Four Square Facts, PebbleGo and a Giveaway!

UPDATE:  Congratulations, Laura!  I'm emailing your copy of my Character Graphic Organizers now :-)

Well, that was quick... in my last post I shared with you a fun competition I was part of with some bloggy buddies:
Annnnnd.... I'm out.  Yep, out in the first round.  Sigh... bad news for me, but good news for YOU because that means I'm giving away a copy of my Character Response Graphic Organizers!  (You can check out the details in my previous post HERE or by clicking on the image below.)

And because I'm not feeling so hot today (those kid germs got me despite my efforts to keep them away!), let's make this easy - comment with the name of your favorite NCAA basketball team (even if they're not in the tournament.)  I'll choose a random comment on Wednesday evening and that person will win the resource.  Don't forget to leave your email!

Now on to something school related.

We spent A LOT of time this week doing research for our biography project.  I found a fantastic site full of information not only about famous Americans, but also animals, science and social studies.  It's called PebbleGo and it's amazing for primary students! (I am in no way affiliated with PebbleGo and the opinions expressed here are my own)
I need to be honest - PebbleGo is a paid by-subscription site, but I signed up for a 2 week trial that lets me use the whole site for free.  My kids were hooked the minute they logged on!

There are four libraries, as they call them: animals, science, social studies and biographies.  Navigating the site is easy for young ones and the text is written at a level pretty much all my kiddos could read and comprehend.  There is a text-to-speech feature as well, which was perfect for those who needed a little more support.  We worked with the search bar, navigated through the tabs for each article and used the multimedia options (videos, maps audio and timelines) for more information.
During our research time, my kiddos only used the biography section, but we had other times in the day when they could just explore.  And they were sooo engaged!  At first you could hear a pin drop as they read and listened to information about anything and everything they were interested in.  Then the excitement began:  "Did you know....?"  They were so excited to share what they had learned, I decided on the spot to create a "Fact Board."  Everyone was allowed to choose one fact they wanted to share and write it on the whiteboard for everyone to read.  We did this each day for morning work for a couple days.  By looking at the picture below you can see that one day everyone must have been interested in how big/heavy/long etc. things are!

As we finshed up our research, I had some students who were done before others.  All they wanted to do was explore the site on their own, so I came up with a Four Square Facts sheet to put a little direction into their exploration.  The first one is based on reading coding we do (check out more about that HERE), the second one is 5W based and the third one is for them to practice using the search function.  Confession:  I just wrote these quickly on my Smartboard and my kiddos could choose which one to do.  They folded a scrap paper in fourths and wrote their facts on that.  Apparently I never took pictures of them, so I created these nice ones for you to have.
Just click on the image to download your copy.  You can use them with any informational text.

I'm excited to spend this coming week finishing up our project with our big "reveal" hopefully on Friday.  It's supposed to involve dressing up, speaking and listening and an interactive timeline with videos!  We'll see how far we get!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my character graphic organizer before you go!  (Scroll back up to the top if you forgot!)  And I thought I'd leave you with a little sign of spring I found outside our building:
(Jut ignore the piles of snow everywhere else... :-)

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  1. Love PebbleGo! And it's very smart how you used the "Did You Know" board for morning work. Kind of a primary take on the "Twitter" boards I've seen in secondary classroom. Good post!
    - Ashley

  2. Sorry you were out so quickly. As for me, it's Virginia all the way!

  3. I lieke Pitt.
    Feel better!

  4. Well, I'm an IU grad so Indiana is my favorite team despite their early exit. Thanks for supporting the Hoosiers, and thanks for this fun giveaway!

  5. I just found out that our AEA subscribes to PebbleGo, so thanks for the freebie. I don't know anything about basketball.
    Not very fancy

  6. Michigan for me. Am I too late to try to win?


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