We are SuperWhy! super fans! Being an almost exclusive PBS household when it comes to children’s television, SuperWhy is a show that Little Miss Techie has been watching for the last couple of years. PBS has fabulous programming for kids and SuperWhy is probably the best example of educational programming at its best.
If you don’t know SuperWhy and you have a preschooler, you must watch this show. SuperWhy was created on research-based literacy curriculum and uses an engaging approach with lovable superhero characters (Alpha Pig, Princess Presto, Wonder Red, and SuperWhy) that kids can relate to in order to build the fundamental skills that kids need for the “power to read.”
When I first started teaching, I began my career as a first grade teacher. My mom, a veteran teacher who had taught all grades, called me on the phone to tell me I didn’t want to teach first grade. It didn’t matter that I loved the school, staff, and principal…According to her, first grade was not a good grade to start teaching. Of course I questioned her and she simply said, “It’s hard. You have to teach them how to read.”
Egads. Fresh out of grad school, I was a first year teacher. That was bad enough but teaching kids how to read? My naïve self took that first grade teaching position and by the end of the year, each of my 26 kids knew how to read. And I loved it!
Teaching kids to read is the ultimate challenge. The ability to read is made up of so many individual skills that finally come together as children move from being a beginning reader to a fluent one.
SuperWhy is amazing because it includes all the literacy concepts a child needs to know to move towards reading fluency. All the things that I covered in my 90 minute balanced literacy block each and every day are presented in the episodes. With shows that are only 30 minutes, SuperWhy packs in concepts like letter recognition, letter naming, word families, letter sounds, rhyming, retelling, word recognition, and spelling into shows that are based on classic stories like The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc
Sure, we all struggle with trying to have a healthy media diet and our family is no exception. We limit screen time in our house even if Little Miss Techie and Captain Computer are rewriting classic stories using the SuperWhy storybook creator on PBSKIDS.org or watching shows like Between the Lions, Clifford, WordGirl, Arthur, Curious George, or Sid the Science Kid. But I’m a firm believer that PBS’ content is not only fun to watch but educational too and if my kids are going to watch TV or be on the computer, I want them to be exposed to shows and websites that will develop their love of learning, move them towards reading fluently, and foster their natural curiosity.
Huge thanks to PBS for inviting me and fellow DC Metro Moms to get a behind the scenes look at how SuperWhy was conceived and hear about the research that proves that it improves literacy skills for preschoolers. It was a thrill for me to take Little Miss Techie and Captain Computer to meet Clifford and spend some time learning more about our favorite show.
The teacher in me was in heaven, hearing all about how SuperWhy targets beginning readers, while the mom in me was thrilled that my kids were in the next room surrounded by PBS paraphernalia (SuperWhy character masks, WordWorld stickers, Sesame Street books!) and had full access a table filled with string cheese, Fritos, and sandwiches.
I’ll be back later this week to give a rundown of all the materials available in SuperWhy’s online StoryBook Village to help Super Readers learn to read!
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama