How I Use It
I use this tool when teaching guided reading groups, focusing on nonfiction texts. Newsela provides a ton of nonfiction articles for students in grade 4-12. There are a variety of categories that the teacher can select from, to best instruct his/her students.
The great thing about this tool is that there are different Lexile levels for the same article. Therefore, it is easy for the teacher to provide differentiation to guided reading groups for students who are below-level, on-level, and above-level for their specific grade.
Newsela has many articles and topics that relate to things that students are involved or interested in. This is great because it keeps their attention, whereas other nonfiction texts usually do not. Also, there are 4-5 question comprehension checks that are available with many of the articles on the website. These checks are a great resource to have students practice returning to the text to find information.
The one thing that I caution anyone who uses this website to do is: Please preview and read each article before you distribute this to your class! Some articles may contain content that is not suitable for your specific group of students, or a school setting.
Overall, this is a great resource to use when teaching nonfiction texts. In addition, if you are in need of guided reading materials for grades 5-12, Newsela has a ton of resources!
I really like how the teacher can differentiate the lexile level for every article, and how there is a comprehension check at the end of many articles.
It is a great tool to use for whole group, small group, or individual instruction. Additionally, it is very easy to find articles that have topics that students can relate to!