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One of my continual teaching struggles is exposing students to an expanded world view through an understanding of current events.

The site with which I have had the most success is NewsELA.   newsela.com 

There is a free version, which is perfectly suitable.

Essentially, NewsELA aggregates news articles from various reputable (and mostly American) news outlets.

The two biggest standout advantages of NewsELA over merely having students read news websites are in the (A) Student Reading Monitoring and (B) Teacher Tools.

(A) Student Reading Monitoring  -- many of these are invisible to the student. NewsELA offers each article at at least 4 lexiles, and the system offers the level to a student depending upon the student's accuracy on Quizzes and other built-in assignments. 

(B) Teacher Tools -- in a long list of ways teachers can use NewsELA, some of the ones I use most often are the options where teachers can: 

  • assign articles to students, and even choose different lexile levels for different students 
  • select sidebar questions addressing  a variety of eight reading goals: What the text says, Central idea, People, events, & ideas, Word meaning & choice, text structure, Point of view/ Purpose, Multimedia, and Arguments & claims
  • easily grade student responses on the website
  • add their own questions and directions
  • see the length of time a student spent on an assignment 

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Caveats -- NewsELA is bult on a google platform, so some elements work inconsistently in countries with national internet filtering or blocking policies.

 

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