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Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmark Review by Heather Jackowitz

PO Box 9325
Chandler Heights, AZ 85127

Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmark is an ingenious way to make reading fun for children. This hard plastic bookmark fits nicely between the pages of a book and has a digital clock/timer at the top. The bookmark is available in a variety of colors. I am impressed by how sturdy the Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmark is. I expected it to break quickly, but it has survived despite some pretty rough treatment. It is also very easy to operate with four simple buttons: hours, minutes, mode, and start/stop. The bookmark has three functions: clock, countdown timer, and cumulative timer. The countdown timer is great for a beginning reader who needs to practice reading a certain amount of time each day, and the cumulative timer is good for keeping track of reading time for reading clubs and the like. There is no power switch, because the battery uses so little energy that there is no need to turn the bookmark off. The original battery lasts a long time (I have had one bookmark for about two years and have not needed to change the battery yet), but when it does need replacing, it takes a standard watch battery.

I first learned about the value of "sustained silent reading" from Jim Trelease's The Read-Aloud Handbook, and it has revolutionized my homeschooling. Some children will read so much you have to tell them to stop reading to do their math, or help with the dishes, or go outside and play. But some children find reading hard and avoid it if possible, and these are the children who most need quiet reading time so they can develop fluency. I always remind my struggling readers of a saying I heard somewhere: "The more you read, the better you read. The better you read, the more you like it. The more you like it, the more you read. The more you read, the better you like it . . ." In addition to working on phonics skills and reading aloud to me, I require my beginning readers to read silently any book or magazine they choose for fifteen to twenty minutes per day. They like monitoring their own reading, and I like knowing that such a simple thing can make a huge difference in both their reading ability and their enjoyment of reading. The Mark-My-Time Digital Bookmark provides a perfect way to help a child keep track of this time so he can grow in this most important skill.

Product review by Heather Jackowitz, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2009