Teachers will want to spend some time exploring PBS Kids to discover all it has to offer. They can use the site to assign games from specific shows as extensions or explorations of topics recently covered in the classroom. Or, they can consider using the site's features as prerequisites for participating in class activities. For example, require kids to get a Webonauts diploma for media literacy before using computers in the computer lab. Games and videos can also serve as springboards for class discussion and further exploration.
Because PBS Kids is mostly a directory site for many other sites, teachers will need to either be very specific about which games they want their students to play (and then monitor them) or allow kids to explore games around a general topic. Doing a unit on math? Let kids play around on Cyberchase. Kids can save their high scores and favorite games, but real performance tracking is limited, so teachers shouldn't plan on using the site to assess performance.Continue reading Show less
PBS Kids is a directory for roughly 20 TV and web-only PBS Kids shows designed for older preschool- and elementary school-age kids. From the site, kids can navigate directly to a particular show's individual site, where they'll find games, videos, and other related content. Kids can also watch video clips, sign in to their Secret Box to track scores, save favorites, store creations, and make cartoons in the cartoon studio.
Games match learning content to their companion show, so topics are as varied as the PBS Kids lineup. For instance, Wild Kratts games address science and animals; Webonauts, media literacy; Eco World, environment and ecology; Design Squad, engineering; and Fetch, science and problem-solving. There are also games, activities, and videos for music, girl power in science, cultural understanding, critical thinking, American history, culture, and geography, as well as preteen social-emotional and personal issues such as friends, family, emotions, body, and money.
As a directory site, PBS Kids gathers a wealth of content in one central location. Each individual PBS Kids show is supported by specific learning goals, developed with expert advice and often tested to demonstrate effectiveness. With educational activities, creation tools, plenty of suggestions for extending learning offline, and lots of fun, the PBS Kids sites are rich with learning potential.
The downside is that PBS Kids could use more structure, as kids can easily get distracted. The site would be stronger if, for instance, it included better progress assessments and a clear listing of all the learning topics available.
Key Standards Supported
Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.4
Measurement And Data
Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.
Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l).6 Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.7
Measure volumes by counting unit cubes, using cubic cm, cubic in, cubic ft, and improvised units.
Key Standards Supported
Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.
Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at home that are cozy).
Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).
Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).
Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).
Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.*
Choose punctuation for effect.*
Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, or restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).
Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.