Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Official: Holiday Season Has Begun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're previewing some fun new holiday shows during the Thanksgiving weekend.

While you prepare the fixings and stuff the turkey on Thanksgiving morning, the little ones in your life are bound to get excited over Thomas and Friends King of the Railway at 6 a.m. It's followed by the brand new Elmo's Christmas Countdown, and then the encore of Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about Christmas at 8.

And because we know how much chidlren love replays of their favorites, we encore Elmo's Christmas Countdown and Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about Christmas starting at 4:30 p.m.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Study: PBS Kids Content in Classroom Improves Pre-Schoolers' Early Math Skills

We at Rhode Island PBS are so pleased to share this news with you:

Study Finds that Use of PBS KIDS Content in the Classroom
Improves Early Math Skills in Preschool Children
Combining engaging media with interactive
technology and teacher training improves learning

A new study conducted by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), and SRI International found that the acquisition of essential early math skills, such as counting, recognizing numerals, recognizing shapes, and patterning, increased significantly among economically disadvantaged four- and five-year-old children who participated in a 10-week PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Supplement initiative. Transmedia includes the use of familiar characters, settings, and stories across different media formats.

Note: this is an image of the Huff-Puff-a-Tron game, located at: 
Credit:The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!© 2013, 
CITH Productions, Inc. and Red Hat Animation Ltd. 
Underlying characters © 1957, 1985 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
 The materials featured videos and interactive content from several PBS KIDS properties, such as Sid the Science Kid, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Curious George, and Dinosaur Train, as well as non-digital activities, including books and foam shapes, designed to support the growth of math understanding.

Key findings of the 2013 Ready To Learn study include:
  • Children who used the PBS KIDS math supplement, which incorporated videos, digital games, interactive whiteboards, laptop computers, teacher support, and hands-on math materials, improved significantly in their understanding of the targeted early mathematics skills compared to the control group.
  • Children who used the same technology without the integrated math materials did not experience the same learning gains compared to the control.
  • Teachers who used the math supplement reported significant changes in their confidence and comfort with early mathematics concepts and teaching with technology.

Note: this is an image of the Buddy’s Gem Hunt game, located at: 
Credit: TM and © The Jim Henson Company. All Rights Reserved.
“With this study, we have a better understanding of the contribution transmedia resources can make to early learning settings,” said EDC’s Shelley Pasnik, vice president and director of the Center forChildren and Technology. “Children living in traditionally under-resourced communities were able to build foundational math skills when given necessary supports—in this case engaging digital content, opportunities to practice both on and away from screens, and knowledgeable adults—leaving them better prepared for kindergarten.”

“Although early mathematics achievement has been widely recognized as a strong predictor of later school achievement, many preschool teachers have received limited training when it comes to supporting mathematics,” added Carlin Llorente, senior research social scientist in SRI’s Center for Technology in Learning. “This study’s positive findings are the direct result of giving teachers resources that support the vital role they play in orchestrating children’s learning experiences with media.”

The study was commissioned by the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn initiative to evaluate math learning via interactive media. The initiative creates educational programming and outreach activities for local public television stations and their communities. This study builds on a 2009 Ready To Learn study conducted by EDC and SRI, which showed that young children’s use of digital media led to gains in literacy skills.

The study is based on a sample of 92 classrooms (46 in New York City and 46 in the San Francisco Bay Area) from preschool agencies and centers serving three- to five-year-old children primarily from low-income households. A total of 157 teachers (84 in New York and 82 in the San Francisco Bay Area) participated in the study.

Note: this is an image of the Apple Picking game, located at: 
The 2013 study was funded by the U.S. Department of Education through a Ready To Learn grant to CPB and PBS. The initiative was developed to enhance the reach of, and access to, innovative early math experiences for U.S. children, especially those from low-income families, who often fall behind in mathematics skills at an early age and have difficulty catching up.

“These findings are particularly significant given the growing recognition of the positive relationship between early math skills and later educational achievement,” said Debra Sanchez, senior vice president for Education and Children’s Content at CPB. “Educational leaders are seeking new ways to level the playing field for disadvantaged preschoolers. The study shows that PBS KIDS content, which reaches millions of children each year, can play an important role in enhancing children’s learning opportunities.”

To access the full study and related materials, go to:

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