Cool Schools: Lincoln School uses new whisper phones to keep reading fun
ST JOSEPH, Mich. – Elementary students in the St. Joseph Public School District are getting their hands on new and improved tools called whisper phones. Faculty says it’s helping to keep reading fun.
“I’m excited about it because the kids are excited about it,” said Craig Hubble, the principal at Lincoln Elementary School.
Teachers at Lincoln School say the idea of whisper phones isn’t new.
“Our older whisper phones are held in the hand and made with PVC,” said Lindsay Fiesbeck, a first grade teacher at Lincoln.
What’s new is the design. The school now has hands-free whisper phones.
“What the hands free does is allows the kid to have the whisper phone on them and they can hold the book and not have to worry about what’s going on up here,” said Hubble.
The whisper phones add an auditory component to reading.
“They are able to hear themselves to the exclusion of whatever else is going on around them in the room,” said Fiesbeck.
Fiesbeck wrote a grant to get the hands free whisper phones added in the district. They were added to each elementary school near the beginning of the school year.
“It’s kind of is a race to get them right now because they’re new and exciting,” said Briana Jun, a first grade teacher at Lincoln.
But the whisper phones also help to peak excitement and make reading fun for the kids.
“Getting them that foundation of just loving to read and finding what they love to read is so big in this age level so I think it’s just exciting to see them want to read and want to use them,” said Jun.
“When they put the whisper phone on and they can hear what’s coming out of their mouth so clearly, their eyes light up and they practice making the sounds,” said Hubble.
Plus teachers say they help with classroom management by keeping the noise level down.
“It’s particularly helpful when we’re teaching in a small group when the kids are very close to use and close to each other,” said Fiesbeck. “It helps them to focus and it helps me then to listen to them in turn without having to distract the whole group.”
There are only 6 in the classrooms for now but the inventor has told the faculty he plans to donate more to the school. Staff says they’re excited to have more for the students.
“If we could have a classroom set that would be awesome,” said Jun.