What is it?
Think of Newsela as Achieve3000-light. It provides many of the functions of differentiation and authentic informational text connections, but in a simpler format and on a free basis. On the service, students will read articles published in major U.S. newspapers at five different reading levels, from third grade to adult. Unlike Achieve3000, students are able to choose their Lexile level. Also unlike Achieve, the system does not include detailed diagnostic testing to determine and monitor the student’s reading level. Newsela offers a simple, user friendly access to differentiated articles.
How can I use it?
Use the system for students to access differentiated informational text. You might say that this can already happen in Achieve3000, but Newsela offers some advantages. The content is usually more current, and it does not shy away from controversial issues.
In addition, Newsela offers leveled text in areas that no one else does. Check these out . . .
- “Pro/Con” articles, which present carefully explained positions on today’s controversial issues. That’s perfect as a foundation for research-based debate.
- “Famous Speeches,” which provide leveled versions of historical speeches, like Truman’s address upon dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima or Margaret Chase Smith’s “Declaration of Conscience.”
- “Time Machine,” which provides historical journalism, such as a 1898 New York Times article about the invasion of Puerto Rico.
Newsela also offers classroom management, article assignment, and quiz assessments. Even better, you can use your school Google login to create an account and load students directly from Google Classroom, and the website is really slick with its visual design.
Who’s Using It?
At Central Trail, Christina Renz
At Highland, Kyle Newnham
At Stranahan, Amanda Sanderson
Check out this short video to get to started on signing up, and then visit the excellent Newsela YouTube channel for more.