Current Events at Lexile Levels = Newsela.com
Type of Technology: iPads in combination with newsela.com
SAMR Rating: Modification
Grade Levels: 4-5
Subjects: Current Events
Cost: Site registration is free
I like Newsela.com for the mere reason that the same article can be differentiated among all readers (within reason). I can have everyone in the classroom reading the same information, allowing them to all participate in the discussion and accessing the text that is appropriate for their level.
This is new to me and I see a lot of potential for students to use technology when accessing current events. Registration is free and students access the articles you assign by using a code that you give to them. Once you register for the site, you are able to get an access code for your students to input when they are registering themselves. Once they are in, they can check their assignments and choose the proper Lexile reading for themselves (or you can insist). You can also have students write responses to articles you assign and their writing will show up in your binder, which you can access and share back with them. Quizzes are also available for many of the articles, and this has them looking back at the article to locate information they may not remember from reading the first time.
Exploring the site is also a great study in Lexile rating. My class was reading an article about tackle football and its dangers to young brains. There was a line in the article that talked about a scientific study. On the lower Lexile reading, the article just mentioned that “scientist have found…” I found myself wondering who these ‘scientists’ were. When we switched to a higher Lexile rating the same line added in the names of the scientists and the university they worked at. Great information to help me trust my source, but not important or helpful for some of my students’ affective filters.
This site also helps students to be more in charge of their learning by letting them be aware of their own Lexile level.
So, I am taking 6-8 iPads and putting the students in groups for them to read and respond to current event articles.
Just today, during our science fair, an older student had an experiment that tested a current argument about the illusion of a dress that was posted on line (Blue or Gold). And just now as I sat typing this blog, I found an article on Newsela.com about this topic. I had no idea about this dress thing until I saw the science experiment at my school. Now I have a way to integrate our science fair experience with reading current events and getting these students involved in a discussion responding to an articles they will all be able to access at their own level.