Newsela

All school year I have been emailing my colleagues about the website Newsela.com. When I was introduced to at the beginning of the school I instantly saw how beneficial this tool could be.

Benefits:

  • Students reading for comprehension online
  • Students can annotate
  • Students reading current events
  • A class is able to read the same article on different Lexile levels
  • Instant feedback quiz after reading
  • Teachers can grade and comment on students’ open-ended responses
  • No need for emails to create accounts
  • Reports come back to the teacher
  • Class averages
  • Students can be assigned work
  • If you are a GAFE school teachers and students can sign in through Google

My colleagues read my emails and listened to me rave about this website but I never saw or heard of anyone using it.  Finally I went and created classes for all third and fourth graders. Students read and article and took the quiz in the computer lab.  Teachers were thrilled.  7/8 teachers admitted they would now use Newsela in their classrooms.  A great of example of how we learn by doing.

newselaWhat I have learned about Newsela since using it:

  • They have great quick-start guides
  • Students can be assigned to retake a quiz
  • Teachers can sign up for daily “articles of the day” emails (These are great!)
  • Pro version- Teachers can download quiz data (put it into Excel/Sheets)
  • Pro version- allows you the teacher to see the students’ annotations and vice-versa
  • Pro version- Teachers can track student and class progress against Common Core standards
  • Pro version- Teachers can sign up for weekly Insights emails

The problem I’ve come across is that students can access all articles.  Currently I work with K-4 and some of the articles, specifically in the “War & Peace” section are not appropriate.

Another problem, when I first when to demonstrate how to take a quiz, as a teacher it shows the answers.  (The first time doesn’t count, right?)

newsela2update March 13: It looks like I wrote about Newsela this time last year too. http://technicallylibrarian.blogspot.com/2014/03/newesla-techie-tuesday-link-up.html

 

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