Today, I am going to share one of my MOST favorite apps out there! It’s called the News O Matic App. News O Matic App is basically an interactive newspaper that is kid friendly and filled with articles about current events. This app has SAVED me tons of time in terms of prep work. Not to mention, my middle schoolers love using the News O Matic App. We are covering lots of great language using this app. The News O Matic App creators write 5 articles a day and there are videos, pictures, selected vocabulary with definitions from the article and lots more!
Youtube Video On News-O-Matic
Here is a youtube video to see what the app looks like and what is featured each day. You can also go on Press4kids to get more information and ask questions about this app and how to use it with your students and/or classroom.
What is News-O-Matic
Quoted from this article News-O-Matic “features five daily stories, each reviewed by an on-staff psychologist to ensure safety, covering national and international news, sports, arts, science and more. The app is designed to encourage students to engage with the stories through drawings, writing, voting for their favorite articles and asking interview questions of politicians, athletes and others.”
Once you are registered with your app, the new-o-matics folks email you weekly with a guide for the articles for the week. They include comprehension questions with choices and graphic organizers to work on different concepts. This week it is working on finding details from the text.
Why I love News-O-Matic
- It is updated every day with new articles and content, so I have new therapy materials every day.
- This app has a wide variety of topics that appeal to all my students interests. It gives the student’s a choice for which article they want to read.
- This app already has vocabulary highlighted from the text with definitions, so you don’t have to prep finding word definitions in the article.
- I am emailed weekly with a teacher’s guide including comprehension questions I could ask the students.
- This app is colorful, uses real photos and contains videos on many of the articles, so your lesson can be easily adapted and scaffolded for your visual learners.
- This app has the capability of the student reading to themselves or you can have the text read out loud if reading fluency is an issue.
- There are 5 articles on one day, so my student’s have a choice for what they want to learn about. The students are more motivated to learn about things that interest them.
- The articles can be used to target articulation, speech fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, summarizing,etc.
- You can adjust the reading level to fit your student’s needs, which is pretty cool.
- There is a drawing section in which the student can draw a picture. This is a great way for students to work on visualizing. They can draw a picture to help them remember the new vocabulary words they learned, the main idea of the article or what the article made them feel/think.
- The use of non-fiction text is very much common core aligned, so this would match up with lots of your goals (wh-question, main idea, summarizing, cause/effect).
- I learn stuff too!! I get to stay up-to-date right along side my students and learn about things that I might not have caught in a “grown up” article.
Considerations before buying News-O-Matic
- You need internet connection, so if you do not have access to wifi in your room, then you will have trouble gaining access to this app.
- This is a free app to access some of the articles, but you have to pay the subscription fee to get ALL the features of the app. You also have to buy the app every year to get all the features.
- The articles are reviewed by a psychologist before they are put on the app, but some of the topics or news stories could be sensitive to your students based on their cultural beliefs. Always a good idea to preview the articles before discussing in a group or class if possible.
I am still learning more about this app and how I can incorporate it in the therapy. This is one of my go-to materials for therapy when I have mixed language groups or if my students are really not thrilled with my lesson. All in all, this is definitely a MUST HAVE for any SLP, especially those that have high caseloads, travel to multiple sites or work with upper elementary/middle school/high school level students.