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Saturday, December 5, 2015

The One All About Kindle Books

I'm a big fan of Kindle books {and Friends, as you can tell from the title of this post ;)}. Here's why:

  • They don't take up physical space and won't create any stacks or clutter.
  • They're easy to move when you have to change rooms or houses.
  • You can read them on your Promethean in front of all your students {just go to the Kindle cloud reader on your laptop, which should be connected to your Promethean}.
  • They're much easier to search through and find what you're looking for. {The Kindle Cloud Reader gives you the ability to search your library, view the covers, sort your books in whichever way you choose, etc.} 

Like everything else, I have a personal account and a school account. My school Amazon account intentionally has no credit card attached to it so that I can feel okay about handing my iPad to a kid without fearing that he/she will be purchasing Amazon goods on my behalf. :) 

Although our district officially adopted iPads, there is a Kindle iOS app you can utilize. I only loaded my school Kindle account on my teacher iPad, so I encourage you to review Amazon's policies if you're considering putting it on student iPads {click here to go to the Amazon Support page}. 

How to Display Kindle Books on the Promethean {or Other Projector}

1. Go to and sign in with your school Kindle account. 

2. Choose to enable offline reading if you want.

3. You should see the following on your laptop screen, which would, of course, be displayed on your Promethean if it's hooked up properly:

  • Yellow arrow: toggle the view of your books between list view {the one on the right} and grid view {the one on the left and the view you see above}
  • Orange arrow: sort the view by the most recently added, author's name, or title of the book
  • Green arrow: refresh the view, adjust settings/get help, and search {which will be your BFF once you've accumulated a decent amount of books}
  • Blue arrow: toggle the view of all books you've ever put into your Kindle cloud or just the books you've downloaded to that device
  • Purple arrow: click on any of the books to open it up and start reading
  • Pink arrow: increase or decrease how many books are shown on the screen by making your search results smaller or larger

How to Get Discounted or Free Kindle eBooks 

When I taught K-4 Science Lab, I would browse for free science eBooks every day while I ate my lunch. Really, once you browse the entire list one day, it doesn't take that long to look for newly added books on days after that. And it's totally worth it to get free books!
  1. Amazon has a list of free books here
  2. Amazon features daily deals where prices are reduced.
  3. TCEA members can sign up for updates each day about free and on sale Kindle books and iOS apps; a daily digest is e-mailed to you each morning.
  4. Book Bub will send you a list of free and reduced-priced eBooks each day.
  5. Some places -- like Blogging for Books or Net Galley -- offer teachers librarians, and bloggers the opportunity to get books for free in exchange for a review. If you're a blogger, the review is obviously supposed to be posted on your blog, but teachers and librarians are just required to submit a review to the publisher. If you sign up to review kids' books, you've just gotten free books for the price of a little of your time! Bonus: sometimes those books haven't been released to the public yet and/or haven't been fully edited...wouldn't it be great editing practice to have your students edit pages from an actual book?

How to Give a Kindle eBook as a Gift

The most obvious reason why you might want to do this is if you're giving a Kindle eBook to someone, but I actually use it to "gift" books to my school account {the one with no credit card attached, so I couldn't purchase anything on it} from my personal account, too. 

1. To gift a Kindle book, just head over to the book's Amazon page. {Here's the homepage of Kindle books, in case you want a quick-link.} You should see this menu on the right:

2. Click the "give as a gift" button. You'll see this screen:

Notice that you can enter the e-mail address of the recipient or choose to have the gift e-mailed to you so you can forward it to the recipient later. You can also delay the delivery of the Kindle book to the date of your choice, much like an Amazon gift card. 

Your credit/gift card is charged for the book, and the recipient gets an e-mail that looks like this:

I'm so private online that I rarely put anything but my initials when signing up for a website, which is why it says my name is "CK." :)

The recipient has to click the yellow "get your gift now" button, and he/she will be taken to the Amazon page for that eBook.
The blacked out portion is blocking my school e-mail address, which is where I sent this Kingle book to myself.

From there, the recipient only needs to click the yellow "accept Kindle gift" button to put the book in their cloud account.

You, the giver, also receive an e-mail saying the gift was accepted and applied to the recipient's account so you know they actually got it.

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