How I Use It
I used PBS Kids and PBS Kids Go! for a number of reasons. The site has several videos that teach topics in Literacy, Math, Social Studies, and Science. There are also different games that reinforce these concepts. For the last few years I've taught K-2 ICT. I usually use the literacy-based games to support what we do in Fundations and in NYC ReadyGen. I love using the WORD GIRL videos to introduce new vocabulary and assess their ability to use context clues in order to define unknown words. The videos are approximately 26 minutes long with 2 episodes for each video. Before each episode plays, the students are told to listen out for 2 vocabulary words. During the episode, the words are defined and demonstrated. At the end of the episode, I would pause the video to ask the students to generate their own definition of the words. I also use the ELECTRIC COMPANY'S WORD MANGLER game in order to practice their chunking skills. The game was played in a whole group setting when I needed a transition activity (i.e. after lunch, while waiting for the prep teacher, etc.). The only negative thing I would say about this site is that some games and shows help students execute higher-order thinking better than others. Take what you know about your students in to consideration when filtering through all this site has to offer.
PBS Kids and PBS Kids Go! are sites that I would use to reinforce the various skills taught in the classroom. These sites can also good for implicit learning for those students who need to be challenged. There are a lot of activities and you can differentiate by finding different shows/games that target the same skill(s). I would not recommend it for direct instruction. Teachers should take their time and explore the various activities first, BEFORE introducing them in the classroom setting.