Category Archives: Suggestions for Learning

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!

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 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

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

P4K Recommends: Learning with Music (VIDEOS)

Check out P4K’s favorite Facebook and Twitter videos for learning with music!

 

Twinkle Twinkle, the rap remix!

Mya, age 8, taught us how to beat box!

 

“Prefixes, Suffixes, & Root” Rap

This rap explains the Latin and Greek meanings of suffixes, prefixes, and root words. You can find worksheets and multiple versions of the song to assist you on EducationalRap.com.

 

Reading & Rhythm

“Focus on the space!” The reading and rhythm method helps improve reading comprehension and confidence.

 

By Gilmarie Brioso