Every day, I receive hundreds of notes and comments from News-O-Matic readers across the globe. Some are hilarious, others are poignant, and I read every one. Here are my 10 favorites from the last week.
A few weeks ago, my son Miles saw News-O-Matic’s spooky story contest and decided to write his own entry. This week, we found out that he won. It was especially rewarding to see Miles’s story illustrated and published in the News-O-Matic Halloween edition. However, it took some hard work to get the story ready to submit, so we thought we’d write together about the process.
What do children know about the United Nations? If you’ve been to an elementary school classroom lately, you know the answer is “not much” (if anything). Given the value that the organization brings to the human race, that’s quite unfortunate.
There has been a war inside Syria since March 2011. It has put 5 million children in
danger. More than a million have had to leave the Middle Eastern country to stay safe.
That includes 10-year-old Sham. She had to flee her home in Aleppo, Syria, and she now
lives in the United States. Here is her story.
Reading aloud is “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading,” according to the landmark 1985 report, “Becoming a Nation of Readers.” It’s been scientifically proven: Reading aloud to kids motivates them to read on their own, promotes language and literacy development, and develops critical thinking.
Reading aloud is a source of motivation.
Providing children with engaging reading content is only part of the job. While some children are able to read autonomously, others have motivation issues — even with great reading resources. Having someone (even a “virtual” voice) read to them can help students focus more fully in their reading experience. The experience mobilizes both the child’s sight and sense of hearing.
Reading aloud enriches the reading experience.
Reading words does not mean that students can recognize them in a discussion. Have you ever thought you knew how a certain word was pronounced only to realize years later that you’ve been mispronouncing it? One purpose of reading aloud is to build children’s awareness of the phonological structure of spoken words. In other words, it helps them learn how words are correctly pronounced.
Reading aloud is not reserved for Kindergarteners
Jim Trelease, the author of the “read aloud Bible” Read-Aloud Handbook, explains an interesting concept: Children listen on a different level than they read! “A child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to his listening level until eighth grade,” Trelease told GreatSchools.net. “You can and should be reading seventh-grade books to fifth-grade kids. They’ll get excited about the plot, which is motivation to keep reading. A fifth-grader can enjoy a more complicated plot than she can read herself, and reading aloud is really going to hook her.”
News-O-Matic, Daily Reading for Kids, now includes a Read Aloud feature in its articles.
It’s been on our mind since the launch of the app. After some research, it became clear that our readers would benefit from this feature. Some of them need to be read to — to help them better understand the information in the articles. Some just enjoy to be read to — to enrich their experience of the news. Adding this feature to our app aligned with our goal of creating an engaging reading experience for kids that would benefit their literacy skills.
This new feature also makes the news available to many additional children, such as English Language Learners (ELL) or children with special needs, reading disorders, or sight impairment. We believe all children should have access to safe, fun daily news. The read aloud feature is one way we can achieve part of this goal. That’s why we created it.Alice Bouis – Marketing Manager- News-O-Matic, The Daily Newspaper Just For Kids
On average, kids today spend less than 4 minutes a day reading nonfiction1. Yes, 4 minutes. What can you actually read in 4 little minutes? How much can you truly understand and feel comfortable talking about later?
The stats are out, and they are stunning: 54% of parents plan to spend money on tech gifts for their kids for the holiday season, according to a November 2013 PBS Kids and ORCInternational survey. 28% of them will purchase a tablet, compared to only 18% who will buy a videogame console.
Tablets have become, within a few years, the most wanted gift by kids in America. While they were once considered a grownup product, our little ones quickly understood the potential of these devices — and so did their designers. But if it might seem simple to purchase a tablet for your kid — putting aside the expense, of course — filling it with content can be quite a challenge. There are all sorts of kid apps out there; which ones are appropriate?
While choosing apps for your kid, you might want to look for those that combine educational and entertaining content. While we all understand the point of educational apps, it’s important to pick applications that will make learning engaging and fun. Otherwise, your child won’t use them. That’s why it’s helpful to download apps that you can test before spending your money. A lot of apps seem terrific from their App Store descriptions, when their features are actually limited.
Be careful to purchase apps that are completely safe for your children. Advertising, external links, or unwanted pop-ups present a risk for inappropriate content and an unsafe experience for your child.
A good app can have positive effects on your children, including an increased vocabulary and a spark in their creativity. But a bad app can have damaging consequences, such as exposing your children to harmful or simply useless content.
By Alice Bouis – Marketing Manager
News-O-Matic, The Daily News App For Kids
Get your kids to read daily and actually enjoy it!