Type of Technology: Website: www.tweentribune.com
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation
Grade Level: Any grade level
Subject Areas: Language Arts, Science, Technology
Being an educator of the youth is a fulfilling, yet difficult task for any person willing take on this role, and each and every one of these brave individuals have asked themselves this question at one point or another in their careers: “How can I motivate my students to want to read?” Sure there are popular series such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games that get students to want to read, but unfortunately these do not always appeal to every student in the classroom, which also means we are “assuming” that all students are at the same reading level, which we know is never the case.
There has to be a source somewhere in the digital universe that can provide high interest reading for all students in a classroom right? Well look no further than Smithsonian Tween Tribune. Tween Tribune is a user friendly website that provides students access to high interest, non fiction reading based on current events all around the world. The beauty of this website lies its ability to draw readers in with fun, exciting, and occasional weird articles geared towards youth.
Students may simply visit the website and read the articles, but to the most out of this resource would be to first create a classroom/teacher account. By making this account, teachers will then be able to create accounts for each student in the classroom, suggest or assign specific articles for students to read, and also read any comments (through the “Critical Thinking Challenge”) students have left on the articles they have read.
Each article on Tween Tribune has several Lexile levels and allows the reader to choose their Lexile level so that they will be able to read the article successfully, which is a great feature to have for students at varied reading levels that may want to read the same articles.
At the end of each article, there is a “Critical Thinking Challenge” question that provides the students with the opportunity to state thier opinion or answer the question being asked. There are also comprehension quizzes for each article that can be taken after the article has been read as well, with student scores being provided only through the teacher account. These features provide teachers with a great opportunity to assess each students comprehension of what article they have read, and how they answered each question.
Having used this website with my students multiple times, I have found that all of my students enjoyed exploring the website and finding articles that they found interesting. Observing my students enjoying reading the articles and was great to witness as a teacher. Students who did not like reading were reading these articles, reccomending articles to thier peers, and were motivated to continue reading, therefore giving them the opportunity to use this essential educational skill. So if you or your students are interested in reading about women bobsledders, luxorious cars, odd animals, sports, super heroes, or robot cheetahs, then this is the website for you!