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3 Ways to Help Student Readers Get Ready for School

As we make our way into the back-to-school season, there is still time to prepare students for the start of the school year. If you are working with student readers this summer, you might have new challenges than in years past. This past year and a half has presented obstacles for students, teachers, and families working with young readers. As we acknowledge these challenges, we can also think forward to the start of the school year. There are many ways to help student readers prepare.

Let's think forward to the start of the school year and identify ways to help student readers prepare thought read aloud audio and more.

In this blog post, we’ll look at three ways to help student readers prepare for the new school year. And I’ve shared these ideas alongside fantastic resources from the team at Capstone. With these resources, you can give students access to high-quality reading experiences this summer. These can also come in handy during the transition back to school.

We’ll examine how easy access to read-aloud audio, instructional materials with critical thinking activities, and self-directed opportunities with student choice can all help student readers prepare for the start of the upcoming school year.

Resources to Help Student Readers

Have you heard of Capstone Connect? Regular readers of the blog may remember a few of the posts this year highlighting Capstone Connect’s excellent features and resources. These past spotlights included a blog post on how to use Seesaw with their reading materials and activities to promote school safety.

Capstone Connect is full of resources for student readers. As you work with students to prepare them for a solid start to the school year, you can use this platform to access high-interest articles from PebbleGo and ebooks from Capstone Interactive. 

How does Capstone Connect work? Capstone Connect makes it easy to locate articles and ebooks for elementary readers. In addition to PebbleGo, which I’ve shared on the blog before, you’ll find Capstone Interactive. Capstone Interactive lets students access interactive ebooks by searching through a digital collection.

How to Help Student Readers

As a classroom teacher, the start of the school year always presented challenges for getting students back into a routine. Although many of my students made library trips or read aloud with family members over the summer, it was crucial to get the whole class on the same page. Are you working with student readers this summer or are thinking about the first few weeks of school? Teachers can use the content from Capstone Connect to help address K-5 literacy gaps.

Here are three ways to support student readers as you get ready to start a new school year!

Let's think forward to the start of the school year and identify ways to help student readers prepare thought read aloud audio and more.

Introduce Read-Aloud Audio

Providing students with access to ebooks and articles with built-in read-aloud audio can be a game-changer for students. As you think about how best to prepare student readers for the upcoming school year, providing access to this type of content can help students in a few ways. For example, read-aloud audio offers a model for students on reading cadence. It can help them pronounce new words and learn how to navigate a text. Capstone Connect gives students of all reading levels access to natural read-aloud audio for every article and eBook.

Ready-to-Use Instructional Material

Although the robust library of student ebooks and articles might be the first reason you gravitate towards Capstone Connect, there are resources for teachers, too. You can enhance lessons with hundreds of digital instructional resources designed for use by teachers. This platform includes access to activities that promote discussion through critical thinking questions. In addition to giving students access to text, you can use these instructional materials to find questions to help students think deeply about a text and make connections to past reading experiences.

Self-Directed Reading Opportunities 

Providing students with choice and agency over their reading experiences can lead to better engagement. This is so important to consider as you prepare students for the upcoming school year. The Search tool in Capstone Connect lets you quickly find standards-aligned content for students. With this feature, you can search for content in the entire collection by state or national standard or title. Instead of picking out just one title to share with students, you can find a selection of high-interest titles. Then students choose which one to explore, all while addressing the standards at the same time.

After a school year very different from ones in the past, you can help set up student readers for success in with access to read-aloud audio, using instructional materials with critical thinking activities, and providing self-directed opportunities that honor student choice. 

Ready to dive into Capstone Connect? Use this link to dive into Capstone Connect (Capstone Interactive and PebbleGo) and check out their list of fantastic resources for student readers!

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Blog Author and EdTech Consultant Dr. Monica Burns

Monica Burns

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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