The Touchpebbles Classroom
Touchpebbles, our series for elementary grades, gives you the tools to help your students take charge of their learning today and begin building the discussion skills they need for tomorrow.
How Touchpebbles Works
Touchpebbles uses a systematic and intentional approach to help your students build the high level speaking, listening, and critical thinking skills they need to engage in meaningful discussions. Lessons happen alongside your existing curricula and programs and build skills that your students can apply anywhere – in school or in life!
1. Ground Rules
Five ground rules anchor your students in respectful discussion, and are referred back to throughout the lesson.
2. Text for Discussion
Texts serve as tools to support inclusive group dynamics and raise ideas that all your students can explore.
3. Individual Work
Individual activities provide space for your students to connect their own experiences and opinions to the ideas in the text.
4. Small Group Work
Small groups provides a safer space for sharing ideas, and help your students practice collaborative learning.
5. Whole Group Discussion
Students share and explore ideas together, while learning to recognize their own strengths and make space for others.
6. Discussion Evaluation
Our evaluation tools help your students reflect, recognize and take responsibility for group dynamics, and set goals for next time.
What can I expect from Touchpebbles?
Touchpebbles strengthens the work you’re already doing to build students’ discourse skills, enhancing the outcomes of strategies like restorative practices and Morning Meeting. Our Essential Skills align with many states’ English Language Arts speaking and listening standards, as well as civics skills standards and social-emotional learning frameworks, including 21st Century Skills.
Touchpebbles Essential Skills
Touchpebbles is research-based and refined by over 38 years of teacher feedback – so we know how powerful it can be! Here’s what schools report about student growth across grade levels after just one year using the program.
of students improved critical thinking skills
of students took greater responsibility for the discussion
of students improved active listening skills
reduction in school-wide instances of bullying
What Schools Are Saying About Touchpebbles
“I know of no program that address speaking and listening skills as effectively as [Touchpebbles]. Students get the added benefit of developing respect for differences in the opinions and beliefs of their classmates as feelings are openly expressed…and heard.”
N. Lee Powell
Former County Supervisor of Elementary Education, MD
“Sometimes people have a voice that is never heard. Or a talent that is never shared. No one even bothers to share a discussion. The world is empty without a discussion. We the people are the ones that can make a difference. Discussion into debates, debates into arguments, arguments into resolutions! And resolutions into changes, and change is made by Touchpebbles.“
Xavier, 5th Grade Student
Learning Community Charter School, NJ
“We saw many students who do not normally participate in whole group discussions or classroom discussions flourish. They felt comfortable sharing their ideas and asking questions of others.”
Teacher, Camelot Elementary, VA
What makes Touchpebbles different?
In a Touchpebbles class, teachers take on the role of learner, students become leaders, and the text for discussion strategically builds skills.
The Role of Your Students
The Role of the Teacher
The Role of the Texts