thumb|300px|right|The New Sign Off for the Martha Speaks Wiki by WGBH.
Parents, educators and children, "Martha Speaks" is an exciting new show to support early learning for young children!
~H. Cousins, Kindergarten teacher, Read 607. Wiki Space is an exciting way to deliver information to your students, parents or colleagues. I have created my space as an information tool for my parents. They can read my link, and then use my links to gain information. With middle and high school students having better technological skills than a primary student, a teacher in the content area could use Wiki to introduce new concepts, show video clips for a review, or to highlight specific information that they want their students to learn and know. The possibilities seem endless!
We know that vocabulary plays an important part in learning to read. As beginning readers, children use the words they have heard to make sense of the words they see in print. Beginning readers, especially, have a much more difficult time reading words that are not already part of their oral vocabulary. A popular children's T.V. network, PBS kids, airs daily, a new series based on books written by Susan Meddaugh. This series, "Martha Speaks," has found a creative and engaging way to promote new vocabulary development for young learners.
Martha Speaks is an animated series on PBS KIDS. Aimed at viewers between the ages of four and seven, Martha's educational goal is to teach kids new words.
Based on the children's book series by Susan Meddaugh, the series stars Martha, a beloved family dog. She is accidentally fed alphabet soup — this gives her the power of speech and the chance to speak her mind to anyone that will listen.
With two stories in each episode, your students and/or children will get to know Martha as an outspoken, honest, smart, confident dog who loves to eat (and talk!). They will also meet the rest of Martha's family and friends. Helen is Martha's best friend. Martha encourages the shy, artistic Helen to be more outgoing and brave. Helen acts as the voice of reason for Martha. It's a relationship any pet lover or dog, can relate to and appreciate.
The goal of Martha Speaks is to increase oral vocabulary, the words we use when we talk. The shows are not trying to teach kids how to read, rather, they are designed to help kids understand what words mean when they hear them; words like retrieve, and crave. Vocabulary is one thing that predicts if children will be good readers. Once they are in school and they see these words, children will need to know what they mean. If children have heard the words before, that familiarity will help them as they learn to read. Martha Speaks was designed to teach up to 20 words in each show. And how better to get kids excited about learning and trying out new words than with a talking dog, who just can't stop talking?!
"Martha Speaks" can be viewed daily on your local PBS station You can also visit your local library to read books written by Martha Speaks author Susan Meddaugh. These books support the newly introduced vocabulary highlighted in each show. For a complete listing of the shows and their description, you can use the follow link: http://pbskids.org/martha/parentsteachers/program/episodes.html