Why I love my Kindle

I love books. I look forward to the smell and feel of a real paper book so when my daughters bought me a Kindle for my birthday last year I adopted an appropriately enthusiastic interest in their gift, as any loving mother might, and allowed them to buy and download a group of my favourite classics and a few new reads. The Kindle sat unused for a few weeks until one evening I decided to try the free Pride and Prejudice ebook.  I fell in love with my little slimline grey box immediately and have since developed an evangelical zeal in promoting it’s use among my friends and family. Colleagues here at Beech House looked on in amazement at my childlike excitement when I realised I could buy a set of six devices for school and share books between them to use in the classrooms.

It’s a really cool gadget because as well as fitting a whole bookshelf in my handbag each day, it is fun and interesting.  Children adore using it and become happily engaged in reading books for incredibly long periods of time. Parallels to iPods and MP3 players are obvious. Instantly books arrive on the device via wireless technology and can be shared with others.  You never lose your page as the Kindle remembers where you stopped reading.  I can read a different book in different locations. This week I am reading “Why do I need a teacher when I’ve got Google”by Ian Gilbert in the daylight hours and Dark Fire by Sansom as I drop off to sleep.  I have recently subscribed to my favourite newspaper and can glance at it over breakfast. 

The variable size and style of font are useful for my middle aged eyes as well as the young ones of the pupils.  And when I am really tired or for my youngest pupils the “text to voice” option, whilst a bit robotic, is also useful. Children can listen to texts they cannot read and the phrases can be repeated as they comprehend or discuss the meaning. And yes you can see the pictures.

At a higher level, self publishing is a cool option because Kindles can read PDF documents so pupils can self publish to an ebook. How exciting and motivating is that! And today I just discovered that with Kindle software from Amazon or the free “Calibre” programme allow you to display your Kindle reading on a computer which means that you can also display it on an interactive whiteboard.  Screen capture software makes this “grabbable” and printable too.

And if my daughters are reading this, I am quite interested in an ipad????


Ugly Bug Ball

Reception classes livened up a damp, dull Friday last week by arriving at school disguised as the most adorable bugs imaginable.  Ladybirds, butterflies, spiders and even a worm came to school with packs of party fayre later to be consumed in large quantities before the final dancing finale.  Making children’s learning enjoyable and memorable provides a marker to recall those scientific facts that were taught. The life cycle of a butterfly, how many legs arachnids have, where minibeasts can be discovered in the environment and how to read, write and explain to others all of these interesting facts. 

Earlier in the week the same children visited Smithills Farm along with a willing posse of parent helpers. They met young farm animals and handled them and the adults even held a huge snake.

Admiring the snake



Beech House Parents’ Association Spring Ball

Beech House Parents’ Association Spring Ball was a wonderful evening of good food, live music, dancing and casino fun.  The venue at The Lion of Vienna at The De Vere White Hotel had been beautifully prepared and set up by the ladies of the ball committee; Vicky,Vicky,Michelle, Michele, Heather and Bhavna.  Kevin and Emma Davies, though sadly unable to attend, sent a message thanking the parents and their friends and family for supporting Kevin’s charity, Kids of Bolton. 200 raffle tickets were sold at school and on the evening in the form of Lion Teddies with prizes ranging from restaurant vouchers to pamper hampers all donated by parents and local businesses.  The live entertainer set the tone for the evening with numerous karoake queens taking the microphone and dancing with great enthusiasm.  The casino tables featuring Black Jack and Roulette were equally popular with many a chip lost and won.  All in all the ball was a great success and I have been asked about how soon we can have a similar event. Thank you Beech House P A for all you do.

  The Lion Teddies