Newsela is a free online news site and app that provides students with high interest, differentiated, leveled versions of actual news articles and follow-up questions in a quiz form. Newsela PRO allows teachers to track individual student progress, as well as additional support in the form of annotations and written assignments. Newsela PRO will allow me, our tech teacher, and the third and fourth grade teachers to track our students' individual progress and hold them more accountable for the information they read.
I have been using Newsela in my ELD classroom for the last two years and have found it to be a priceless resource for high interest reading material. I have found it to be particularly effective with my English Learner students because it provides all students with access to the same content, but tailored to their individual reading levels. We are able to discuss current events with high rigor and expectations. This benefit also extends to our other below grade level readers. The articles can be used as supporting evidence in academic discourse and debates. The quizzes can be valuable formative assessments before revisiting articles for close reading. Students are also able to choose articles based on their own interests. The PRO version allows teachers to hone in on individual students’ needs and see each article a student has chosen to read, the amount of time they took to read it, and how they did on specific quiz questions. These features are not included in the free version. Additionally, I have found Newsela to be a more effective reading tool for our older students as they begin to transition out of our other reading program, Reading A to Z.
Success of the program would be teachers using Newsela PRO to inform their teaching by reviewing individual students’ scores and reading choices. Teachers would also use the PRO format to customize their assignments and focus on particular strategies or ideas while students read the articles at their own reading level. Students would be engaged and excited to read current events and “real” articles while building confidence to participate in academic discourse.
The program would be implemented for the 2018-2019 school year for all 3rd and 4th grade students. Although all 3rd and 4th grade teachers have used Newsela at some point, I would be happy to conduct an orientation for the PRO version to help teachers set up their classes. The site also provides several webinars.
Yes! It will be available to all 3rd and 4th grade teachers as well as our tech teacher and ELD coordinator.
No other funding sources are available at this time.