This adorable program airs on Treehouse for children aged 3 to 5 and follows the adventures of a little girl named Peg and her pet cat. Peg + Cat succeeds in making math fun and relevant by showing kids how math is present in their lives and can be used to solve a variety of problems, from giving her mom the proper number of birthday presents to saving baby chicks. Peg + Cat follows the Ontario Grade 1 math curriculum, making it a great tool to prepare kids who are going into Grade 1, or to reinforce their current learning.
Ontario’s Grade 1 math curriculum is designed to help children develop necessary skills such as: problem solving, reasoning, reflective thinking, connecting concepts to the world around them, representing mathematical ideas visually, and communicating their thinking clearly (The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Mathematics, page 32 of 135). Peg + Cat helps to develop these types of thinking and behaviour very well. The content in each episode is repetitive as the creators take the time to teach it’s viewers in multiple ways. Whenever there is a problem to be solved, Peg verbally explains the problem while writing it down for viewers to see and then explains each step of the solution in the same manner. While Peg, Cat, and friends carry out her plans their, they all sing about what they are doing and why or what they learned. These problems are anchored in the real world to further emphasize that math is everywhere. As we see in “The Slop Problem”, Peg, Cat, and the teenagers need to catch and place the chickens back into their coup. Each person can carry up to five chickens, thanks to a smartphone app, and they learn about counting in fives.
Peg + Cat teaches more than critical thinking and communication, however, as the types of math taught can be linked directly to more specific goals in Ontario’s Grade 1 math curriculum. Read more >>
Many kid’s games on both mobile and desktop incorporate curriculum elements to advocate learning concepts. There’s a bit of a paralysis of choice right now – games that teach early literacy, mathematics, or science populate pretty much every app marketplace or game website. The question of their appropriateness or suitability to the curriculum is a big question. As it stands now, there’s a lot of discussion and debate surrounding how kid’s games should incorporate curriculum into their content.
One game that’s been at the forefront of curriculum-based content for teachers, parents, and kids especially, has been Prodigy Math Game. Let’s look at how:
Considering some ethics in marketing Children’s Media…
The past few years have seen a drastic increase in the amount of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs, products, and especially toys targeted towards girls. As a girl who studied life sciences in university I couldn’t have been happier. This was perfect! What a time to be alive! …at least, that’s what I thought at first.
Now before you shoot me I AM ALL FOR GIRLS IN STEM. Like I said before I was ecstatic at first with all the emerging efforts to bring more inclusion into the field I always had great interest in myself. But as I tend to do, I thought about the issue more and more, and as I tend to do, I began to have some doubts. My doubts aren’t from the idea of making STEM accessible for girls through toys, but rather how we seem to be doing it.
There is a significant under-representation of women in STEM fields. This is not new. It has been repeatedly reported that there are far less women working in STEM fields or even holding STEM-related degrees. The distribution of women actually in STEM is also heavily dependent on the field, with women being more prevalent in biology and heavily lacking in engineering and computer sciences. This pattern has become of great concern in recent years and both the Canadian and American governments have conducted research studies that confirm this disparity.
Media offers a world of entertainment and learning possibilities for children and youth. The kidsmediacentre explores kids' media futures and is committed to supporting cross-platform content producers in Canada to ensure the kids' media industry is vibrant, indigenous and committed to the healthy growth of children.