Newsela

A great resource for that all important informational text! Newsela provides several categories of current event articles that would be interesting to middle schoolers. The key for reluctant readers is the ability to choose a reading level. So everyone in the class can read the same article, but Newsela provides 4 different versions based on Lexile levels! The free version allows students to read as many articles as they want and take quizzes to demonstrate comprehension. The paid version allows teachers to monitor quizzes, see how many articles students have read, etc. Our school has signed up for the paid version for next year, but the free version can be very useful. Giving a reluctant reader choice in reading material is important. I did a collaborative project with a teacher last year. She allowed her students to choose research topics based on an article they read from Newsela. We definitely saw more enthusiasm about the research process since students were more engaged with their topic. Reading a short article can give reluctant readers a feeling of accomplishment. Struggling through a 200 page novel can feel like an inpossible task, but reading a two page article--with photos--is doable. In addition, the categories appeal to students, who often have so little choice in reading material at school. I highly recommend Newsela for reluctant readers, especially middle school boys.

I run a middle school library, in the golden age of children's and young adult books! There is not enough time in the day to read all of them, but I will share what I can.
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