Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cool and Useful Website: Newsela

Today's Common Core State Standards emphasize the need for students to be able to read and understand informational text. Finding informational text for the varied reading levels of students can be challenging. Newsela is an awesome website that gives you access to hundreds of leveled news articles that are updated every day. Articles are available for reading levels from 3rd grade up to 12th grade.

Each high interest article is rewritten at four different Lexile reading levels, as well as the original article. Students can take a short quizzes associated with the different Lexile levels to assess their comprehension. If they struggle with the quiz or find it too easy, they can read the story at a lower or higher Lexile level. Because all students are reading the same material, teachers can lead class discussions on the article topics with all students, no matter what their reading level.

Teachers can sign up for a free account. There is a Pro account available with more features. Once signed in, teachers can create classes. Each class comes with a unique code, which students use to create their own account and join the class. No email is necessary for students!

Teachers can browse through the articles and select passages to assign to their students. Teachers can browse articles on the main page or look through the categories across the top of the screen. Teachers can also search by grade level, alignment to CCSS, or available quizzes. Once the teacher finds an article, they click the button to assign it to the class binder.

Student then log in to their account and read the article. If there is an accompanying quiz, they can take the quiz. Teachers can create current events worksheets to assess student comprehension. Here is an example, as well as many other examples on Pinterest.

Students are also able to make their own reading choices, searching for and selecting articles to read that interest them. The progress on these self sections are also available for the student and teacher to see.

As an added bonus, every article and quiz can be printed. This is great for situations where students have limited or no access to the internet. These printed articles could also be shown under a document camera to practice whole grope close reading strategies.

Download my Tech Integration Challenge for Newsela and see if you are up to the challenge!

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