Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cool and Useful Website: TTribune

I recently posted about the Newsela website where students can read informational texts. I came across another awesome site produced by the Smithsonian Institute. It's a actually a collection of 4 websites that also has current news articles on varying Lexile levels.

TTribune is a collection of free websites sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute for use by K-12 teachers and students. Teen Tribune (grades 9-12), TweenTribune (grades 5-8), and TTJunior (grades K-4) consist of daily news stories that include text, photos, graphics, and audio/visual materials. Students can leave moderated comments on any of the teacher selected stories or take quizzes for reading comprehension. There's also a Spanish version of the site.

The TTTribune sites are free. Teachers sign up for free at tweentribune.com/join. Teachers manually create student accounts, which includes a username and password.


Teachers create an account http://tweentribune.com/join. The site will automatically create 9 classes, which can be renamed.

Students are manually added to each class by the teacher and the system assigns a username and password. The username and password can then be edited/changed for each student by the teacher.

Create an Assignment 

From the home page of the site teachers can browse through the articles. When you find an article you want students to read, click the Assign link at the bottom of each article. From the pop-up window select the class(es) you want to assign it to.

Students can also choose to browse through the available articles and select an article they are interested in and comment on it.

Comments do not appear on articles until they have been approved by the teacher. Click the Comments awaiting approval link from the Teacher menu. This screen can also be used to leave feedback to each student.

Each article has an accompanying quiz that can be used to assess student understanding of the article. There is also a Daily Quiz where students might have to search through several articles to find the answer.

Daily Photos give students the opportunity to view news photos and leave a comment. Captions for the photos are hidden until students post a comment, at which time they can edit their comment.

Student View

When students log in, they will be redirected automatically to a page containing links to the stories you assigned, any message you added to assigned stories, instructions you posted via “Create instructions for your students” and feedback you posted on their comments.

Integration Ideas

  • Pick a controversial story and ask students to post a persuasive argument for their opinion.
  • Ask students to find a comment they disagree with, then ask them to post facts that make an effective, opposing argument.
  • Ask every student to blog on a particular story, then use their responses as the basis for classroom discussion.
  • Ask students to post a summary of the day's top stories to demonstrate that they understand.
  • Ask teams of students to present a "newscast" based on the stories they like best.

The site also has a list of great lesson plans and integration ideas. These lessons can be used over and over because the stories are constantly changing and the answers will be different each time.

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

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