October 15, 2017, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I am probably the last teacher to jump on board with Newsela. Two years back I recall attending a professional development session on the use of the ELA Common Core Standards for science and social studies teachers.  My colleagues and myself made free Newsela accounts as students and our presenter modeled with us how to use the online application.  When I was visiting with my own 8th grade twins, they told me how they use Newsela in Social Studies to discuss and review current events.  I decided to jump back on the website and create my own teacher account.

Newsela is a compilation of current articles for students ranging from 2nd grade to 12th grade. Most articles are by the Associated Press and then adapted by Newslea to create different Lexile levels.  Also, you can choose articles for your class that align with specific ELA standards that you need your students to practice.  There are articles for every subject matter and teachers can simply click articles of interest and save them for future use.  Below is a small snapshot of just some of the choices Newslea offers.


Since we are studying Biology in my 7th grade classroom, I choose 3 articles pertaining to my subject matter.  First the students will need to enter my class code by going to and then entering the code 93RC4X.  If they already have an account with Newslea, they will enter the code and immediately be taking to my class page where they will see the articles and assignments for the articles.  If they don’t have an account with Newslea, they can use their own Google accounts to create a student profile and then use the class code.  Below is a snapshot of the articles I have chosen.

I will assign one article at a time but leave all articles posted on Newslea until the end of the unit.  When students read the article, they can chose between 4 different reading levels ranging from 1200 to 550.  I would encourage the students to start at the highest reading level and the decrease in reading levels if needed.  After a student reads an article, they are given a series of about 5 quiz questions regarding the content.  Then they are asked to respond to a reading prompt that aligns with an ELA Common Core Standard. See below.

Responses to the prompts, annotation written in the article by the students, and quiz scores are kept within the class “Binder” so that the students’ work in archived and monitored as the year progresses.  I plan to have students respond to the writing prompts in Canvas, our online classroom platform.  I have a conference in which I will be away from school towards the end of this month and I plan to leave this online lesson plans with the substitute.

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