Calvert County Schools’ Success Story

December 19, 2018
Calvert County, MD

Simply the Best Nonfiction Resource for K-2

At Calvert County Schools, they are committed to providing equitable learning opportunities to all students to foster success and independence. This commitment starts with their youngest students, so it is imperative for the district to have the resources needed to support this commitment. Prior to PebbleGo, Calvert County Schools had other print and online nonfiction and database resources. However, these options left them with a few challenges in fully living up to their values of success and independence with their K-2 students. Jennifer Sturge, Digital Learning and Library Media Teacher Specialist sat down with us recently to share a bit about how PebbleGo has been instrumental in achieving their goals.

What were some of the challenges you had before PebbleGo?

“One of our biggest needs across the district was for more nonfiction resources for our primary grade students. There are many wonderful nonfiction book collections and databases available, but there are very few options that are appropriately levelled for kindergarteners through second grade. They can be very difficult to find, especially when it comes to online resources.”

What made PebbleGo the best option in addressing this challenge?

“From what we’ve found, PebbleGo is the only research database available that is designed specifically for our K-2 students. It not only has a wealth of nonfiction content that is properly levelled for them, but also has supports that make every article accessible regardless of students’ reading level.”

What are the supports that your librarians, teachers, and students have found to be most helpful?

“The number one feature has to be the read-aloud audio. We all love that is actually a person reading the text rather than robotic, machine produced sound. The students really enjoy and respond better to a real voice. Combine that with the text highlighting in PebbleGo, and students are able to hear and see the words at the same time, further helping their comprehension. It allows every single student to learn and follow along with a lesson even if they might be struggling with the reading piece.”

What was your experience like when you first started using PebbleGo?

“Once librarians show the teachers PebbleGo, they just get it. It’s like a lightbulb goes off and their wheels start turning thinking of ways they can use it. It wasn’t a complicated process at all for them to start seeing how they could incorporate it into their lesson plans. For the students, I don’t think there is a simpler, more intuitive online resource out there. Once they are logged in, they just get it. The simplicity and engaging design for students is another really important aspect of PebbleGo we love. Students jump in and can start discovering things independently in a safe environment. It’s wonderful to see students build a love of learning and tap into their curiosity.”

Are there any other impacts you’ve seen since using PebbleGo that you didn’t necessarily expect?

“It has helped build on our district’s value of collaboration. Librarians and teachers use PebbleGo all the time to come up with new, creative lesson plans together. Teachers see their library media specialist as a true partner in education rather than just another weekly trip to the library. That’s the kind of collaboration I love to see!”

What advice would you give to another school or district considering subscribing to PebbleGo?

“If you want a resource that engages all students in independent learning and has them saying how much they love using it at home and at school, then there is no better option out there for K-2. It will be one of the best investments you can make for your students.”

Thank you, Jen, for sharing about your experience with PebbleGo!

Want to provide every one of your K-2 students with the opportunity to learn independently too? Give PebbleGo a try for free.