Using technology in the classroom has proven to get students motivated about what they learning, increase knowledge, and prepare students to become 21st century learners. I try to implement technology in all subject areas. However, one area that I always struggle with using technology creatively and effectively is in English Language Arts. This recently changed because I discovered two great online resources that can be used with both laptops and iPads.
Newsela is an online resource that can be used for Nonfiction articles. Nonfiction text is extremely important for students, but they often find it boring and dull. This website can change students’ perspective on Nonfiction text. It has become a great resource in my classroom! Newsela can be used in grade levels third through twelfth, and can be differentiated for each student.
To use Newsela you need to visit the site and create an account, add your students, and assign an article. Each article can be read at different Lexile levels. So this makes it easy to differentiate for your students. Students can take quizzes on the articles that they read, highlight the text, and take notes about the article. Each article is also geared towards specific reading skills such as summarizing or theme. Scroll over the light bulb next to each title to find out what skills that article covers. This makes it easy to cover Common Core standards. You can also search articles according to their grade level, reading standard, and if a quiz is available.
I have used this website during literacy stations. Students log into Newsela and look for the assignment that I have given them. Sometimes I will use the notetaking portion to have students close read or summarize part of the text. Students are engaged, reading Nonfiction text, and learning! The quiz portion is great to check to see how students comprehended the text that was read..
Another great option for younger grade levels, or students in your class that may need a lower level text is National Geographic Young Explorers. This has to be used on laptops only because it requires flash which the iPads are not equipped with.. Students can go online and pick one of the magazines and the website will read the magazine to the student. There are also teacher resources that are available for each magazine. The teacher portion offers worksheets that can be printed to go along with each magazine. This is another option to get Nonfiction text into your classrooms while using technology!