16 Creative Ways to Use PebbleGo in the Classroom
Are you looking for ideas and inspiration? Do you want to take your students' learning to the next level? Look no further! With a tool as versatile as PebbleGo, there's truly no limit to what you and you students can do! Check out these 16 tips, tricks, and creative ideas for different ways to use PebbleGo in your K-2 classroom and beyond.
1. Set Up Rotation Stations
Each article in PebbleGo has a specific printable “Share What You Know” worksheet. Set up a station with the printed worksheets, and add some pencils and crayons. Have students find a topic they are interested in, such as an animal or an influencial person they'd like to learn more about. If students aren't sure what they would like to research, have them try the "Random Article Wheel." Once they have read the article, have them share what they know through writing and drawing on the worksheet. When they're done, display their work around the classroom!
2. Discover a "PebbleGo Fact of the Day"
As part of your daily class activities, create a class role, “PebbleGo Fact Finder.” That student should find something interesting in PebbleGo to share with the class. It could be something that was just interesting to the student, or it could be a whole-class activity where the student creates a question and the rest of the class tries to see if they can find the answer together. If you have one-to-one or multiple devices, you could have the students race to see who can locate the answer first, or time how long it takes the entire class to successfully find the answer. To get things started, try out this example question: “What is on the back of the great seal of the United States?” (Hint: Check out the Social Studies module!)
3. Share Interactive Choice Boards
Empower your students to choose their own learning path! Create a choice board focused on a particular unit or theme. Start by designing your choice board in PebbleGo Create or Google Slides, and add the links to different PebbleGo articles. You could even include additional links to other resources and activities if you choose. When you’re ready, share your choice board with your students. Students can then choose which articles and activities they want to explore!
4. Write eBooks Based on Research
Have students explore a PebbleGo article, then create an eBook based on what they learned. They could write a nonfiction ebook, or build a fun story inspired by their learning. There are many wonderful apps that allow students to create their own ebooks to demonstrate understanding. For example, students can get creative with PebbleGo Create or Book Creator, using a variety of media assets to write, illustrate, and even narrate their own eBooks.
5. Master Key Vocabulary
Mastering vocabulary words within an article can help students gain a deeper understanding of key terms and concepts. Provide students a list of key terms to keep an eye out for as they read through
a particular PebbleGo article. Additionally, you can encourage students to keep a list of words they don’t know or fully understand as they read. When they’re ready, they can use the dictionary function to look up the definitions to these words. Students can then record their words and definitions in their notes, or in a vocabulary journal. Or, they can also use a tool like PebbleGo Create to illustrate their vocabulary words. When students visualize key terms and practice illustrating them, it can aid in retention, and promote stickier learning.
6. Create a Research Journal
Have students take ownership of their learning with their own research journal! Students can use a traditional pen and paper notebook, or choose from any number of apps to keep notes using a variety of media assets. Students can follow a research journal template, or create their own. They can use their research journal for class research projects, as a place to organize and collect their thoughts about their learning, or as a space for them to record new information about topics that interest them.
7. Engage in Free Reading Time
PebbleGo is an excellent choice for free reading time. Students can follow their interests, or find out more about the subject of a book they are reading. Have students write down a topic that interests them. At library time, or when students have some free time, have them search for an article to read about that subject. Or, if they discover an article in PebbleGo that interests them, then encourage them to search for a library book that fits into their interests. This is an especially effective technique for reluctant readers, because they are choosing what they want to read about.
8. Conduct Basic Research and Practice Writing
Each article in PebbleGo has 5 tabs of information. Create a simple graphic organizer with 5 shapes to fill in. Direct students to fill in the shapes with one fact from each tab. When they finish, have them create a 5-box comic strip with illustrations for each of the 5 facts they found.
9. Play Classroom Games
Many of the embedded games in PebbleGo modules lend themselves well to classroom games. For example, play the Multi-Match game in the Biographies unit as a class. Project the game for the class. In small groups, have the students race to find where the information appears in PebbleGo. Once they raise their hands to show you the article and tab, they can answer the question and earn a point for their group.
10. Interview a Historical Figure
The Biographies module in PebbleGo is full of important figures from history and modern day. Put a fun twist on a traditional research project by having students “interview” an individual of their choice from the biographies module. You can have your students choose their own questions, or create an interview template for students to follow. Students can then conduct their research on PebbleGo, and answer the questions as if they were the interviewee. Not only is this a fun way to learn about important figures, but it’s also a great opportunity for students to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, especially if they are researching someone from a time period they’re not familiar with.
11. Practice Reading Fluency
Project an article for the class or a reading group, and have the sound connected. Read the text aloud first as a class. Then read the embedded vocabulary terms. Press the speaker button to listen and follow along, then turn the sound off and see if the students can keep up with the highlighted text (fluency)...first silently in their heads, then aloud. Assign independent practice.
12. Dive Deeper into a Topic
Many state and national standards for K-2 are covered in PebbleGo in some form or another. When you are studying ocean animal habitats or life cycles, pull up an article from PebbleGo Animals. Read it together, talk about the academic terms, and watch a video of the animal in its environment. When you are celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, pull up his biography article in the Biographies module. Look at the timeline of important events from his life, then watch the video of an excerpt of his “I Have a Dream” speech.. For a complete content list of articles, view Content Maps under “Resources” at pebblego.com
13. Practice Citation
Citation support is built into every article within PebbleGo, so it’s the perfect place to have students familiarize themselves with correct citation. Encourage students to search for 5 facts that interest them in PebbleGo. Then, have them practice using the citation popup, copying the citation for each fact they find, and collecting them into a works cited page.
14. Conduct Experiments with Hands-On Science Instruction
Every article in the Science module includes up to 3 activities that will make science come alive in your classroom and help you teach literacy at the same time! In the printable activities you will find a “Share What You Know” sheet to encourage research, a hands-on experiment you can do as a whole class or in an exploration station, and/or questions for understanding for reading comprehension and nonfiction writing practice. For an example, check out the amazing hands-on experiment and other activities in the “What is Light” article.
15. Practice Inquiry-Based Discovery
Create a simple graphic organizer with four sections: “I Know”, “I Want to Know”, “I Predict”, and “I Learned.” For Example, introduce a topic, like “cells.” Have students write 3 things they already know about cells. Next, have them write 3 questions about cells in the “I Want to Know” area, and make one prediction based on a question they have. Then, have them conduct their own research in PebbleGo as they strive to fill in the “I Learned” section. If you wish, you can use PebbleGo as a starting point, and have students add in library books, other digital resources you have, and hands-on experiments.
16. Compare Fiction and Nonfiction, Realistic and Not Realistic
Teach critical thinking skills with PebbleGo. Read a fiction text or find a current social media blurb as a class, then “fact-check” it in PebbleGo. Could it really happen? Are there some kinds of fiction that is more fact-based than other kinds? Ex: Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” versus “Horton Hears a Who.” Which one has more realistic animal behavior in it? Pick an animal from PebbleGo and write a realistic fiction book about it.
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