Thursday, March 6, 2014

Students Read And Share Kid Friendly Current Events With Newsela

At a recent District 194 Media Specialist meeting, each of us took a few minutes to share what we were working on with our students.  We shared our tech successes (and a few failures), so we could learn from each other. I came away with some great new ideas and tools. One of the tools, which I shared in an earlier blog post was Blendspace. I used Blendspace again for this lesson, along with the second tool I learned about - a free current events website called Newsela.

Newsela provides kid friendly news articles, with the added ability of customizing the reading level for each student. Teachers can use the quiz feature which provides comprehension questions following each article.

What do I  like about Newela? - even if it didn't have the great lexile customization and quizzes.
- I like giving students an opportunity to read about their world without worrying that the content is too mature!
- I like the fact that the articles are engaging - providing students with the "hook" to keep them interested.
- I like being able to suggest another option for quality nonfiction reading!
- And I really like the fact that it is digital!!

I introduced Newsela to my first class today. I asked students to select and read an article that interested them. Students became reporters! After reading their article, they reported their findings on a Padlet Wall. What they wrote made me want to read more!  Our next class together, we will revisit our Padlet Wall and discuss the articles they reported on.  I am really looking forward to it!