New Episodes of Arthur and Martha Speaks are on the Way!

mrt-2800-ms056w_avArthurThis fall PBS KIDS will premiere new episodes of Martha Speaks and Arthur starting November 11, 2013. They will also be debuting a new collection of free digital storybooks. Special guest voice actors, Alan Cumming (MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!; The Good Wife) and Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), will help kick off the new episode premieres! Make sure to tune in and enjoy the fun!

The new episodes are:

Martha Speaks

11/11 #507 “Stanley Saves the Day/Milo Goes for Gold” *NEW*

11/12 #506 “Mouse Patrol/The Big Knockover” *NEW*

11/13 #504 “My Mother the Dog/Martha’s Must-Have” *NEW*

11/14 #508 “The Return of Ralph/Little Bo’s Sheep” *NEW*

11/15 #507 “Stanley Saves the Day/Milo Goes for Gold”

Arthur

11/11 #1701 “Show Off/Dog’s Best Friend” *NEW*

11/12 #1702 “Adventures in Budylon/Ladonna Compson: Party Animal” *NEW*

11/13 #1703 “Molina’s Mulligan/Buster Bombs” *NEW*

11/14 #1704 “Opposites Distract/Just the Ticket” *NEW*

11/15 #1705 “All Thumbs/Kidonia” *NEW*

Digital Media in the 21st Century Classroom

MH900448555“Digital media is increasingly present in kids’ formal and informal educational settings, becoming as common as pencils and notebooks were to their parents. Yet in many American classrooms and homes, these high-tech tools are severely limited or forbidden. Teachers and parents wonder: What are students doing with these technologies?”

-PBS Parents

Do you have questions about your child’s use of digital media, or why it is important? PBS Parents has the answers! Have a look at this article, Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century, then take some time to explore the other fabulous resources including video interviews with media use experts, a list of schools and programs utilizing digital media, discussion guides, and more.

This is a wonderful resource to share with parents and fellow educators, so spread the word!

 

Have a Spooktacular Halloween with PBS KIDS!

{d5b22989-8c84-470f-9dae-3fa2130cecf2}_Getty_Trickortreat206It’s that time of year again, when thoughts turn to paper pumpkins, and buckets full of candy, and those cute plastic spider rings. This year, make Halloween extra special for your little goblins and ghouls with fun crafts and activities from PBS Parents!

First, Some Fun Crafts:

Help your children decorate the house, or get ready for a spooky Halloween party with these fun craft ideas including: haunted house, bat treat holders, and handprint spider.

And, Activities to go Batty Over:

Work on your child’s math or English skills with fun Halloween activities including: pumpkin math, not-so-scary boo book, and decayed pumpkin. They’ll have so much fun, they won’t realize they’re learning!

Now, Some Scary (or Not so Scary) Stories to Read to Your Little Ones:

Find the perfect book for some Halloween-themed story telling. A home-made sheet and pillow tent and flashlight are optional!

And, Some Games to Play:

Have your child play some fun online games to get them in the Halloween mood and help them brush up on their school skills at the same time! Games include: Cyberchase: Disguise Combos; Arthur: Crank it Up; and Caillou: Match the Leaves.

Next, Some Yummy Treats to Eat:

Whip up a batch of Sweet Ghost Crisps, Sticky Caramel Apples, or other Spooktacular Treats if you’re stomach sounds like it is inhabited by monsters.

And Finally, the Costume:

Making your child a Halloween costume just got easier with fantastic no-sew costume ideas based on your child’s favorite PBS characters including Daniel Tiger, Super Why and Dinosaur Train. Happy Haunting!

Little Children: Big Words

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While one of Fred Rogers’ trademarks was the simple and straightforward way he spoke to children, he knew the importance of enriching children’s vocabularies with “big” words. An excellent example is the song he wrote for King Friday to sing:

“Propel, propel, propel your craft…
Gently down liquid solution. 
Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically,
Existence is but an illusion!”

There are so many fun and easy ways that you can share big words with the children you teach. Watch this video clip to see how thoughtfully Fred introduces a “big” word, and see below for some more suggestions from the Fred Rogers Company newsletter.

Think of words that are fun to say: If a child enjoys saying a word or thinks it sounds comical or silly, they are more likely to use it in the future. Some great sounding “big” words are “humungous” and “stupendous.”

Stretch children’s emotional vocabulary: We all know the importance of having children “use their words” to describe how they are feeling. Help your child put a name on more complex emotions such as anxious, nervous, disgusted, or disappointed.

Expose children to new words in books: Read books to your child that introduce new words but still have familiar vocabulary. Don’t stop to define the words the first few times you read the book. There is a good chance that your child will figure out the meaning from context.

Help children move from general to specific: Take advantage of opportunities to help your child learn to define items in a category that they would normally label with the same word, such as flowers, animals or insects. The next time you are outside and your child spots a “bug” take the time to talk about how that bug’s real name is a “beetle” or a “gnat.”