Category Archives: Reading

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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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

P4K Recommends: Tips for Reading the Newspaper

Some children find newspapers difficult to read. There is just so much going on! Young readers may wonder: Where do I start? What do I read? How do I know what is important? How long will this take? Overwhelmed, kids often put the newspaper down and walk away forever.

Children shouldn’t shy away from current events. Newspapers help kids become informed citizens and lifelong readers. These simple steps will help any child become a newspaper lover!

kids-reading-paper

Step 1: Skim the Headlines

A headline is the sentence or phrase at the top of an article in a newspaper. It – along with the sub headline – will help kids know a little more about the article.

If a headline intrigues a child, have him or her read the first paragraph or whole article. Make sure they know the story may continue on the inside pages of a printed newspaper.

Step 2: Look at the Pictures

Most articles are accompanied by images. If a child does not understand the headline, have them look at the picture. Photographs tell a story and can give your child many clues to the contents of the article.

Step 3: Pick and Choose

Let children know they do not have to read the entire newspaper! When first reading the newspaper, they can read the stories they find most interesting. As time goes on, you can encourage them to try unfamiliar topics.

Step 4: Ask Questions and Share Ideas

Sometimes a child needs more to feel engaged and stimulated. Ask questions about what they read or share your own thoughts on a news topic.

Step 5: Repeat!

Repeat these steps until your child has read an entire newspaper edition.

These steps are applicable to both print and digital newspapers.

Newspapers on the iPad

 

 

By Gilmarie Brioso