7 Ideas to Kickstart the New Year with Pebble Go and Capstone
The start of a new calendar year is always the perfect time to try new ideas, reflect in our classrooms, and set new goals. As an educator, I have always enjoyed exploring the great resources from Pebble Go and Capstone for students. The resources boost engagement and meaningful classroom experiences and foster creativity in the learning process. PebbleGo will spark so many ideas for how to get students thinking forward, setting goals, and reflecting on their learning. And even better, these ideas will spark curiosity and promote learning in your classroom using PebbleGo. Learning will be an exciting journey!
A Year in Review
Being able to think about the progress we have made, especially during the first half of a school year, is important. What went well? What could we do better? It is important to help students engage in consistent reflection on their learning experiences. Reflecting on our work helps with social-emotional learning (SEL) skills and, especially, the development of skills in self-awareness. Students can become more familiar with how they learn and what challenges learning brings. Reflection will help them to build resilience, which will impact future success. Check out the Timeline of 10 Things I Learned this Year.
Celebrating Impactful Leaders
January is the perfect month to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and to honor his legacy by exploring and celebrating diversity. Involve students in learning about Martin Luther King and using PebbleGo resources to gather information and create a project to share with classmates.
Choosing important figures to learn more about is easy with all of the PebbleGo resources available! Students can look at all of the topics and titles and find something that is authentic and personally interesting to them.
Black History Month
In February, students can learn about Black History Month, conduct research, and then create a biographical sketch about an important figure in African-American history. With each student learning about someone different, it helps to build greater awareness of the impact of these figures in our world. Students can create PSAs to display in their school, which will help to inform others of the importance of Black History Month! There are so many great books available for students to choose from covering important topics like activism and change-makers.
Presidents of the United States
Another opportunity is for students to learn about the work and impact of presidents of the United States. There are lessons and activities available through PebbleGo that help to guide students in their learning journey. These opportunities will help to promote cultural awareness and respect for diversity and will also enhance research and presentation skills for students. It is also important for students to share how what they have learned has affected their perspective or understanding of the world. Social awareness is one of the five core competencies of social-emotional learning (SEL) and is very beneficial for students now and in the future. It also fosters empathy and global understanding.
Scavenger Hunt Review!
After a holiday break, it is always a good idea to do a review of the material. Why not try a scavenger hunt with students? Whether you select some of the books and topics from the PebbleGo or Capstone library and provide clues for students to explore or use PebbleGo Create to make a scavenger hunt of items for them to find, either way, it leads to more active learning. Students enjoy getting up and moving, and it helps to boost excitement for learning and leads to better retention of the content. It can also be a great way to focus on the importance of healthy habits and exercise!
New Year, New Skills Challenge
Come up with some ways for students to learn some new skills or develop new interests to focus on in the next part of the school year. Launch a 'New Year, New Skills' challenge where students commit to learning a new skill using Pebble Go and Capstone resources. By sharing some of the resources, whether they are focused on a specific profession or a topic of interest, introduce the challenge and discuss the importance of lifelong learning with students.
Explore the different resources to help students set some learning goals and help them track and share their progress throughout the year. Decide how much time to set aside and then plan an event to celebrate and showcase new skills learned at a year-end event. The benefits are that it promotes self-directed learning, sparks curiosity, and helps students to develop new competencies and maybe even learn something new about themselves and their interests! There are some great options available for students who want to explore the outdoors, the arts, gaming, STEM-related fields, and more!
A new year is a good opportunity to set new goals for learning and our own personal interests. There are many ways to capture our goals and hold ourselves accountable. For example, when creating with PebbleGo Create, students can learn about “Setting Goals” and then create their own Goals board to share. In addition to creating a visual representation, journaling or blogging are great ways to share learning, express challenges, share positive thoughts, or for personal use as reflections.
Give students some prompts to help guide them to write a response to their learning experiences and make note of any questions that they may have. Focusing on these areas can help students to better process their growth and reflect on their learning.
What I love about Capstone Publishing and PebbleGo, and of course, PebbleGo Create, is that students have so many ways to share what they are learning, The new calendar year is a perfect time to explore new ideas and also reflect on the progress made!