How I Use It
Newsela is a bank of non-fiction, current event news articles written at several different lexile levels from 3rd - 12th grade. That alone offers more than those pricey subscriptions to Scholastic News or Time for Kids. No more running around trying to trade a few of those magazines with teachers from the grade level below and above me to meet the needs of my diverse readers. Newsela allows teachers to assign individual students an article, the lexile level of that article, as well as a quiz based on specific common core reading standards. You can search for articles based on subject, lexile, or the standard you are looking for, such as, "Determine central ideas or themes in a text." Each article gives you the lexile, grade level equivalent, word count, and the name and date of the newspaper from which the article was adapted. The articles published on Newsela are current, but you also have access to older articles. And that's with the free version! The paid subscription offers the ability to track quizzes, student progress, and more. And if you're not quite ready to go paperless, don't worry-- you can print the articles too (although this is a great opportunity to try going paperless!).
I am planning to use articles from Newsela as research in a 4th grade unit about the solar system. You can check out the App Flow here: /app-flows/solar-system#.U8mm2A3_dSc.twitter
The benefits to choosing Newsela over the paper subscription magazines for current events are a no-brainer. You get so much more from Newsela for free! It would be nice to see an option for highlighting and taking notes within the program as well as an iPad app, but it is still the clear choice for current events in the classroom.