Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pebble Go

Although the Alabama Virtual Library offers several good databases for elementary aged children, they can still be a bit complicated for the youngest students in our buildings. 

Pebble Go is the best database for early childhood that I've ever used, and teachers of all grades here at North Highland LOVE using it with their children. You pay an annual subscription fee to have access, and then you will be given a school-wide user name and password to use. Our PTA paid for it the first year, and I have used library funds to split it with PTA the two years we've had it since then. Because it benefits every child in the school, the PTA really enjoys using their funds on this service. 

If you decide to subscribe, begin sending home notices to parents with the school login information. Print each teacher a sign for their class with the user name and password printed, and post several in your library and computer lab. 

Here are a few great reasons my teachers and students love Pebble Go:

Pebble Go truly is created for young readers/learners. It has all the basic features of a "big boy" database, but in simplistic terms and clicks that even first-week-of-school kindergarteners can operate. 

There are 3 different individual databases from which to choose (you can subscribe to one or all three). We use Animals most often with the lower grades, but the upper grades like Earth & Space and Biographies as well. Each database is filled with categories and sub-categories of entries. Here is an example of what you would see in PebbleGo Animals: 

Students can choose a category of animals and then a sub-category until they find an animal they are interested in. Most article have a "Watch" button, which students can click to view a short video of the animal in action. Each article also has a button students can click to have the article read to them aloud. Hyperlinked words provide students with definitions to unfamiliar terms as well. 

Each article also has printing capability and citation support, which will generate a citation for students to use in reporting their research. It's always good to promote ethical use of information even from the very beginning! 

If you have any questions about Pebble Go or would like to order it for your school, I can direct you to the vendor who represents this company in our area. Just shoot me an email! 

1 comment:

  1. *I also wanted to mention that there is a cool games section in each database. In Animals, kids can match predators and prey, identify various dog breeds, and match animals to their sounds. They love it!