Newsela is a website that provides non-fiction current event articles on multiple subjects. Subject examples include war and peace, science, money, law, kids, health, arts, and sports. Newsela offers a free service or a paid optimized service. From my teaching experience this past school year, I had the opportunity to see Newsela utilized in the classroom. With today’s movement to common core, Newsela brings an opportunity to increase non-fiction reading and critical analysis to not only a teacher’s language arts curriculum, but also to related school subjects that may be addressed by the varying Newsela articles. The site overs the same articles in up to 5 different reading levels. This allows teachers to incorporate their lessons with students that may struggle with reading or the English language. Each article ends with critical thinking questions relating to the article as well.
As long as the website is maintained and articles continue to be varied, current, and available in different reading levels, I don’t see any major pitfalls to this new technological tool. All you need is access to the internet, and a method to print out multiple copies for your students. Now, making the copies for each student everyday may be the biggest pitfall there is. A teacher could easily use a classroom textbook that each student has instead of Newsela articles. However, teachers could be missing out on an exciting way of teaching not only reading and critical analysis skills, but also incorporating different subject matter in the process. To me, the biggest deterrent to this will be that the teacher will need to select a new article each day and make copies for each student.
Newsela Website and Sample Articles:
Newsela is a great resource for teachers that I believe will be welcomed by many in the education field. Will this be around in the future? It depends. I believe Newsela will be around if it is able to be financially sound. I would think that it costs a lot of money to have a great variety of articles at varying degrees of reading levels. But, if they can continue to maintain a sufficient paid membership and continue to get financial support, I can easily see Newsela becoming a household name decades from now.
Newsela Tips and Tricks: