How I Use It
Some teachers in my school use PBS Kids to teach or reinforce concepts, such as history, the scientific method, etc. This site is sometimes used when the kids have some free time. It is also used as a behavior incentive for students with special needs or behavioral issues. For example, a student might get to play on PBS Kids for the last hour of school if they get at least 10 out of 13 smiley faces. It works well for the kids who have an interest in playing games on the computer, but some kids don't really care if they don't get that time at the end of the day or not.
I don't use it as much in my music classes just because I only have 30 minutes with students it takes time to get through an activity. But when I do want to use it, it's not too difficult to connect many of the activities with music. I can reinforce students' reading and word-recognition and have them practice their reading strategies, all while reinforcing the important musical concept of rhyming. For example, in "Little Red Riding Hood," I can have the students sing "Over the River and Through the Woods" and practice identifying the rhyming words in the song. Then they try to find the word that rhymes with "frog" from a list, and check their answer by moving the mouse onto each word so Little Red Riding Hood can say it, and the kids can repeat it.
PBS Kids is a lot of fun and has a lot of activities that can teach or reinforce multiple concepts at a time. The games are a bit time-consuming, so they are not so great for in the classroom if you have a very tight schedule, unless you have a sub or some free time. The games are also good for learning at home. What's nice is that many of the activities are tied to academic standards so you know they are most likely learning. There is also a sister website - pbslearningmedia.org - that is a great resource for teachers.