NEWSELA: making current events accessible to all
Type of Technology: Website
SAMR Level: Modification to Augmentation
Subjects: All subjects
Cost: Free for the basic version, $2,000/year for a grade level and $6,000/year for an entire school
Having trouble finding and incorporating a variety of sources into your classroom? Do you want to mix things up in your weekly routine by adding current events to your curriculum? If so NEWSELA is the perfect website for you. NEWSELA is a website that takes news articles from a variety of National Publications (including the San Diego Tribune, Washington Post, and New York Times to name a few) and makes the articles more accessible to our students and allows teachers to create mini lessons online.
NEWSELA has many resources that help meet the needs of our diverse learners in our respective classes. Each article can be adjusted for a variety of grade and lexile levels. Knowing students lexile levels and assigning appropriate lexile level readings is key to improving student reading and comprehension. Students will have to create their own account if you choose to use the resources online. There is a simple tutorial they can review online as well as a print out of directions. You can also print the resources out and distribute hard copies to students for lessons.
If you choose to use NEWSELA online the Pro version allows you to administer and collect assignments through your account, no extra stack of papers to take home for the weekend! You can set up classes and track student progress on a variety of reading standards that are Common Core aligned. There is a binder that allows you to see how your students performed compared to all NEWSELA readers at the same grade level. There are short quizzes for each article and you can create short writing responses as well. You can grade and respond to student writing all online. Unfortunately, the basic version does not allow you to access all that NEWSELA has. Really, the only drawback I can find may be the price. The feature I liked most which is the online written response is available with the Pro version.
NEWSELA borders between modification and augmentation on the SAMR model. The activities and results that teachers can use to give students feedback can lead students toward a deeper understanding of what they’re reading along with improved reading skills. NEWSELA can be used for any discipline. For English Lit. there are text sets that relate present day articles to the themes covered in classic novels, including but not limited to “The Grapes of Wrath” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”, connecting past to present.