August Summer Literacy

This is the final two Summer Literacy Theme Weeks where PBS KIDS address the “summer slide” that helps kids build and retain literacy skills. Kids and parents can visit pbskids.org/read for fun literacy-based games.

Remember there is a free PBS KIDS episode available for download every week on the PBS KIDS Raising Readers page on iTunes.

Summer Literacy August Theme Weeks:

  • July 29-August 2: ARTHUR offers a “Sports Week.”
  • August 5-9WORDGIRL presents “What’s Up with WordGirl Week,” with five brand-new episodes kicking off WORDGIRL’s sixth season.
  • August 19-23: WILD KRATTS presents “Reptile Week,” with four new reptile-based episode premieres.

Check out the PBS KIDS Summer Literacy Project!

June 2013 Family Choice

Annie

This summer, KLRU is choosing three programs each month for your family to enjoy together. This month’s Family Choice programs are: NATURE: Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air, revealing their stunning abilities; THE DAYTRIPPER: Georgetown, exploring Williamson County, including its historic square and the “oldest University in Texas.”; ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage, offering an exclusive, behind-the-curtain look at what it takes to put on a major Broadway production and a companion website: pbs.org/annie

NATURE: Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air
Airs: Wednesday, June 12 at 7 p.m.
repeats: Friday, June 14 at 3 a.m. & Sunday, June 16 at 6 p.m.

Hummingbirds represent one of nature’s most interesting paradoxes — they are the tiniest of birds, yet they qualify as some of the toughest and most energetic creatures on the planet. New knowledge gained from scientists currently making great breakthroughs in hummingbird biology makes this a perfect time to focus on these shimmering, flashing jewels of the natural world.

THE DAYTRIPPER: Georgetown
Airs: Thursday, June 20 at 8:30 p.m.
repeats: Saturday, June 22 at 10 a.m. & Wednesday, June 26 at 5 a.m.

Chet explores Williamson County, including its historic square and the “oldest University in Texas.” He also walks on a high wire, dives in a swimming hole, and eats modern Mexican at a local establishment.

ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage
Airs: Friday, June 28 at 9 p.m.
repeats: Sunday, June 30 at 6 p.m.

The documentary film follows the development of a single production number in the musical: the tuneful and rhythmic “It’s the Hard-Knock Life,” defiantly belted out by the orphans. From the earliest discussions among the set and costume designers, through the casting process, into choreography and vocal rehearsals, onto the stage, and finally, into performance, the program follows the young cast’s journey to Opening Night. ANNIE: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage will show audiences that actors are only one part of a complex whole when it comes to a major Broadway production.

Viewers will be introduced to the work of the talented creative professionals who impact, shape, and contribute to the final production. Broadway veterans — Tony Award winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights), Tony Award winning costume designer Susan Hilferty (Wicked, Spring Awakening, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), and set designer David Korins (Chinglish, Godspell, An Evening with Patti Lupone & Mandy Patinkin, Motown) — reveal their creative process as they work to prepare the young actors, most of them making their Broadway debuts. Additional interviewees include James Lapine (director), Martin Charnin (lyricist), Thomas Meehan (book), Charles Strouse (music), and pre-teen actors Tyrah Odoms, Emily Rosenfeld, and Jaidyn Young, among others. Of an ensemble cast recruited from all across America, the pint-sized Emily Rosenfeld – the orphan Molly – is the documentary’s standout star, leaping off the screen with her infectious enthusiasm, singing and dancing chops, and outsized 9-year-old charm.

The comprehensive accompanying Web site features quizzes, historical games, audio presentations, and video interviews with the Broadway production team, giving kids and families everywhere an opportunity to explore the world of the musical. The Web site sets a new standard for educational outreach in support of a Broadway production, and provides an innovative model for re-imagining the way children and their families relate to live theatre, whether on Broadway, on tour, or in their local high school auditorium.

Smart Screen Time / La Pantalla Inteligente™

Download a printable version of this guide (pdf): Smart Screen Time™ | La Pantalla Inteligente

Read in English | Español

With the proliferation of screen-based activities available for and embraced by youth, KLRU Educational Services has developed a set of guidelines for digital media use called “Smart Screen Time / La Pantalla Inteligente™.” In addition to offering quality educational media, KLRU Educational Services staff believe that explicit guidelines for how to use these media has never been more needed – for parents, caretakers, educators, and the children themselves. The guidelines have been incorporated into all of KLRU Educational Services’ messaging and are now appearing on-air and online in a series of explanatory video clips. The guidelines are as follows, with the video clips to follow.

    1. Knowing “smart time” vs. “silly time” - Kids instinctively know when they are viewing or playing media that is cognitively stimulating, and media that is pure entertainment. We believe that there is a role for both in kids’ lives. Adults who provide access to digital media ought to have conversations about the appropriate balance of smart and silly with the children in their care, and help children monitor their own media habits.

    2. When the brain slows down, turn the screen off! - All viewers of digital media have experienced moments when they are neither asleep nor alert, but in some in-between “zombie” zone. For adults, this may be a reasonable break from a long day’s work. For kids, it’s a different matter because this time is neither truly restful, nor is it meaningfully engaging. In short, it’s lost time during a period of rapid brain growth and development. For that reason, it’s important for adults in kids’ lives to turn the screen off and send them to another activity (including sleep!). Kids can become self-monitors of their own zombie states,  and can learn alternatives to drooling in front of a screen.

    3. Talk throughout the day, including during screen time - Studies have shown that dialogue can enhance the learning outcomes of using educational digital media. Look no further than our own characters to see role models for our kids – our characters use sophisticated vocabulary, ask good questions, and seek solution pathways for desired information. In short, they are all “smart” chatterboxes! Adults can ask kids for narrative summaries of show episodes, or to describe strategies they are using to advance in games.

    4. Watch and play on screens together - This is corollary of guideline #3. Whereas dialogue about kids’ viewing or playing is great, an even stronger learning experience occurs when adults and kids engage together with educational media. KLRU Educational Services selects PBS evening programs each month for “Family Choice” viewing, when we encourage generations to sit, watch, and discuss together. This idea can be extended to our programming throughout the day, and to game-playing online and on mobile media. One caution: current research suggests that all screen time stop 90 minutes before a child’s bedtime. It appears that the blue/light white from LCD screens can signal the brain to wake up, making bedtime a more difficult proposition.

    5. Read both at home and at school – every day! As proud as we are of the educational quality of our media, KLRU Educational Services recognizes that reading remains the most efficient, effective method of acquiring new information, building vocabulary, and experiencing new worlds of learning. In fact, a good number of our programs and games explicitly steer children to reading experiences. Most children still need adults to bridge the gap from screen to text, and to help them locate appropriate reading materials. This cannot solely occur in school – children who practice literacy as a desired activity during out-of-school time have markedly better learning outcomes that endure throughout their lives (International Reading Association, 1998). We know our job is done when kids instinctively and enthusiastically turn from our media to books as a logical next step in their learning lives.

Read in English | Español

La Pantalla Inteligente™

Con la abundancia de pantallas utilizadas por nuestros jóvenes, KLRU Educational Services ha desarrollado un conjunto de reglas sobre el medio digital llamado “La Pantalla Inteligente.” Además de ofrecer un medio educacional de gran calidad, el personal de KLRU Educational Services cree se necesitan estas reglas para padres, cuidadores, educadores, y los mismos niños sobre el uso de estos medios.

1. Tiempo listo versus Tiempo bobo – Desde una edad muy joven, los niños saben cuando están mirando un programa o jugando un juego que les ayuda a aprender o que es puro entretenimiento. Nosostros creemos que hay un rol para los dos en la vida de los jóvenes. Los adultos que les proveen aceso a media digital a los niños deberían charlar con ellos sobre un balanceo apropriado de “listo” y “bobo,” y ayudar a los niños a reconocer sus propios hábitos y ajustarlos si es necesario.

2. ¡Cuando se apaga el cerebro, se apaga la pantalla! – Para los adultos al mirar la tele puede ser un momento razonable para un descanso después de un largo día de trabajo. Pero para los niños puede ser una pérdida de tiempo. Es por eso que es importante que los adultos sugieran y animen a los niños a realizar otras actividades, incluyendo dormir, en lugar de babear frente a una pantalla por largos periodos.

3. Hablemos durante el día, incluyendo los tiempos de pantalla – Estudios han demostrado que el diálogo mejora los resultados de los medios digitales educacionales. Los personajes que estrellan en nuestros programas son modelos de compartimiento para nuestros niños. Estos personajes usan vocabulario sofisticado, hacen buenas preguntas, y buscan diferentes soluciones. ¡En resumen, todas son <<cotorros inteligentes>>! Los adultos pueden preguntar a los niños por breves resúmenes de los episodios que han visto, o que describan las estrategias que están utilizando para avanzar en un juego.

4. Miremos y juguemos juntos la pantalla – Aunque el diálogo sobre lo que los niños miran y juegan es bueno, la experiencia educacional puede ser aún más fuerte si los adultos y niños se vieran involucrados en medios educacionales. KLRU Educational Services selecciona programas nocturnos de PBS cada mes para momentos familiares donde los animamos a sentarse, mirar, y discutir juntos. Esta idea se extiende para toda nuestra programación durante el día, incluyendo juegos en línea y medios móvil.

5. Lee en casa y la escuela – ¡Todos los días! Aunque estamos orgullosos de la calidad educacional de nuestros medios, KLRU Educational Services reconoce que leer sigue siendo el método más efectivo de adquirir nueva información y vocabulario. De hecho un buen número de programas y juegos dirigen los niños explícitamente a leer. La mayoría de los niños aún necesitan que los adultos les ayuden a localizar materiales apropiados para leer. Esto no puede suceder solo en la escuela ya que los niños que practican el alfabetismo como una actividad deseada fuera de la escuela tienen mejores resultados de aprendizaje (International Reading Association, 1998). Cuando los niños pueden cambiar de los medios digitales a un libro como un paso lógico en sus vidas de aprendizaje, nuestro trabajo esta completo.

martha speaksKumon

2013 National Geographic Bee

national geographic bee

Austin fifth grader student Chinmay Murthy, from Paragon Preparatory Middle School, will represent Texas in the 2013 National Geographic Bee airing Friday, May 24 at 1 pm, Saturday, May 25 at 5 pm and Sunday, May 26 at 5 pm. By using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society, students from around the country compete in the annual National Geographic Bee. The National Geographic Bee is constructed to encourage teachers to include geography in their class rooms in order to increase student and public interest in the subject.

Prepare for the 2013 National Geographic Bee and take Take a GeoBee Quiz!

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Special PBS KIDS Episodes: May 2013

Arthur Starts Monday, May 6th: ALL NEW WEEK

ARTHUR kicks off its spring season on Monday, May 6 with a week of all-new episodes, including two devoted to the issue of bullying — “The Last Tough Customer” and “So Funny I Forgot to Laugh.” Preview a clip from the “The Last Tough Customer” here: http://bit.ly/16mNCMT And here are some resources to help you talk to your kids/students about the issue of bullying: http://to.pbs.org/ZZqUob

Several PBS KIDS series have episodes themed to Mother’s Day on Friday, May 10th and Sunday, May 12th.

The week of May 20-24, DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD features a “Playdate Week” with five episodes including playdates with O the Owl, Prince Wednesday, Miss Elaina, and Katerina Kittycat, with premieres of three episodes May 20, 21 and 22.

This month’s Family Choice program is NATURE‘s “Legendary White Stallions” focusing on the bond between the horses and their caregivers.

The 2013 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BEE will be airing Friday, May 24 at 1 pm.

NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT airs live, Sunday, May 26 at 7pm,  from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, and to our troops around the world on the American Forces Network.

Daniel Tigers Neighborhood

2013 PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest Winners!

Writers Contest

KLRU congratulates our 2013 PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest winners! KLRU had almost 200 entries from children throughout Central Texas. All of the winners will be entered into the national contest where a panel of esteemed judges will rank the top 12 entries. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2013 and the winning stories will be featured on pbskids.org/writerscontest. You can read all our local entries here!2013 KLRU Winners:

Kindergarten:
1st place – Elizabeth May
, age 6
The May Academy (homeschool)
Georgetown, TX
A Turtle’s Home

2nd place – Keri Collins, age 6
First Foundations
Austin, TX
The Sick House

3rd place - Anais Morend-John, age 6
Mathews Elementary
Austin ISD
The Horse

1st Grade:
1st place – Katherine Bong, age 6
[won: 1st Place - 2012]
Blackland Prairie Elementary
Round Rock ISD
My Wish

2nd place – Enaaya Khan, age 7
Cactus Ranch Elementary
Round Rock ISD
Sarah’s Pet

3rd place - Aidan D’Eimon, age 7
Neidig Elementary
Elgin ISD
The Fat Cat

2nd Grade:
1st place – Campbell Collins, age 8
Collins Academy (homeschool)
Austin, TX
Molly’s Play

2nd place tie – Debbie Bong, age 8
Blackland Prairie Elementary
Round Rock, TX
The Lesson Learned

2nd place tie – Claire Moore, age 8
[won: 1st Place - 2011]
Pease Elementary
Austin, TX
What Can I Do with a Shoe?

3rd place – Prahal Selvapathi, age 8
Great Oaks Elementary
Round Rock ISD
Kyle and Rover

3rd Grade:
1st place – Andrew C. Jiang, age 8
[won: 2nd Place—2012]
Spicewood Elementary
Round Rock ISD
The Nighttime Burglar

2nd place - Cedar Toavs, age 9
Becker Elementary
Austin ISD
Meré: The story of Jewel, a young peahen

3rd place – Bethany Kwan, age 7
[won: 1st Place - 2011, 3rd Place - 2012]
Hill Country Christian School of Austin
Where is the Goose?

All of the entries are available here!

Contest Information:
The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest invites children in grades K-3 to create stories using their own words and pictures, and recognizes their efforts with certificates and prizes. The contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on and active learning by submitting their own original illustrated stories. Parents, teachers, and librarians are encouraged to help children participate in the Contest.