Source: Martha Speaks Reading Buddies: The Experts Speak
Martha Speaks, a PBS KIDS television series, aims to help children ages 4–7 build their oral vocabulary—an important early literacy skill. In this video, part of the MARTHA SPEAKS mini-tutorial, The Experts Speak, kindergarten teacher Weddy Youn and fourth-grade teacher Joseph Cooke describe their experience using the eight-week cross-age program, MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies. In addition to enhancing students’ enjoyment of reading, they found that the program—which includes reading and talking together, playing games, and writing or drawing—helped younger students learn and use new words, while older students gained fluency, self-confidence, and leadership skills. The video is accompanied by an article written by Youn and Cooke that describes their experience in greater detail. Based on the curriculum behind MARTHA SPEAKS, this innovative initiative builds school community, while improving reading skills.
Martha Speaks is an animated series on PBS KIDS. Aimed at viewers ages 4–7, the educational goal of the series is to teach children new words. Vocabulary development is a critical component of acquiring literacy. The shows aim to enrich children’s oral vocabulary within the context of engaging stories and the use of "rich" vocabulary. The shows are not meant to teach children reading skills—they are designed to help children understand what words mean when they hear them. Each show teaches up to 20 words.
"Reading Buddies in Action" is part of The Experts Speak, a series of short videos on the importance of teaching vocabulary, the basics of vocabulary instruction, and ways in which teachers can integrate new vocabulary into their everyday lessons. The Martha Speaks Reading Buddies program, which uses the curriculum on which the television series is based, helped Youn and Cooke—teachers at a Washington, D.C. Title I public charter school—teach not only vocabulary, but other skills as well.
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