Dec 3, 2013

Web Gem: Newsela

Newsela is a new news site for students, similar to DogoNews. Some differences are immediately visible: Newsela has a cleaner interface, less color, fewer icons, and bigger photos. News stories are grouped into categories: War & Peace, Science, Kids, Money, Law, Health, and Arts. Articles are written specifically for students, with new content added daily. Anchors highlight news stories that have quick quizzes supporting Common Core College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading.

What makes Newsela stand out is the ability for both the teacher and student to change the reading level of a news story.  Newsela uses Lexile rankings, generally ranging from 600-1100s. Readers simply click the Lexile level and the text is immediately changed.  While not a perfect correlation, this chart at Reading A-Z can help non-Lexile classrooms choose a good fit level.

Visitors may view up to 5 stories before the site requires login. Accounts are free to both teacher and student. The quickest and easiest way to register is with your GTSD Google Apps account. Click the "Sign in with Google" image and accept the terms to have immediate access to your account. Teachers should enter the required information on the "I'm a Teacher" tab. Once registration is complete, teachers may create classes and assignments. Students may enter the teacher provided class code.