Top 5 Educational TV Show ALL K-3 Kids Should Watch

When I posted the video clip from Sesame Street, I started thinking about how I had such strong memories of the show. And there were others: I also loved watching The Electric Company and 3-2-1 Contact! (My mom even ordered my sis and I the magazine!) While I know my students today watch quite a bit of TV, I don't think they watch much educational TV like we did. And let's be real -- there's a lot of TV shows masquerading as "educational" while they are nothing but fluff. However, as I watched PBS one Sunday afternoon, I was encouraged. Educational TV is not dead, but it can be hard to find. Therefore, I decided to post this list of my favorite educational shows for students K-3.

1. Between the Lions, PBS
This is the new Electric Company. The show focuses on phonics, literature, and reading comprehension with humorous songs, skits, puppets and cartoons.

2. Reading Rainbow, PBS
LeVar Burton's show started in 1983 and stopped production in 2006. Although in reruns, it is still a gem. (Kids get a kick out of seeing the crazy fashions of the 80s and 90s.) Focus on books, comprehension, real world experiences.

3. bizKid$, PBS
This new show just began airing episodes in January 2008. It focuses on teaching kids how to make and manage money. Showcases real-life kids, who usually use the Internet to create and grow their own businesses. Maybe a little advanced for some K-1 students, but I believe most kids are savvy enough to handle this show.

4. The Zula Patrol, PBS
With a focus on science and astronomy, this show breaks down scientific concepts for the preK-2nd grade set. CGI characters travel space and solve problems.

5. Fetch!, PBS
This show is hilarious! Here's the description straight from the website: (plus I'm getting tired now.)
Part game show, part reality TV, and part spoof, FETCH! features real kids, real challenges, real science, and an unreal host named Ruff Ruffman (yes, he's an animated dog!) Featuring 20 half-hour episodes, FETCH! mixes live-action with animation and breaks the mold with its educational and comical take on America's newest television genre. Targeting six- to ten-year olds, it is spontaneous, unscripted, and full of twists.
Yes, I have a bias towards PBS - but that is because their educational concepts are clearly defined. Not to mention, all of these shows have online resources for parents and teachers.

So, there's my top 5. Do you agree? Did I miss a show? Leave your responses in the comments.

No comments: