Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Informational text and current events customized to readers' needs

One-size-fits-all has no place in our classrooms, given the ready access we have to digital tools that support differentiation, which is why we welcome any resource built to allow its users control of content based on individual needs and preferences.  

Newsela provides its users with current news articles, each of which is written on multiple levels of text complexity.  Readers select the level best suited to their reading abilities; teachers have access to the article content written on a range of lexile scores to help them differentiate content delivery and instruction.  Newsela declares, "Give your students a new way to climb the staircase of nonfiction reading comprehension, from fourth grade to college-ready."

 InstaGrok is a research tool with search results displayed as a mind map where the "difficulty" level of returned hits is adjustable by the user.  The search results mindmaps of multimedia and text-based resources are customizable and can be shared. Check out this example of InstaGrok being used in an English classroom.


Finally, remember you can drive a Google Search to return hits based on a range of reading levels.  Really!

Want to find more current news resources?  Check out this post from the Learning Never Stops blog, 9 Sources of News for Kids That You May Not Know About

And, as an added bonus for making it this far, a way to extend the news into international waters:

Click on a colored pin to find a link to an online newspaper in that location.

Written in a different language? No problem. Simply select English (or any other language listed) for a Google Translated page.


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