In the last post, we talked about the Smithsonian’s Quests Digital Badging program. This quality program is not the only option for kids who not only want to engage in learning challenges this summer, with the bonus of a little recognition for their achievements.
The news is not written for most of our kids, especially those who struggle with reading. When I shared Newsela with our teachers last fall many became devoted fans. Newsela multi-discilplinary articles are published at five different levels of text complexity, allowing students of all abilities to engage with the same authentic news content.
Newsela Founder and CEO Matthew Gross, shared:
Getting kids to read over the summer is a pain. What if kids were self-motivated to read, and not just stories of wizards and heartbreak, but about the world around them? Newsela’s goal this summer is to foster a news-reading habit. Starting this summer, news will be a part of every child’s life.
Logging in as Susie Student, I was greeted by the Week 2 screen and an invitation to choose an article from among three challenges. I selected the Epic Cake Challenge where I encountered the fascinating and kinda of icky article, “Cicadas invade Staten Island with song; well, noise, a lot of noise, adapted from the LA Times by Newsela staff.
After reading the article, I could opt to take the four-question, standards-aligned quiz at the reading level I selected. Some questions ask you to go back to the text and point to evidence. Should I miss any, I could review the quizzes to see correct answers.
Participation is free for students in grades 3 through 12. A parent or teacher can create an account and students can take part of the nonfiction reading Challenge that ends on August. 18 on any browser and across their devices.
Students earn points and quirky, colorful badges for completing a range of mini-challenges based on article assignments. Specifically, points are calculated by the number of words in an article divided by the number of questions in the article quiz and multiplied by the number of questions that they answer correctly.
Let your parents know about this Challenge. It’s is a perfect excuse for a summer newsletter update.
Instructions for teachers/librarians
One-page handout for sharing student accounts with parents
Instructions for parents