Thanks to a post by Larry Ferlazzo, I spent some time this morning checking out a new website, currently in beta, called Newsela. It looks very promising!
Newsela posts current news articles, rewritten at 4 lexile levels, to address the reading needs of mixed ability classrooms. A teacher can register her class and assign an article for them to read on line. Students choose which Lexile level to read (starting at about 4th grade through senior high school) and then answer four questions at the end of the reading. The questions are also leveled, which will make it possible for struggling readers to participate. However, most teachers will want to develop their own, more thought provoking questions for class discussion.
If my intention was to design this as an online only activity, I would probably pair Newsela with my own questions on Polleverywhere, Socrative, TodaysMeet, Edmodo or another discussion forum.
Newsela is free at the moment - so register while you can. It might stay that way for early testers
Anne M. Beninghof
Anne's mission is to improve instruction through collaboration and the sharing of creative, practical ideas for educators.