The Lincoln Academy takes PBS KIDS learning to a new level
June 2, 2023 Leave a Comment
This spring at the Lincoln Academy in Beloit, scholars in the Play and Learn with PBS KIDS Club met once a week after school. They learned about science, technology, engineering, art and math concepts through PBS KIDS videos and activities. The eight-week program, offered to first through third graders, was developed and led by second grade teacher Cally Baroni and educational assistant Ayanna Smith.
Baroni was inspired after a professional learning session held by PBS Wisconsin Education.
“I was blown away by how many free resources are available to teachers that we can incorporate in our classroom and all the different topics. My first question was, how can we incorporate this into our school? Maybe an after-school club would be a great way to use these free resources.”
Baroni and Smith developed the club with support from PBS Wisconsin Education and Laura Benisch, Lincoln Academy Director of Career Planning and Partnerships.
Each club meeting started with a snack and a PBS KIDS video related to the STEAM activity of the day. Scholars explored topics including friction, rockets, engineering and art.
“We made paper rockets and then talked to the scholars about: how does a rocket launch and how do our paper rockets launch,” Smith said.
They paired the activity with a clip from the PBS KIDS show Ready Jet Go! Learners enjoyed being able to connect to the PBS KIDS shows they already watch at home.
The response to the club was overwhelmingly positive.
“I’ve met scholars that I didn’t know before, and they’ll see us in the hallway and be like, ‘Miss Baroni, what are we doing at PBS Club this week?’” Baroni said. “We’ve also had parents respond that the scholars go home and talk about how fun it was. So hearing those comments from families, how much their own children are enjoying this extra hour a week, that’s pretty rewarding.”
Baroni and Smith are grateful for the resources and support provided by PBS Wisconsin Education.
“I know the kids are grateful for the opportunity as well because we have elementary, middle and high school all in the same building. Middle school and high school, they have after-school clubs. So now that elementary is getting an after-school club, it’s really special for them,” Smith said.
To learn more about free PBS KIDS resources educators can use in early learning spaces, visit the PBS Wisconsin Education early learning page.