Category Archives: For Libraries

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

How to Nurture a Child’s Love of Reading

Reading is an integral part of education. We want our kids to be strong readers so they’ll do well in school. But how can we get them to sit down with a book or a newspaper, especially in the summer, when the green front lawn has never been more inviting and the TV seems to churn out a must-see every single day?

To help our kids become strong readers, we need to nurture a love of reading. We need to step back from asking, “How can I get Sarah to sit down and read?” and move toward, “How can I get her to think positively about reading?”

Girl With Newspaper

 

Here are some recommendations:

A Child ReadingEncourage your child to read about what interests them.

There are so many books out there! Such a wide selection allows you to choose one that harmonizes with your child’s likes, what they want to do, or learn more about. Enjoyable reading will spawn more reading! Build your child’s interests-whether it’s in ballet, dump-trucks, animals or rocket ships-and enhance literacy.

 

A Family ReadingMake reading a family activity.

Whether it’s at a fixed, weekly time or takes place more randomly, reading as a family will help your child associate books with warm feelings of love and togetherness. Plus, your child will see that Mom and Dad take pleasure in reading and that it’s not just something that has to be done for school. This time will emphasize the enjoyment of reading. Don’t stress about making sure your child could ace a quiz on the content of what he or she is reading. Sit back, relax, and read together.

 

Book MovieCompare books to movies.

How many times have you heard someone say, “The book was better than the movie”? Pick a book that has been made into a movie and have your child read it, or read it together. Then, watch the movie, and compare the two. Your child will be able to appreciate the richness of a book that a movie simply cannot capture.

 

Bathroom-Magazine-RacksMake reading accessible.

When books, magazines, and newspapers are found all over the house or apartment, your child will see how integral reading is to your home and to your lives. Keep material accessible in the living room, in bedrooms, and yes, even in the bathroom.

 

ChecklistCreate lists.

Whether it’s on Letterman’s top 10 or Sports Center’s, people love lists! Work with your child to create ongoing top-10 or top-5 lists of favorite books, articles, poems, magazines, or blogs. Include room for honorable mentions. Encourage them to make lists and compare them with their friends.

 

a pile of booksReward reading with more reading.

Give reading a positive feel by making it a reward. Take trips to the book store – the immensity and mystery inside can be very intriguing to children. Give them power to choose what they read. Consider giving a gift of a magazine subscription and have it delivered in their name!

 

By Sam Blake

News-O-Matic Article of the Week: Happy Mandela Day!

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

Happy Mandela Day! (published in News-O-Matic on Thursday, July 18, 2013)
One of the world’s greatest leaders turns 95 years old!

School children from St Mary's College carry a poster for ill Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former President Nelson Mandela remains_EPA

Nelson Mandela turns 95 years old today, and the world is coming together to celebrate! Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, spent 67 years helping his country. For all his hard work ending apartheid and fighting for equal rights, the United Nations declared July 18 “Mandela Day”!

Mandela Day encourages people to spend 67 minutes serving others, which is a minute for each year of Mandela’s activism.  For example, bike riders in South Africa spent 67 minutes today cleaning the community streets. This morning, people across South Africa held hands for 67 seconds as a promise to make South Africa a better place. And children in Johannesburg, South Africa, created Mandela’s portrait entirely out of cupcakes! The tasty tribute required 15,000 cupcakes!

These events kept the Mandela Day spirit of giving alive. “It’s about doing what you can to make a difference,” said Sello Hatang of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to BusinessDay Live.

Mandela has been sick in the hospital for six weeks, but his family hopes he will come home soon. Zondwa, Mandela’s grandson, told Eyewitness News, “Our grandfather is old, but we know that he is a fighter.”

How will you spend Mandela Day to make the world a better place?

By Gilmarie Brioso

 

VOCABULARY

apartheid – system that kept black and white people apart and favored white people

activism – working for change

portrait –image of a person’s face

tribute –gift to show thanks

FACT: Children in South African schools started class on Mandela Day by singing “Happy Birthday” to Nelson Mandela.

ACT: Spend 67 minutes giving back! Read to someone or volunteer at a shelter!

Former-South-African-President-Nelson-Mandela_blogspot