Category Archives: For Libraries

The News-O-Matic Impact: Experiencing the World

 

News-O-Matic celebrates its 1,000th edition on Friday, August 26. In order to celebrate, a group of teachers, parents, media experts, and kids contributed essays to describe the impact of News-O-Matic in their world.

Shelly Fryer is an elementary school teacher in Oklahoma.

Shelly Fryer (second from left) and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (second from right)

Shelly Fryer (second from left) and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (second from right)


 

Here’s what she had to say.

I have been using News-O-Matic with my 3rd and 4th grade students for two years. One of my goals as a teacher is to have my students experience the world beyond the walls of our classroom in a way that is interesting for them yet, exposes them to “real” issues. I want students to know that they matter and be able to connect with the stories that they are reading. The news section “Real Jobs” has given my class many opportunities to see jobs that people can do and allow the students to ask questions and be curious.

It even inspired several of our students to interview Governor Fallin when she came to visit our classroom and find out more about what it was like being the Governor of Oklahoma.

One of the ways that I use News-O-Matic in the classroom is to have them read and respond. Students read the articles that interest them and then respond by writing to “Russ” or drawing a picture of what inspires them. It is important for students to be able to connect in a real way and be able to have a voice by responding to what they read. Also, the connected videos and pictures allow students to see and experience the news in a way that makes sense to them.

As a teacher I appreciate that News-O-Matic is sensitive to the things that may be upsetting in the news, and use a Child Psychologist to make sure that the students are informed but not frightened by the current news. Students want to know about what is going on in the world, but it is also very important that they know that they are safe.

News-O-Matic has made a real difference in my classroom. Having current and engaging content which encourages students to “experience” the world around them and then have the ability to respond in a real way allows students to feel like they matter, and that their views and opinions are heard.

Students at Oklahoma's Positive Tomorrows speak with Governor Fallin

Students at Oklahoma’s Positive Tomorrows speak with Governor Fallin

Reading aloud is important. That’s why News-O-Matic articles now include a read-aloud feature!

Kids need to be read to!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.  

A brand new feature for News-O-Matic

 

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

The new version of News-O-Matic is out! Click here to update now!

Why is nonfction reading important for kids?

Why is nonfiction reading important 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?

Continue reading

Tablets are on the top of American families’ Holiday gift lists. It’s time to think about what to put on them.

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 are the most wanted gift by kids for the Holidays

Tablets are the most wanted gift by kids for the Holiday

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?

It's important to be with you child when it comes to choosing apps! It's the best way to make sure that you get both educational and entertaining content for them.

It’s important to be with your children when you choose apps! It’s the best way to make sure that you get them both interesting and fun content.

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!

News-O-Matic Exclusive: Kids Rule the Kitchen

Kids Rule the Kitchen (published in News-O-Matic on Friday, September 27, 2013)

Kids talk to News-O-Matic about their cooking show on TV!

MasterChef Junior_Gordon Ramsey_Sarah

Step aside, grown-ups: It’s time for kids to rule the kitchen! This Friday, kids will compete for $100,000 on a new cooking show on TV called MasterChef Junior! The competition is for young cooks between 8 and 13 — with famous chef Gordon Ramsay as a judge. News-O-Matic spoke with two contestants from the show, Sarah, 9, and Gavin, 10.

“When I first met [the judges], I was a little bit afraid — but also really excited,” said Gavin. Gordon Ramsay is known for being tough and yelling a lot. But on MasterChef Junior, the judges show their softer side. Sarah shared, “I like all of them, but my favorite is probably Gordon.”

MasterChef Junior is not about the judges but about encouraging the talented young chefs. “It’s okay to make mistakes and stuff,” said Sarah about the show in Los Angeles. “You learn from just moving on.” Gavin added, “I learned some awesome techniques on how to make your dish and really improved.”

The young chefs competed in cooking challenges and learned to cook restaurant dishes. Sarah learned how to make beef tortellini, while Gavin had to make beef Wellington. “I’ve never heard of it before,” Gavin shared. “And once they showed it to me, I was like, ‘OMG it looks so hard’ — and it was really hard.”

These tiny chefs discovered what it takes to be masters. As judge Graham says about being a great chef, “Age is nothing but a number.”

By Gilmarie Brioso

SARAHI was kind of nervous that so many people were going to watch the show.

— Sarah

 

 

Gavin_MasterChef JuniorIt’s always been my dream to be on a TV show. I am so happy that I’m actually on one!

— Gavin

 

 

VOCABULARY

competition: contest; tournament

contestants: people who take part in a competition or contest

beef tortellini: a beef and pasta dish

beef Wellington: a beef dish

FACT: MasterChef Junior will be on Fox every Friday night at 8:00 P.M. ET (7:00 P.M. CST).

ACT: To be a great chef, “You have to focus on your dish,” says Gavin. “It has to be the main thing that you’re working on.”

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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