Newsela

Resources for parents and teachers

Newsela

Newsela

0.00
4.65

Affordability

5.0/5

Educational quality

5.0/5

Ease of use

4.0/5

Pros

  • Breadth of resources
  • Variety of reading levels
  • Range of activities

Cons

  • Need to learn how to use the site
  • Need to choose and assign articles to students

Newsela is one of the most comprehensive resources out there. The site has news stories, organized by current events or by subject, and activities for the stories. There are collections of articles about Covid-19 for students as well as science, social studies, and math articles. So a story on the current suspension of sports might have vocabulary activities related to the words “postponed” and “novel” as well as writing prompts. There are resources available for students from second to twelfth grades and each resource is available at five different reading levels, covering the same content. So a teacher could assign everyone in class the same article to read but the highest readers would read it at a higher text complexity than the lowest readers while still learning the same key concepts.

While some of Newsela’s resources are always free, they have made many more free to parents and teachers during the pandemic. Teachers can sign up for a free account with their school email addresses and build classes, with assignments and leveled texts that they assign to all students. Parents can also sign up and assign articles and activities to their children directly. You can sort resources by grade band like lower or upper elementary. Then you need to know your child’s reading lexile to assign an article of the right difficulty. If you don’t know your child’s lexile, this chart is pretty helpful– it translates lexiles into grade levels, DRA levels, and guided reading levels so that if you have any sense of what level books your child reads, you can convert it easily.

There is a bit of start up cost to learning the program but they have lots of tutorials and you can easily build out a full semester’s worth of reading, writing, and some content lessons from the site so the start up cost is definitely worth it!

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