Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Informational Texts and Newsela

The Arizona College and Career Ready Standards (Common Core) require a greater balance between reading fiction and non-fiction in the classroom. In addition, we want students to be reading nonfiction content that is relevant to their lives and interests.

Last year we discovered Newsela ( Newsela is a site that brings daily news into the classroom and provides a way to foster reading comprehension. The news articles are from major publications and rewritten at different Lexile Levels. All students in a classroom can read the same content but at a level that is appropriate for them. The articles are of high interest and cover a wide variety of topics including science, health, money, and sports. The texts are common core aligned and many have quizzes to test comprehension and close reading. There are both free and premium accounts.

Newsela is quick and easy to use. Teachers register, create classes, and add students. Teachers can assign specific articles that are automatically leveled for the grade level of the class. When students log in they see the article(s) that have been assigned and can start reading.

Last week I visited a classroom where the teacher had just begun using Newsela with her students. She was really excited about being able to deliver this type of content to the students. The teacher had created her account and set up the class so the students could get log-ins. It's very engaging for the students and works well on the iPads!

Click here to view the Newsela Quick Start Guide for Teachers.


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