I am not a fan of showing TV shows in my classroom – but I do make an exception when it comes to the amazing kids reality TV game show called “Fetch with Ruff Ruffman” – and down below you will read all about why I think you should be using “Fetch” in your classroom, too!
So, who or what exactly is “Fetch with Ruff Ruffman”? Well, Fetch, as my class and I like to call him, is an animated character who hosts an educational TV game show for kids. While Ruff may be animated, the contestants are real-life kids who take on a series of challenges that range from doing scientific experiments to learning how to rescue swimmers from riptide currents to table etiquette. There is a little bit of everything for everyone with Fetch. And how can anyone resist this catchy theme song?
Now for the reasons why I show “Fetch” each week in my classroom.
#1. My school is departmentalized.
At JES, I am responsible for teaching English and Math with my Grade 3 students. That means that other teachers come into my classroom to teach science, social sciences, phys.ed, health, ethics, & french. While I am a fan of this educational model, there are times when I wish I could roll what I do in ELA and math into the other subjects my students learn. By using “Fetch” in my classroom once a week, I know that my students are getting a little extra exposure into the world of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). A lot of the challenges on “Fetch” can be recreated in school for earlier finishers or even for rainy indoor recess times!
#2. My students are English Language Learners
My students all come from French homes and most of their interaction in an exposure to English is when they are at school. Since we live in a francophone community, it is not easy to hear English outside of the school yard. I love showing Fetch in my class because my students are not only watching and learning fabulous STEAM related content, but they are listening to other people, including children close to their age, speaking in English. It is never easy to watch a television show are listen to a radio station when learning a new language. The students need to learn to adapt to the speed, intonation, and accents of each of the contestants as well as the experts that are featured on every episode. It takes an incredible amount of focus and attention to be able to listen and understand when watching a show in your second language!
#3. Our school timetable emphasizes English and Math.
Our school prioritizes reading, writing, bilingualism, and situational problem solving which is fantastic! However, when those subjects are the focus, it takes time away from other subjects such as science and social studies. Our school has 1 hour each week allocated for science, social studies, and ethics, and one half hour per week for health. I am sure that you would agree that that is not a lot of time for each of those subjects. I have decided to take 26 minutes out of my Language Arts allocation to show an episode of “Fetch”. This makes sense to me because my students are listening and processing a great deal of information in English while learning about STEAM related topics. It’s a win-win situation. The students love it and are engaged in what they are watching and I ensure that they are exposed to some fabulous learning opportunities!
Want to see what “Fetch” is all about? Check out the following episode from Season 5!
For my classroom, I use Netflix in order to stream my “Fetch” episodes. Unfortunately, Netflix has removed Seasons 1-2 and has not uploaded Season 5, but Seasons 3 & 4 are pretty amazing! Your class does not need to see the very first episode of Season 1 in order to “get” the concept of the show – but it is important that they watch each season from the beginning. That way, your students will understand the premise of the game and will also learn about the contestants that they will be following throughout the school year. It will not take long for your class (and yourself!!) to become hooked on Fetch!
Leave me a comment below if you have been using Fetch in your classroom. I would love to hear how you use it and how your students are enjoying it!
Have a great day!