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Ways to Boost Engagement By Tapping Into Student Curiosity

As many educators mark the halfway point in the school year this month, I have a set of resources to share with you to keep students engaged and eager to learn. There are ongoing struggles for teachers to keep students interested in learning material, especially during such a challenging school year. However, there are high-interest, high-quality texts that can pique student curiosity while helping you address reading goals for your students.

Regular readers of the blog know that I’m a big fan of PebbleGo and Connect. You might even remember this special announcement — a sneak peek — I shared last year. In today’s blog post, I want to share more details about the K-5 offerings from PebbleGo and Connect. You’ll find ways to boost engagement this year and hear about some of my favorite selections!

Supplement Your Reading Curriculum

Have you noticed your students’ interest during English Language Arts instruction waning? Or have you watched students struggle to interact with text independently? PebbleGo and Connect are fantastic options for finding and sharing digital texts with students. If you are working with a specific curriculum this year, these resources can help supplement your current reading curriculum.

There are high-interest, high-quality texts from PebbleGo and Capstone to pique student curiosity while helping you address reading goals.

How does it work? PebbleGo and Connect give teachers and students quick access to high-quality, high-interest reading material. Imagine you are teaching an English Language Arts strategy like using context clues. As you show how to figure out the meaning of a new word, you can use the texts from PebbleGo and Connect. These texts are perfect for modeling new reading strategies and giving students text to use to practice. 

Make Cross-Curricular Connections

One of the aspects of the PebbleGo and Connect offerings that I appreciate is how easy it is to access resources that foster cross-curricular connections. If you’re looking to make reading connections to Social Studies and Science (not just ELA), this platform has you covered. You can address ELA standards alongside NGSS or other content area goals you might have this school year.

This page shares a list of Social Studies topics from PebbleGo. You can see the long list of categories and article topics. These categories include Transportation, Landmarks, and more. For Science connections, this page shows the different articles you’ll find. The categories for Science include Plants, Seasons, and more.

Imagine working with a group of students in a science classroom. Perhaps you have a science goal related to notable inventions and an ELA goal related to text structure. You can use one of the PebbleGo passages on Clocks, Telephones, or X-rays to connect to both plans for your students.

There are high-interest, high-quality texts from PebbleGo and Capstone to pique student curiosity while helping you address reading goals.

Tap Into Student Curiosity

Tapping into students’ natural curiosity is a great way to help keep students learning and enjoying it. For example, you might give students a choice on which articles they can explore during an independent reading time. Or you might start the day with a morning meeting or do now. During this time, students free write about animals they want to learn more about that week. Student responses can help you decide which articles about animals to use that day for a whole class read aloud or when you model a new skill.

There are high-interest, high-quality texts from PebbleGo and Capstone to pique student curiosity while helping you address reading goals.

We know that students of all ages like to talk about their futures and explore what is possible for them both inside and outside of school. One thing I love about PebbleGo is how easy it is to access different articles for students to explore. For example, if you want to connect to College and Career Readiness Standards and address student curiosity, you might decide to share an article related to “Jobs in the Community.” 

As you can see on the list linked here, there are many selections for student readers. Instead of giving them almost two dozen to choose from, you might instead select five articles and have students select the one that piques their interest. This exercise is the type of student choice activity you might incorporate into a blended learning station rotation for students in your classroom. If you are supporting student readers at home, you can also give them the choice to select an article that grabs their attention.

Honor Student Curiosity with PebbleGo and Connect

As you pick out articles for readers this year, you can boost engagement by connecting to student curiosity. Choose resources that relate to student interest and align to content area goals as you help students strengthen ELA skills.

Keep students engaged in learning with PebbleGo and Connect. Click here to learn more about how these excellent resources can supplement and support both in-class and remote learning this school year! 

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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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