Thursday, December 19, 2013

This Week's Spotlight: Newsela

While scrolling through Google+ I came across a post (thanks to +Barbara Barreda) that introduced me to Newsela.  Newsela is a site that offers an array of current event news articles that students can "fine tune" to suit their own reading comprehension level (click to tweet).  Articles on the site are divided into several categories: War and Peace, Science, Money, Law, Health, Arts, and Kids.  The fact that the site divides up articles by category is, in itself, pretty nice.  An added bonus, though, is that teachers can set up classes and then assign articles to those classes with just a couple of clicks.   Once an article is assigned, the student takes control by setting the article at a reading level that suits his or her individual needs.  That's right!  Differentiated instruction based upon the student's personal abilities!  Articles also include anchor points that show the teacher which reading standards (Common Core) are addressed within the article.  Another nice feature, although somewhat limited in its depth, is the built in assessments that many of the articles include.  With these assessments, tracking a student's progress becomes quick and easy, because the results appear in the teacher dashboard. These results can then be reviewed at PLC meetings and shared with the student and parents if need be.  There are several more features to the site that make it beneficial to the classroom so be sure to research it further!   I've embedded a YouTube video from the creators of Newsela so you can learn more.

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