Students and teachers are heading back to school — in the classroom, from behind a computer screen, and sometimes both. In the wake of extended school closures resulting from COVID-19, reading regularly will be more important than ever to get students back on track. And News-O-Matic is here to help! From current events to SEL stories to fun craft ideas, here are some recommended articles to use at the start of the school year.
1. Back to School... So Far
This article from August 2020 shares a snapshot of how schools are reopening for class during the coronavirus pandemic. Students will learn what other districts around the world are doing and how teachers and health officials are working hard to keep them safe.
2. How to Be You!
The 2020-2021 school year will be unlike any other, presenting its own stresses and challenges. “How to Be You” is the first article in our new SEL series and introduces students to the topic of social and emotional learning. The article explains the five major SEL components defined by CASEL (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). Teachers can also download our corresponding SEL lesson plan.
3. How to Stay Organized!
Our surroundings can greatly affect our mood. “How to Stay Organized,” another article in our SEL series, offers students some ideas for how to position themselves for success this school year. Tips include keeping workspaces tidy, setting a schedule, and color-coding school supplies based on subject.
4. Be a Memory Master!
Students have a lot to learn (and remember!) at the beginning of a new school year, such as class schedules, new math formulas, and vocabulary words. Through an interview with Alex Mullen, a winner of the World Memory Championships, the article “Be a Memory Master!” helps students train their brain to remember facts for a new school year.
5. Craft: Homework Hanger
With school starting up again, students are getting ready for more homework assignments. This article teaches students how to make a pencil-shaped homework hanger for their door. For schools doing distance or hybrid learning, the hanger can also be tweaked to say another fun message like “School is in session!” In addition to being a fun, hands-on activity, the homework hanger craft teaches students how to follow written instructions.
What are some of your favorite News-O-Matic articles to use at the beginning of the school year? Share your thoughts in the comments below!