7 Back-to-School Tips for Student Readers
Monica Burns

Monica Burns

7 Back-to-School Tips for Student Readers

August 8, 2023


As you get ready to start the new school year, are you ready to support your student readers? There are a few strategies to keep in mind as you get ready for the first few weeks of school. In today’s blog post, I have a few back-to-school tips so you can make sure you and your students are set up for success.

We’ll take a look at a handful of my favorite tips for supporting student readers at the start of the school year. This is the perfect time to create routines and make sure students have everything they need to read independently, in partners, and as a class.

In addition to the strategies on this list, I have a few examples of informational text you can use with your students. They came straight from PebbleGo, a favorite resource for students. 


7 Back-to-School Tips for Student Readers

Regular readers of the blog might remember my posts featuring PebbleGo from earlier this year, including one on “6 Tips for Using Short Reading Passages” and another about “6 Fun Activities to Promote Literacy Skills”. If you haven’t seen PebbleGo in action, I definitely recommend that you check it out. You’ll find interactive text for students that help them learn about a variety of high interest topics. These back-to-school tips for student readers include special things you don’t want to miss in PebbleGo! 


PG Article Australia Screenshot PG Article Australia Screenshot


Audio Support

One of the features I love in PebbleGo is how students have audio support throughout their experience navigating the platform. If students encounter a new word, they can hover over it to hear it spoken. At the start of the school year, you might point out this feature to students so they know how easy it is to access help when they need it.


Read Aloud

In addition to hearing just one word read aloud, students can also hear a full article read aloud to them. This is super helpful at the start of the school year, especially for students who are regaining their confidence as independent readers. As you can see in the screenshot below, students simply press the audio button to hear the full text read aloud. You can try it out here.


Go Beyond Research

Although PebbleGo is perfect for supporting student research, you might find that the beginning of the school year is a great time to give students the opportunity to explore PebbleGo with a low-stakes activity. For example, you might have students look for an article that reminds them of a favorite movie or choose an article that starts with their favorite letter. 

7 Back-to-School Tips Infographic7 Back-to-School Tips Infographic


Try an Activity

At the bottom of every PebbleGo article, you’ll see a button that says Activity. At the start of the school year, you might introduce an activity to students as a whole class and then begin to incorporate them into independent moments, like during a station rotation. Check out this article on the sense of smell to see the activity at the bottom of the page.


Discover Something New

One of the best parts of introducing a platform like PebbleGo at the start of the year is that it allows students to discover something new. They might enter your classroom with favorite things to share on the very first day of school, but you can also spark their curiosity by providing time to explore short texts. You might ask students to choose between three articles. Then they can list questions that they can use for future research and exploration.


Play a Video

Throughout PebbleGo, you will find videos that bring the text in each article to life. Press the button to see a video that takes students through the text’s key vocabulary and main idea. In the example linked here, you can see how a video of a scuba diver using an oxygen tank helps illustrate the concepts in the article on Cylinders.


Set Up for Success

One of the best parts of the start of the school year is how it feels like a fresh start. This is the time to set up routines so students can easily access high-quality text. This page includes resources for educators and administrators to ensure you’re all set with PebbleGo during the first few weeks of school.


PG Article Chart ScreenshotPG Article Chart Screenshot



Back-to-School Tips Featuring PebbleGo

Did you know that PebbleGo had all of these features? Perfect for the start of the new year, you can use these back-to-school tips to make sure your student readers are set up for success. Do you have another favorite back-to-school tip to add to this list? Tag me on Instagram or Twitter and let me know all about it!

Head over to PebbleGo’s landing page to learn all about their resources for teachers and students. And don’t forget to check out the Resources section. It’s linked at the top of the page and includes more back-to-school tips to support your students this fall!