Teacher Review For Newsela

Superb differentiated informational reading instruction tool using current news articles.

Jeromy W.
Media specialist/librarian
Terry Elementary School
Selma, CA
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning, Science, Social Studies
My Rating 5
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 5
Support 5
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Homework
Knowledge gain
Small group
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
This is a great tool to use with students between Lexile levels 720L - 1,100L+. Teachers from many different fields can use this website to supplement lessons. There are articles in the areas of War and Peace, Science, Kids, Money, Law, Health, Arts, and Sports. Teachers can also sign up for daily emails of current events. Again all articles are leveled by Lexile levels. Teachers can search for articles by grade level, reading standards, or topic. Additionally, some of the articles offer a quiz to check student comprehension. I use the Newsela website to supplement topics I am teaching in my class. I use it in whole class lessons to introduce a subject and small group instruction for close reading. During a study on the topic of owls I wanted to teach students about human and other environmental impacts on the birds. Students studied about the topic of owls for a couple of weeks. They were familiar with the environments in which owls live. I used the article "Rim Fire a home wrecker for California's rarest animals" to show the impact of fire on animals. I introduced the article, did a brief summary, and let the students begin reading at their Lexile level. As the students read, I pulled back small groups of lower leveled readers to provide assistance and guidance. Teachers can print the articles at each Lexile level if your school does not have access to computers or other devices for all students to read the articles. Printing the articles may offer an easy way to teach close reading. Students can highlight, use the copies to write words they are unfamiliar with, or write definitions of words.
My Take
This is a terrific website to provided differentiated reading instruction on current events. I cannot say enough great things about Newsela. The basic features are free to all. Teachers can pay for more features if they wish to build classes and track student progress through the site. Differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students is of utmost importance. Newsela offers that opportunity for teachers to differentiate reading instruction with minimal work. The Lexile levels are already built in, meaning teachers do not have to spend time leveling texts. Quizzes are also leveled based on the Lexile level of the articles. Newsela can help meet the need of the new focus on informational reading and writing through the Common Core State Standards. What a great website!