Monday, March 30, 2015

Time for Kids Magazine

As a classroom teacher I always found it a challenge to find rich non-fiction resources that were tailored to a younger reading level. I routinely found a divide between the complexity of the text and the quality of the content. This made finding resources for current events, science, and social studies lessons difficult. However, one resources that manages to blend exceptional content with varied reading levels is Time for Kids.

Time for Kids is a weekly news magazine created by Time magazine (that means you get a 52 week subscription!). There are specific magazines created for different grade clusters, and all the content is created with Common Core in mind. The writers behind Time for Kids not only provide you with a magazine but also create printable teacher guides and lesson plans associated with the articles to further help children explore the topics discussed. The availability of both print and digital editions make it truly accessible for children both at school and at home. The digital versions infuse high quality video to increase engagement, and a vocabulary building tool called Power Words which highlights novel terminology for students to master. Furthermore, the digital magazine has an integrated read-aloud function which allows even struggling readers to access the content. You can get an overview of the features of Time for Kids on this video. Both in print and digitally, it is an excellent resource for getting children to read non-fiction material on a variety of current topics.

Beyond giving students access to high quality non-fiction content, Time for Kids also has an online resource titled Homework Helper which further helps to build literacy skills. This resource is open and available without a subscription.   Model papers are available under their A+ Papers section to teach students how to craft everything from a traditional essay, to a biography, to new articles. The Grammar Wizard allows students to practice and hone their punctuation skills, while Flash Card Maker provides flash cards across curricular areas or the option to create your own deck for studying. In addition, Writing Tips stages out the writing process for writers, making it easier for struggling writers to follow the step-by-step process involved in crafting high quality discourse. If students need further assistance, the Writers Toolkit provides links to vetted websites providing a children’s dictionary, thesaurus and vocabulary assistance. Finally, Time for Kids is constantly partnering with other educational institutions to develop programs and curriculum to teach students everything from financial literacy to engaging in community service initiatives. Teachers and parents can explore the programs which feature lessons, games and activities on the TFK Extras section of the website.

Whether you are simply looking to amplify a child’s exposure to current events and non-fiction topics or develop their literacy skills, Time for Kids offers numerous tools to help achieve your goal. The best part is that kids will have fun doing it!

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