Posts Tagged ‘ math skills ’

Don’t Miss the Premiere of PEG + CAT on PBS!

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Math just got a little more fun with PEG + CAT, the new animated series from PBS KIDS. The show premieres this Monday, October 7, and promises to make problem-solving skills a breeze for your preschooler.

In each 30-minute episode, Peg and her lovable sidekick Cat encounter dilemmas that require some big thinking. Whether they’re trying a hand at adding and subtracting or learning broader concepts like size and geometry, the pair never back down from a number challenge (or a catchy learning tune). With backdrops like a pirate island or futuristic planet, the program proves math can be exciting and happen in the most unexpected places.

PEG + CAT comes at a vital time when children’s math skills are in dire need. National assessments have shown that 60 percent of students are performing below proficient levels in math by the fourth grade, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress Report.

Another inspiring element of the show: The main character is a young girl. While women make up 48 percent of the workforce, only 23 percent are in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Let’s hope a character as spirited and outspoken as Peg will be inspiration for boys AND girls everywhere to get their brains calculating.

Beyond math, PEG + CAT shows young ones the process of trial and error, such as figuring out multiple ways to move 100 chickens back to their coop. She may not get it right the first time, but Peg eventually learns from her mistakes and seeks help from friends along the way, both awesome life skills for the real world as well.

Want to get a sneak peek this weekend? Visit the show’s interactive website pbskids.org/peg, where you can also find local listings for the show, or download the PET + CAT Big Gig app for games and learning resources now.

Check out the video below to see how PEG + CAT was created!

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Erika Brannock, Maryland Teacher, Loses Leg In Boston Marathon Explosions
After two days of heavy sedation, Erika Brannock awoke Wednesday morning in her hospital bed to dramatic and gruesome news: Her left leg had been amputated below the knee, the only medical option for a team of surgeons handling traumatic injuries from the Boston Marathon bombings. (via Huffington Post)

Supporting Schools to Improve the Educational Outcomes of Emergent Bilinguals
The CUNY-NYSIEB project is one force that supports this shift from seeing bilingualism as a barrier to academic achievement to using students’ bilingualism as the essential element in their academic success. (via Huffington Post)

Child’s Counting Comprehension May Depend On Objects Counted, Study Shows
Concrete objects — such as toys, tiles and blocks — that students can touch and move around, called manipulatives, have been used to teach basic math skills since the 1980s. Use of manipulatives is based on the long-held belief that young children’s thinking is strictly concrete in nature, so concrete objects are assumed to help them learn math concepts. (via Science Daily)

Learning Disabilities Affect Up to 10 Percent of Children
Up to 10 per cent of the population are affected by specific learning disabilities (SLDs), such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and autism, translating to 2 or 3 pupils in every classroom, according to a new article. (via Science Daily)

Negative views tied to child maltreatment
Mothers-to-be who believe infants dirty their diapers to bother their parents or purposefully ignore their mothers may be more likely to abuse or neglect their young children, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Math Skills: What Scientists Can Teach Parents about Kids’ Developing Minds
We know a lot about how babies learn to talk, and youngsters learn to read. Now scientists are unraveling the earliest building blocks of math – and what children know about numbers as they begin first grade seems to play a big role in how well they do everyday calculations later on. (via Huffington Post)

Arguments in the Home Linked with Babies’ Brain Functioning
Being exposed to arguments between parents is associated with the way babies’ brains process emotional tone of voice, according to a new study to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (via Science Daily)

Traffic Congestion Causes Childhood Asthma, Study Confirms
For the first time, European researchers have confirmed poor air quality due to congested road traffic is linked to kids’ asthma, the Los Angeles Times reported. A study, published online in the European Respiratory Journal, found 14 percent of childhood asthma cases were attributed to nearby traffic pollution, according to the newspaper. (via Fox News)

North Dakota Governor Approves 6-Week Abortion Ban
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has signed legislation that would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. (via Associated Press)

Debate on School Security Ramps Up
Hoping to head off a push to expand police presence in the nation’s 100,000 public schools, a national civil rights group plans to issue an alternative this week to beefing up school security. The plan focuses on counselors, campus safety teams, secure entrances and communication. It does not support adding more armed police. (via The Washington Post)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Preschoolers’ Counting Abilities Relate to Future Math Performance, Researcher Says
New research suggests reciting numbers is not enough to prepare children for math success in elementary school. The research indicates that counting, which requires assigning numerical values to objects in chronological order, is more important for helping preschoolers acquire math skills. (via ScienceDaily)

Malaria Vaccine a Letdown for Infants
An experimental malaria vaccine once thought promising is turning out to be a disappointment, with a new study showing it is only about 30 percent effective at protecting infants from the killer disease. (via NBC News)

Leftover Newborn Blood Samples Need Better Regulation, Ethicists Say
The tiny spots of blood left after routine tests on newborns could provide valuable information for researchers, but clear policies that govern their use are needed so that the samples are not destroyed or otherwise lost entirely, experts say. (via Fox News)

Iron, Omega-3s Tied to Different Effects on Kids’ Brains
For children with low stores of two brain-power nutrients, supplements may have different, and complex, effects, a new clinical trial suggests. (via Reuters)

Chocolate Nesquik Mix Recalled for Salmonella Risk
Chocolate giant Nestle USA is recalling some lots of its Nesquik chocolate powder drink mix because it might be contaminated with salmonella. (via NBC News)

Socioeconomic Status Linked to Childhood Peanut Allergy
Peanut allergies are rising among American children and one reason might be due to economic status. According to a new study, greater rates of peanut allergy are found in families with higher economic status. This supports the “hygiene hypothesis” of many allergists. (via ScienceDaily)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Hurricane Sandy School Closings: Thousands Shuttered For Storm Along East Coast
Thousands of schools along the Eastern Seaboard are closed Monday as Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall, attacking the coast with forceful winds, rain and possible snow. (Huffington Post)

ER Docs Learn Better Ways to Help Hurting Kids
A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics instructs doctors, providers and EMTs on the best ways to treat children’s pain and anxiety in emergency settings — sometimes, without medication. (NBC News)

Scientists Move Closer to a Lasting Flu Vaccine
Thanks to a flurry of recent studies, flu experts foresee a time when seasonal flu shots are a thing of the past. (New York Times)

Higher-Math Skills Entwined With Lower-Order Magnitude Sense
The ability to learn complex, symbolic math is a uniquely human trait, but it is intricately connected to a primitive sense of magnitude that is shared by many animals, finds a study to be published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (ScienceDaily)

Add a Comment

Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Smoking and Drinking May Not Harm Male Fertility
Researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield in the U.K. say that doctors might want to reconsider their advice to infertile men given the new findings: if infertile couples are delaying fertility treatments in order to try ineffective lifestyle changes first, it may waste valuable time and fail to help them conceive. (via TIME)

Same-Sex Parents Sue Over North Carolina Adoption Law
A civil liberties group filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday challenging North Carolina’s prohibition against same-sex couples adopting each other’s children. (via Reuters)

Forced Abortion Sparks Outrage, Debate in China
Nationwide outrage continued to grow Thursday in China over a late-term abortion forced upon a woman by local family planning officials, even as authorities pledged to punish those responsible. (via CNN)

10-Year-Old Girl Gets a New Vein Made from Her Stem Cells
For the first time doctors have successfully transplanted a vein grown with a patient’s own stem cells, another example of scientists producing human body parts in the lab. (via TIME)

Childhood Obesity Affects Math Performance
Childhood obesity affects math performance in school, along with child’s social skills and well being, according to a new study published in the journal Child Development. (via ABC News)

90 Percent of Chicago Teachers Authorize Strike
Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district voted overwhelmingly to authorize the first strike in 25 years if their union and the city cannot reach a deal on a contract this summer — signaling just how badly the relationship between teachers and Chicago school officials has deteriorated, union officials said Monday. (via AP)

Add a Comment

PBS Labs Offers Edutaining Games, Activities, Apps, and More

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

PBS KIDS Lab logoThere’s no doubt PBS KIDS is great at entertaining and educating (“edutaining”) young children, and they are continuing to boost children’s development with (free!) new games, activities, and mobile apps at PBS KIDS Lab (www.pbskids.org/lab).

Launched at the end of last year, PBS KIDS Lab seeks to blend the latest technology with 50 games to encourage children’s math skills (numbers, counting, addition, subtraction).  Games are related to popular PBS KIDS shows such as Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, Sid the Science Kid, etc., and further categorized by skills, age (3-5, 6-8), and device. Recently, a Spanish version of PBS Labs was launched (pbskids.org/lab/es), along with new resources and tools for teachers and parents to make learning fun inside and outside the classroom.

What I love best about PBS Labs are the mobile apps (pbskids.org/mobile) associated with some of the games, in particular Fetch! Lunch Rush with Ruff Ruffman. This unique game uses augmented reality, an extension of virtual reality, where objects in the real world (in this case, printout sheets) are recognized by the downloaded mobile app and integrated into the game.  By downloading the app onto an iPad and placing it in front of the printout sheets, kids must figure out how much sushi to order for Ruff’s crew.

But you don’t need an iPhone or iPad to help your kids become math whizzes.  PBS KIDS also offers these simple but fun ways to get kids to love numbers:

  1. When driving in the car, count the trees as you pass by.
  2. Call out street signs and identify their shapes.
  3. Count aloud the seconds it takes for a child to brush his/her teeth.
  4. Cook with the kids; count ingredients.
  5. Play grocery store with household items. Count out the change.

Happy counting!

Add a Comment