, perhaps 40 books a year necessary to transform into avid readers.

That’s why a core tenet of the Kindle Classroom Project is to let students take their Kindles home and to request books whenever they like. The KCP believes that young people should be able to read what they like, wherever and whenever they like.

This Thanksgiving break, it’s clear that students are taking advantage of this 24/7 access to reading. The book requests are streaming in, and it’s an honor to fulfill them. Here’s a taste of what students are reading this long weekend.

– Ninth grader Ricardo (Oakland, CA) is reading Library of Souls, by Ransom Riggs.

library-of-souls-by-ransom-riggs

– Eleventh grader Carlos (Oakland, CA) is reading It Calls You Back, by Luis Rodriguez.

it-calls-you-back-by-luis-rodriguez

– Tenth grader Paulina (Oakland, CA) is reading Bronxwood, by Coe Booth.

bronxwood-by-coe-booth

– Twelfth grader Monica (Oakland, CA) is reading We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart.

we-were-liars-by-e-lockhart

I wish Ricardo, Carlos, Paulina, Monica, and all 900 KCP students a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend of reading and relaxation. Thank you also to the generous supporters who have helped the program grow by leaps and bounds in 2016. favicon

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Kindle Classroom Project: Any book, anytime

IMG_20150911_085254550favicon My good friend Barbara, who is also a sustaining donor of the Kindle Classroom Project, made a great point tonight. It went something like this: The Kindles are great, but the KCP is about the books.

Students who participate in the Kindle Classroom Project get to read any book they want, whenever they want.

The KCP Library, which stands now at 639 titles, grows from student requests. When a student wants to read a book that is not yet in the library, she lets me know through the KCP website. Within an hour or so, the book is delivered and available — not just to that student but also to all 600+ students in the program.

Any book, anytime. Choice and access.

There’s definitely a novelty when a student gets a Kindle. Look, you can make the text bigger! You can look up words! You can turn on text-to-speech! Nevertheless, over time, like most things, the wow factor wanes.

What’s left are the books.

Every new book to the KCP Library originates as a student request. Through these requests, students recommend books to each other. A few students are particularly influential. When Tae’Janai (San Francisco, CA) requests a new book, students in Oakland — whom she’s never met — start reading it, too.

Book requests come in all the time. It’s most heartwarming when I get them in the evenings and on weekends. Students are becoming independent readers. They’re building reading identities. They’re following their interests outside of school time.

It makes me extremely happy that the KCP is expanding. New teachers are signing up, new students are joining, Kindles are showing up on my doorstep, and generous donors are making contributions so that students can read any book, anytime. favicon

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How students request books they want

Kindle Libraryfavicon The 237 students in the Kindle Classroom Project have access to 380 books in the Kindle Library. They’re great books, donated by great donors.

But what happens when a student wants to read a book that’s not currently in the Kindle Library? Is the student doomed?

Never fear! The KCP Book Request Form is here! (Here it is.)

Because the KCP has generous donors, I am able to honor students’ requests. Students first read a sample of the book by requesting one at the Amazon store. If they’re hooked, students fill out this form, I get an email, and I purchase the title and deliver it automagically to their Kindle in just a few minutes.

Yes, it’s automagic.

Even better, the title appears simultaneously in the archives of the other students’ Kindles, too, just in case they want to read the book. Per Amazon’s terms and conditions, six students can read the book at the same time. (If more than six students want to read the same book at the same time, I purchase another copy of the book. No problem!)

And unlike a physical book, there’s no way this student-requested e-book can get lost or worn. It’s always safe in the Kindle Library cloud.

Honoring students’ requests is not just best practice to get students to love reading, but it’s also best practice to build the Kindle Library. My goal for 2015 is to build the library to 500 titles, and I’m happy that two donors have already gotten excited about the project.

I mean, it is exciting, right?

If you’re excited, and if you’re interested in donating, please do. A $10 donation means that one more book is accessible to 237 students. You can make a quick and safe donation here, or you can donate via PayPal.

Should I break out the enormous donate button again, just to get you in the mood? Sure, I will do that. I think you’ll like it.

Donate Now

My dream is that generous people will consider becoming monthly donors. That way, I can be even more certain that I can fulfill students’ requests as they come in.

Thank you! And please let me know your thoughts and ideas! favicon