Category Archives: Digital Learning

classroom

News-O-Matic Exclusive: A Bully-Free Year

Bullying has become a big problem in schools today. Because of this, the News-O-Matic team has decided to share today’s article on bullying.

A Bully-Free Year (published in News-O-Matic on Tuesday, September 3, 2013)

Start the year right by learning how to deal with bullying in school.

StopBullying

Bullying is a huge problem. Three out of four students admit to being bullied! News-O-Matic wants all students to live in bully-free zones. Here are our tips to help you create one.

Tell someone.
If you are being bullied, tell someone — a parent, a teacher, or even an older sibling or cousin. “One of the worst things you can do is … keep it to yourself,” warns Phyllis Ohr, a child psychologist. Your school should know about a bully so it can address the problem.

Never be alone with a bully.
When do you find yourself one-on-one with the bully? Avoid those times! Bring a friend along, or find other routes to your destination.

Don’t react.
“Learn how to ignore the bully,” Ohr says. Bullies want attention; don’t give it to them.

Practice makes perfect.
Try practicing ahead of time. Have a friend or parent pretend to be a bully while you practice ignoring him or her. Brainstorm ways to avoid being alone with the bully. You can even practice the words for telling a teacher.

Help your school create a bully-free world.
Do your part by being kind. Better yet, encourage your school to reward kindness — not just punish bullying. “Fill up buckets with acts of kindness,” Ohr suggests. When the bucket is full, the class earns a prize.

By Abigail Mieko Vargus

 

VOCABULARY

sibling – brother or sister

destination – place you are heading to

ignore – pay no attention to

Brainstorm – make a list of all ideas

FACT: Bullying isn’t just hitting. A bully can also use mean words, text messages, or even online pictures. Don’t wait until someone hits you before you tell.

ACT: Make a list of ways that your school can encourage kindness. Present the list to your teacher or principal, and ask if your school can do one of them.

kid in school

News-O-Matic Article of the Week: Power to the White House

The kids have voted! Here’s one of their favorite News-O-Matic articles from last week!

Power to the White House (published in News-O-Matic on Friday, August 16, 2013)

Workers are putting solar panels on top of the White House this week.

whitehousesolar-Switched

President Obama made a promise three years ago. He said he would put solar panels on the White House to show it’s important to use clean energy. This week, the president
finally fulfilled his promise. A White House official told the Washington Post that
workers have started to install the Sun-catchers.

The panels are going on the roof of the president’s home. Once they’re set up, they will soak up the Sun’s rays and turn them into energy. That energy will then be used to power things like lights and heat in the White House!

Zimbio

 

Obama is not the first president to put solar panels on the White House roof. In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter had 32 set up to provide his family’s hot water. And in 2003, President George W. Bush added a solar power system to heat the White House swimming pool.

The Obama family’s dog, Bo, also has solar panels on his doghouse. He got them even before the president!

By Alexandra Friedell

Vocabulary

solar panels: surfaces that turn the Sun’s rays into energy
install: put in place; set up

_46621361_008184452-1-AP

Fact: The solar panels that are going on the White House were made in America.
Act: Cut back on your energy use. What can you do to use less energy?

Fun Fact: There are no skyscrapers (really high buildings) in Washington, D.C.

 

Tips for Reading Non-Fiction

Children love to ask questions about the world. Why is the sky blue? How does water turn into ice? Where does electricity come from? The best way for children to find their answers is by reading various forms of non-fiction!

kids-reading-paper

Children will not only learn more about the world; they’ll develop special skills.

In non-fiction, children are exposed to informational text –the same text used in school exams and applications. Early exposure to non-fiction better prepares children for the type of reading and writing they will face in everyday life. Children also learn to understand how language is organized, a skill that will be visible in their own written work! In addition, the many new and rich technical vocabulary children encounter in non-fiction will enhance their speech.

 

So make sure to keep non-fiction in your child’s life! These tips will help children ease into the process.

skimming0011. Skim the Text

Skimming text before reading can relieve a lot of the pressure a child may face. Glancing at headlines, chapter titles, maps, images, or graphs, allows children to gather clues about what they are going to read and what they can expect. This will better prepare them for the actual text.

 

Question Mark2. Ask Questions

Have children ask themselves questions before they read the text. This will increase a child’s curiosity about the topic of the reading. Having the questions in a child’s mind as he or she reads will also keep him or her focused on the words and their context.

 

kid-reading3. Read Aloud

Children should get in the habit of reading out loud. This helps children avoid distractions because they will be paying extra attention to the words. Reading aloud will also help develop a child’s speech skills.

 

teacher&2kids4. Talk About the Text

When a child is done reading a non-fiction text, talk about it! Discuss something new that they have learned, whether their personal questions were answered, and what they would like to read about next!

 

With these tips, your children will be ready to tackle any non-fiction texts!

newspaper-kids-cutout

By Gilmarie Brioso

News-O-Matic Article of the Week: Record Heat in China

The kids have voted! Here’s one of their favorite News-O-Matic articles from last week!

Record Heat in China (published in News-O-Matic on Wednesday, July 31, 2013)

Millions of people in China seek relief from a record heat wave. 

students at Central China Normal University began finding refuge in the air conditioned gym back in late June_AP

One of the world’s largest cities is having its hottest summer. The 23 million residents of Shanghai, China, have been dealing with a heat wave that won’t go away. The city reached 105°F, its hottest temperature since 1873. With 24 days of at least 95°F, it had its warmest July ever. At least 10 people have died from the extreme heat.

China Weather

Chinese people have been trying to stay cool in different ways. About 15,000 people jumped into a wave pool in a resort in central China. Others are spending time in air-conditioned houses and stores. Workers in Chinese zoos have even had to cool off animals with water spray and watermelon snacks.

The Chinese government has warned people not to go outside during the hottest part of the day. The temperature could reach new record highs today.

By Russell Kahn

 

Vocabulary

residents: locals; people who live in an area

extreme: strong; intense

Fact: A Chinese TV news station put a piece of pork outside and showed how it cooked in the Shanghai heat.

Act: If it gets hot where you are, make sure you stay cool. Drink lots of water and don’t spend much time outside during the middle of the day.

Fun Fact: More people live in Shanghai than in the cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago combined!

Visitors crowd an artificial wave pool at a tourist resort to escape the summer heat in Daying county of Suining

P4K Recommends: Amazing Kids! (VIDEOS)

These kids are truly amazing! They inspire us to do better and be better.

 

Full-Time Kid Mya

Mya blew us away when she beat-boxed to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star“. But nine year old Mya is also a singer and dancer!

In this video, the Full-Time Kid demonstrates the Cup Game. Show your kids and give it a try!

 

Kid President

Kid President is a lovely source of inspiration, urging everyone to play and dance! In this video, Kid President reminds us “We were made to be awesome.”

Need a little more inspiration? Visit KidPresident.com!

 

The Wiz Kids

This daring duo sure knows their science! The Wiz Kids, Chase and Jillian, spread their love of science by teaching cool experiments.

You can watch more fun videos here!

 

By Gilmarie Brioso

News-O-Matic Wins Best App for Teaching and Learning Award

News-O-Matic, the Daily Newspaper for Kids, is called an “exceptional value” by The American Association of School Librarians.

AASL Logo

News-O-Matic has been announced as one of the “Best Apps for Teaching & Learning” by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). In its 2013 announcement, the AASL honored News-O-Matic for providing “enhanced learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their teacher collaborators.”

News-O-Matic, an educational news app for children 7 to 11 years old, covers daily current events, including sports, science, and more with an innovative and kid-friendly approach. News-O-Matic transforms the news experience for young readers in a safe and interactive environment, encouraging children to become well-informed global citizens while developing regular reading routines.

According to the AASL, News-O-Matic is being recognized for being able to “foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration” and for encouraging “a community of learners to explore and discover.” It is that sense of exploration and investigation that News-O-Matic aims to achieve with its action-oriented activities and hands-on involvement for the young reader.

The AASL stated that News-O-Matic helps students “develop critical thinking skills, understand point of view, and provide opportunities to read variety of informational text…all features of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).” Further, it describes the app as ideal for “inquiry-based teaching and learning.” Educators can receive daily Teacher Guides, which include correlations to the CCSS, as well as comprehension assessments and topics for discussion.

“This award demonstrates the value of News-O-Matic for educators and students,” said Editor-in-Chief Russell Kahn. He added, “That’s been our team’s focus from Day One — to provide a resource that will be easy to use in the classroom and engaging young readers to explore their world.” The News-O-Matic team combines literacy experts, educators, journalists, and child psychologists to build developmentally appropriate content. The team’s on-staff child psychologist reviews every article before it publishes.

About News-O-Matic 
News-O-Matic is a publication of Press4Kids, Inc. Press4Kids (P4K) publishes daily digital publications for children that seek to explain, analyze, and put into age-appropriate perspective top local, national, and international news stories. P4K’s mission is to report current affairs to a young audience in a true, concise, and educational manner. News-O-Matic is available for the iPad or iPad Mini in the Apple App Store for a free trial.

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The original press release can be found here.