Go Anywhere in the World with Newsela!
Type of Technology: Website/App
SAMR Model Rating: Modification
Grade Level: 2nd-12th
Subject Area: English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies
Cost: Free and Pay options
I have been accused by some people of becoming very enthusiastic about the Apps I blog on for the Collection. My current App that I am anxious to introduce to you is Newsela! What is so compelling about this App that teachers should run out and access it for their class? Why utilize this instead of paying for another Scholastic Magazine subscription for kids? Tons of reasons! I will share with you all of mine, but first let me tell you a little bit about what it actually is.
What is Newsela?
Newsela is a bank of nonfiction, current news articles available for students from a variety of lexile levels from 2nd grade-12th grade. There are two options a teacher can choose from, either free or the next level for a fee. The free options, which most of my teacher friends utilize, should provide you with everything you need. All the articles you can choose from, comprehension questions, and access to the many different levels. The pay subscription to the site allows the students to have an account set up by you and you can drop articles you want to assign and track the students’ progress. In an era of the Common Core and a never ending raised bar for students, Newsela helps everyone to achieve their goals!
How I use it?
I can’t think of a subject someone could teach that this would not benefit their classroom. Newsela can be used in a variety of ways depending on the creativity of the teacher. For my daughter’s 6th grade classroom, her teacher uses it to enhance the student’s background knowledge for the subjects being taught in class. She has been assigned everything from Ancient Egypt to current politics. My students are younger and predominantly second language learners. Finding articles at their independent comprehension level and high interest has always been a challenge. I also teach at a school that has a transdisciplinary approach. One way I use Newsela is during my reading workshop hour. I assign students a variety of topics to support the theme I am teaching and during our reading rotation the students complete an article a day. It builds their background knowledge, vocabulary for a topic and provides them instant feedback. I have also used it as part of a small group shared reading that I do. We read the article together and use the provided questions to support our new learning.
- It takes very little time to set up.
- Free options
- Exciting topics for the students
- Reading at their lexile level
- You can sign up for a trial experience with the paid version of it.
- If you are interested in the paid version package, there is a cost.