The PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Supplement was provided to students in New York City, NY and in San Francisco, CA. The classrooms were from preschool agencies and centers serving three- to five-year old children who were primarily from low-income households and provided instruction in English. To be eligible for the study the classrooms also had to have at least 10 four- to five-year old students enrolled who were proficient in English.
The students served by the classrooms were predominantly from low-income households in urban neighborhoods. Students were more likely to be English learners, though no data were provided on how many. Overall, the students were 4.5 years old, on average. The study provided no information on the breakdown of the sample by gender or race/ethnicity.
The PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Supplement was a 10-week intervention provided over four days a week for no more than 2.5 hours per week. The intervention focused on promoting mathematics learning, as well as supporting teachers’ understanding of their classroom mathematics practice. A central component of the PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Supplement is the use of activities centered on interactive games and companion videos that include familiar characters, narratives, and environments that are interesting and attractive to children. The intervention included whole-group, small-group, paired, and individual activities.
Classrooms assigned to the comparison condition continued implementing whatever curricula were in place before the study (that is, business as usual).
Support for implementation
Teachers who provided the PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Supplement received a Math Curriculum Supplement Guide with sequenced activities, professional development on math and use of technology, professional development on the use of the PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Curriculum Supplement, hands-on materials to enact the 10-week supplement guide, ongoing technology support, ongoing onsite coaching to support technology integration, and ongoing onsite coaching to support the use of the PBS KIDS Math Curriculum Supplement. Professional development was for seven hours across two days. Professional development and coaching provided teachers with lesson planning, implementation lessons, and individualized feedback. Coaching sessions provided teachers with guidance on specific math skills to teach in their classrooms. Teachers were also enrolled in a course, "Encouraging Mathematics Communication Skills," with the goal to improve teacher communication for students' mathematical thinking and learning.