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Inside Practically Paradise

Engaging students in writing using TweenTribune

I decided to try out TweenTribune.com (a totally free source) this year in addition to my Edusoft blog (for which I pay monthly out of my personal bank account $6.95 to avoid ads). Have you tried it yet? With 28,000 teachers already using TweenTribune, I feel like a late-adopter.

Here’s how TweenTribune works. Each weekday, they search the Web for age-appropriate news stories that will interest tweens (ages 8 to 14), and invite them to comment. All comments are moderated before publishing, so it’s Web-safe.

I can register my own class, customize the pages, moderate comments, and get individual printouts for each student.  That would be a big help at the beginning of the year when I am demonstrating writing for an authentic audience for my reading & language arts teachers. I’ll be using the Top Ten Lesson Plans   as conversation starters for collaborative planning.

Here are some of the safeguards TweenTribune uses and lists on their webpage   for teachers:

“TweenTribune is in full compliance with COPPA – the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act – as outlined by the Federal Trade Commission. This means that:

  • Students may not use their last names.
  • Students may not use their email address anywhere on the site.
  • TweenTribune does not gather or store student email addresses.
  • Teachers can moderate students’ comments before they’re published.
  • TweenTribune only uses news stories from reputable news organizations, such as the Associated Press, and local newspapers and TV stations.
  • Teachers’ identities are independently verified before they are granted administrative privileges.”

Are you one of the teachers using TweenTribune? I’d love to hear more from you about your successes and challenges.

Comments

  1. Here’s a link to 100 comments about TweenTribune from teachers: http://tweentribune.com/love

    Use the link to contact any of the for more information.

    I introduced Tween Tribune to my class last week and was blown away by how engaged they were.
    TweenTribune offers teachers and students an opportunity to read high interest news stories about everyday people from around the world. Introduced in such an appealing way, Tribune stories are interesting to middle schoolers and are a great way to get students to read newspaper articles – and then to hear them comment.
    Tina Wolfer’s blog: Teaching. Learning. Community.

    I was very impressed by the options offered by the site, and I think it would be a fabulous community for students in middle school classes. Give it a try!
    Students at the middle school level need opportunities to express their opinions and ideas about current issues and topics. Tween Tribune is a free resource that teachers can use to help introduce dialogue about current events in their class. Tween Tribune provides age appropriate versions of current news articles and all comments are moderated before they are posted. It is safe. You can choose to create a customizable page with student log ins.
    Kristen Swanson’s blog: Teachers as Technology Trailblazers

    Earlier this month, I wrote about TweenTribune and its possible uses for reading and writing instruction and practice. The day after my students were assigned the task of reading a news story and writing a short comment about the story, one of my struggling readers reported to me, “I spent a whole hour reading the stories. They were all so interesting.”
    Thank you TweenTribune!
    Robin Talkowski’s blog: Reading & Technology

    One of our graduate students, Kyle Kipp, a Lincoln High School Media Specialist, suggested we take a look at TweenTribune. Their site suggests, “If you can’t keep up with technology, TweenTribune is here to help.”
    With their posts on Facebook and Twitter, they hope teachers will learn “how technology can be a help instead of a hindrance.”
    What I like about the site is that students are encouaged to post their own stories.
    Eastern Michigan University: EDMT and Beyond

    I was alerted to this site by a Massena principal. I am thrilled with how easy to use and kid-friendly this site is!
    Basically, students can look for stories that are interesting to them or read articles you direct them to. Then they can leave comments and have forum-like discussions with kids all over the country and even the world – some classes from Australia, Canada, Japan, and Taiwan exist in this online community.
    Amber Gooshaw’s blog: The Penguin’s Slide

    This site presents itself as a great place for elementary students to read current events that are appealing to them. Having the option to comment in a safe, moderated environment gives them authentic practice of contributing to the conversations of a community. Many classrooms still subscribe to a paper magazine – such as TFK for Kids – but with an online news service the discussion goes beyond the classroom walls, and it is FREE.
    If a teacher is looking to add more non-fiction reading with short written response & reflection to his/her classroom, TweenTribune may be a good choice.
    Lisa Sanderson’s Tech Tuesday blog

    I am a Literacy Specialist in a very poor and small rural school district. For the last eight years, I have taught reading in the middle school.
    I have spent lots of money and time looking for materials that would hook my students and turn them on to reading. The goal was to instill in them the importance of being literate and reading for enjoyment.
    I introduced TweenTribune a few weeks ago and I can’t begin to describe the excitement of my students. They are enjoying the articles, blogging and even going home to access the site and blog some more! Thanks for this awesome resource!
    With TweenTribune, there is no fear of a test but just true engagement in the reading process.
    Nancy A. Peer, Literacy Specialist, Friendship Central School, Friendship, NY

    My students are 6th, 7th and 8th graders that read and function at a 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade level.
    We are using TweenTribune as a blogging platform. We’ve tried using our local newspaper, but it is written at such a level that makes it difficult for my students.
    But TweenTribune is great for them. They love it when I read the stories. It’s a great site that I have shared with my coworkers.
    My students are mad when they don’t have the opportunity to get on the site.
    Angi Wiegert, Developmental Learning Program, Walnut Middle School, Grand Island, NE

    I teach middle school social studies and we use this as often as we can have access to the computers at our school. Kids love it and have really taken an interest in what is happening outside of our school. Thanks for putting together such a great site!
    Mike Johnson, South Winneshiek Community School District, Calmar, IA

    I told my students that TweenTribune is like getting up in the morning and reading the newspaper so they’d be current on what was happening AND they get to express their opinion. For 6th graders it makes them feel like they are being treated like a teenager to get to do something on their own.
    I have noticed that several of my students are logging in and using this site at home to read articles and make comments. I’m so happy that they enjoy the site enough that it’s not just something they are made to do in class.
    Polly Brent, Whitney Independent School District, Whitney, TX

    My students are REALLY excited about this website. I’ve had a lot of kids writing and commenting and talking to me about it. Honestly, I was surprised at how engaged they were. I figured they would see it as “just another site.” Obviously they feel some ownership. This is one of the first sites I’ve seen that is specifically created with the middle school student in mind. Thank you!
    Steve Guiles, Lone Hill Middle School, San Dimas, CA

    My students love using TweenTribune to keep up with the news of the day and to have a voice about it. I urge them to read not just the stories, but the comments as well and to then dialogue directly with other commenters. It has been an excellent vehicle for teaching the students about the value of their voices in a democratic society, the value of listening closely to others, and the value of clear writing.
    Ray Smith, Crawford Middle School, Lexington, KY

    I am so appreciative for this website. My students are learning to read the news and this has sparked their interest. Being challenged readers, these stories appeal to them enough to want to read them. Thank you very much for this service.
    Debra Griffin, Special Education Teacher, Pillager School District, Pillager, MN

    We do like the site!! I’m using it as a monthly assignment, where students need to have so many comments by certain dates. I also see it as a way to post student’s writing and have their peers comment upon it.
    What I really like is that their comments come to me and I control the post, so they are held accountable for the quality of their post – they don’t get the points until I post it, and it doesn’t get posted as long as it contains major errors.
    The parent comments I have heard have also been very positive!
    Kerry Neuberger, Garner-Hayfield Middle School, Garner, IA

    My students are excited about reading the news! It’s relevant, up-to-date, and a wide variety of topics. Don’t tell them, but they are engaged learners that are practicing reading and writing skills!
    Cheryl Ericksen, Mead Junior High School, Schaumburg, IL

    I bring my students every two weeks or so to the lab to look on tweentribune, and they look forward to it each time. They are always very into reading the articles and posting their thoughts. Even my classes that are very small and have very quiet kids get into it, and share story topics with each other. It is a lot of fun. Plus, the kids are exposed to different news stories they otherwise might not read or hear about it.
    Anna Walsh, Wilmington Middle School, Wilmington, IL

    I appreciate the diversity represented in the articles. It is hard to provide my students with real world experiences with people with diverse backgrounds due to our rural, midwest location. The articles are also engaging, not threatening due to difficult vocabulary.
    Bob Wilson, North Winneshiek Community School, Decorah, IA

    I like that my students are engaged in an authentic task. Just as I read the news and comment, so can they. This is giving them a life-long skill.
    Carrie Okland, McCombs Middle School, Des Moines, IA

    The kids are not intimidated because the articles are short — they can all find something they’re interested in- even reluctant readers.
    Erin E Wallace, Farnsley Middle School, Louisville, KY

    The freedom my student’s feel when writing is wonderful! I have them going online at home, they love it that much!
    Denise Cherry, Pittsfield Public Schools, Pittsfield, MA

    I like the fact that students can communicate with each other in a relatively safe environment. They can practice ways to respectfully offer diverse opinions while they are learning from each other. My class and another write and publish a student newspaper for our K-6 elementary school. The site gives them access to a wide array of news stories that are age appropriate. These stories also serve as a springboard for discussion on a variety of topics.
    Maryann Ayers, Merriam Elementary School, Acton, MA

    Articles are short, descriptive & current. I LOVE the fact that I have to approve them before they can appear to the public. My students are mostly Cognitively Impaired non-readers, non-writers, but with alot of individualized time from my para & myself we get 1 article read & commented on per week per student. At a baby shower this weekend, I found some teachers & promoted this site :)
    Judy McCall, Brandon School District, Ortonville, MI

    Articles are short, sweet, and vocab is at the level of my 4th graders. Also, the headlines are eye catching for my students. They enjoy the articles!
    Jolene Hetherington, Mather Elementary School, Munising, MI

    Even my most unengaged students enjoy reading the articles. In fact, while they often refuse to read traditional class assignments, they are willing to read your articles.
    Ruth Tuttle, Adrian Public Schools, Adrian, MI

    It provides nonviolent current news articles for my 7th grade students when doing their Current Events assignments of the Eastern Hemisphere countries.
    Nancy Fitzpatrick, East Middle School, Traverse City Area Public Schools, Traverse City, MI

    The students feel like they have a voice and what they say matters. They are reading material that interests them and compose responses to issues that matter to them. As a teacher I love the fact that they’re reading AND that they are required by be to take a stand on current issues. This tool is easy to use and easy to monitor.
    Stephanie Walterreit, Alpena Public Schools, Alpena, MI

    I really like how readable the articles are for my 3rd graders. I also like that I must approve any post made by a student. My students had fun coming up with a unique user name for themselves. It is just a great site! I plan on sharing it with my entire staff and getting other Ann Arbor classrooms using it!
    Molly Crankshaw, Burns Park Elementary School, Ann Arbor, MI

    Here’s what I like: Real articles from real news sources prescreened for adolescents; Kids manage their own login; Ability to post comments engages students with the material; Categories in right sidebar are useful.
    Patrick O’Neil, Iroquois Middle School, Macomb, MI

    I enjoy the articles that intrigue the kids to want to read. I work with students who have behavioral disorders and getting them to be motivated to read is very challenging. I love hearing, “WOW did you see this article!” It makes me smile and just knowing the one day a week for 25 minutes they are focused on current events is awesome.
    Amber Koepl, Rum River North Educational Program, Cambridge, MN

    My students enjoy the variety of stories your site offers. No matter their interest, it seems the students can find a story that intrigues them.
    Krista Cox, Alma Public School, Alma, NE

    I like the fact there there is such a wide variety of current news available to the students and they have the ability to write about their reactions to the news stories.
    Joan Kovacs, Upper Freehold Regional Elementary-Middle School, Allentown, NJ

    It is very easy to use. I like the fact that we can see the students’ comments and have control over whether to post them or not.
    Carolynn Joyce, West Deptford Middle School, West Deptford, NJ

    The website provides interesting articles that get my 6th graders reading. They have strong opinions on some of the articles and enjoy expressing their ideas in writing. This gives them valuable practice in persuasive writing.
    Betty Ann Dalberg, Lavallette Elementary School, Lavallette, NJ

    It is user-friendly! Students can read topics interesting to them to comment on. It gives them a voice.
    Katherine A. Hughes, Welborn Academy of Science and Technology, High Point, NC

    I like the fact that students can read the opinions of their peers and get another perspective on a particular topic. It also lends itself to writing practice (grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure). I do not publish any comments that have mistakes. I actually return their comments and have them find mistakes. I will begin to use this as a grading tool.
    Sheryl Campbell, Kannapolis, NC

    The stories are well written, high interest, and age appropriate. Kids are able to easily navigate around the website. I love that the kid’s are having access to current events on a safe site. Kids feel empowered and share their voice by blogging and sharing their opinions and thoughts.
    Michelle Lumley, Green Intermediate School, Green, OH

    Students love reading the articles and commenting on them!
    Christine Lorence, Coventry Junior High, Akron, OH

    Students like to see what others are saying about the articles and they seem to be interested in the articles. They also seem to want to make comments.
    Scott Heisel, Norwood City Schools, Norwood, OH

    The articles are high interest for kids at this age and very well organized. I also like that as a teacher, I get to see what my kids are posting and have the ability to approve comments.
    Litty Mathai, 5th Grade LA/S.S. Teacher, Mason Intermediate, Mason, OH

    The news is current. Students can post and add their own comments. The stories are of interest to this age group.
    Pat Beams, St. Marys City Schools, St. Marys, OH

    I like the content and the fact that the students will be able to make comments for me to see.
    Robyn Helsel, McDowell Exchange School, Circleville, OH

    I like that I can view their posts before they are actually posted.
    Tracy Delp, Northern Middle School, Dillsburg, PA

    News at the touch of your fingertips.
    Jodi Osterman, South Fayette Middle School, McDonald, PA

    Easy to read student-friendly, interesting articles.
    Ray Hanks, Southern Lehigh School District, Center Valley, PA

    I appreciate the diversity represented in the articles. It is hard to provide my students with real world experiences with people with diverse backgrounds due to our rural, midwest location. The articles are also engaging, not threatening due to difficult vocabulary.
    Lisa Koller, Palmerton Area School District, Palmerton, PA

    The comments section provides accountability for reading the articles.
    Kathleen Kale, Southern Lehigh School District, Coopersburg, PA

    My students can pick the articles they are personally interested in or I can give the specific ones.
    Michelle Matthews, Junior High East, Connellsville, PA

    The articles are appealing to the fifth graders. They enjoy writing for the “real world” and look forward to blogging opportunities.
    Jennifer Edwards, Northwestern Elementary, Albion, PA

    I like the variety of topics listed on the right panel for students to choose from and that they can submit comments. My students really enjoy this website!
    Elizabeth Soltysiak, Broad Rock Middle School, Wakefield, RI

    Tween Tribune is an interesting and informative site for tweens. The articles are in kid-friendly language and students are learning valuable writing skills by commenting. They are also able to practice the skills learned in the classroom. I like that I can edit my students responses before publishing.
    Kristin Sousa, Kickemuit Middle School, Warren, RI

    My students are all really enjoying using this approach to current events!
    Amanda Eldridge, Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School, Essex Junction, VT

    Students can join a class and keep track of their own password. Students can learn how to comment well. Love the spell check!
    Sheri Edwards, Nespelem School District, Nespelem, WA

    I’ve toyed with the idea of having students blog for over two years now. I’d always bailed on the idea because I couldn’t figure out how to do it safely. Last week my students jumped right in with me on our blogging adventure using TweenTribune and haven’t stopped since. I was amazed at how engaged the students were in news.
    Kim Wright, Smart’s Mill Middle School, Leesburg, VA

    My fifth-grade students have loved TweenTribune! The day I introduced the site and let them browse, I was going out to get other teachers to come and see what was going on in my room. The productive buzz was unbelievable!
    Jayne Stephenson, Laurelville Elementary, Laurelville, Ohio

    I have recently enrolled my entire classroom (roughly 100 students) to Tween Tribune. So far, so good! My kids seem to be pumped up about the blogging idea. We have attempted other ways to blog, but none seems as safe and “kid friendly” as this! Nice job! Just some thoughts from a very satisfied teacher! Thanks.
    Dean Bennett, Northbridge Middle School, Whitinsville, MA

    I am very excited to sign my class up for this awesome website.
    Joan Sanders, Mill Pond School, Westborough, MA

    I just wanted to thank you for making these articles available to all of us. I have been searching for a place that has age appropriate material. This is perfect. I’m excited!
    Eileen Murray, North Kingston Schools, North Kingston, RI

    Thanks for your good journalism work online. It looks like a good resource for our G/T students here. Science/Math/Technology is our strong suit, but these kids do amazing stuff in LA and SS.
    Barbara Hampton, Talcott Mountain Academy, Avon, CT

    This site is really impressive; I’m excited about where it’s going.
    Nicholas R. Perrone, Educational Technology Teacher/Facilitator, Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School, New Haven, CT

    I’m currently browsing around to see all the things I can do with this site! I’m looking forward to presenting it to my class!! I’m excited. Can’t wait to use this in class! Thanks so much!
    Catherine McAllister, Seventh Grade Science Teacher, Speight Middle School, Stantonsburg, NC

    I have a young lady in class that RARELY says two words, but she signed up and wrote an entire paragraph in response to an article. Maybe this is what she needs to break out of her shell and defeat her shyness! Thanks!
    RJ Haynes, Reading Hilltop Elementary, Cincinnati, OH

    Today I pushed aside a few “scheduled plans” to introduce my LA block students to TweenTribune. I was amazed at the response!
    I began tempting them by projecting the Home page on my data projector. They were immediately requesting me to open different stories to read. We read a few together and then I showed them the comments of other students. They were immediately hooked. Where a few tentative hands raised at wanting to participate, I soon had the entire class wanting laptops to register!
    I took them through the process effortlessly and they began scouring the site for articles to read. I quickly realized I’d better give them some BLOGGING rules, so I opened the attached parent letter and focused on my posting requirements.
    I want to thank the fellow teacher here who provided the basis for my letter. I used much of her ideas and adapted a few to meet the needs of our students. An attached revised copy in WORD is available for those who would like to use.
    My students spent about 40 minutes on the site. I had to drag them off to move onto our persuasive essay lessons. This will be an out of school activity for them and I plan on rewarding them with our grade level incentive stamps and little trinkets for my active bloggers. Periodically I’m going to log in during class time and share with them some of the postings of their peers to keep the excitement going.
    Students have the ability to share their connections and responses to timely news articles. I also enjoy “Your Stories” where teachers can set up individual assignments for their students. They have a special place just for their news.
    Thanks so much for all of your ideas! I’m looking forward to an exciting second semester!
    Cindy Zamirowski, Crone Middle School, Naperville, IL

    TweenTribune has been a valuable learning experience for the students in many ways. Here’s a small list of what I like about our experience with TweenTribune.
    1. It’s of high interest to the students-ALL students were involved.
    2. We have real life opportunities to talk about how writing traits and skills are important even while blogging on line. They appreciated reading well edited comments more than “junk”. (“Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooolll” that’s junk. )
    3. They are encouraged to check spelling, and preview before posting. We studied many good samples and poor samples. In the lab, they were encouraged to have an in class partner read and OK their work as intelligent and appropriate before they saved it. This activity required them to READ the article, then discuss a meaningful comment. The conversations were rich.
    4. We learned to use smart descriptive words rather than inappropriate acronyms. This process of editing evolved into 5 classes of “internet cops” who reported in writing, the user names, dates, other identifying info; then we passed it to the webmaster. Mr. Jacobson responded immediately, right before the kids eyes and deleted the material. In a weeks time, the link button for teachers to submit inappropriate comments was created. The website is young and getting better by the day.
    I believe it’s a valuable activity to help students not only be informed of current issues, but also increase reading and writing skills, using a medium that is real and meaningful. They are pleased to be recognized by this online newspaper, as an important audience.
    Just an interesting aside, Mr. Jacobson gently chastised my first list of “approved” comments. I was so worried the first class of students would get discouraged, I let some poor writing be published. After sharing his comments with the students, we all decided to raise our standards. The students made their own set of writing rules. They know what good writers should do. The students are hooked. I will be checking “waiting for approval queue” during the break.
    Barb Coffey, Fifth Grade, Gladstone Middle School, Gladstone, OR

    One of my students hates to write, yet he published two blogs on his first day on the site. He said, “I really like this!” He was truly proud of being a published writer.
    Sherry Perkey, Smart’s Mill Middle School, Leesburg, VA

    After only a few minutes on your site today, my students are hooked and love the content. They really like that they can respond and be heard. I want to thank you for creating something that is truly interesting for my 6th grade students.
    Debbie Vane, Lee Vining Elementary, Lee Vining, CA

    All my students had positive comments about the site. They all said it was site organized and easy to navigate. I have no suggestions because they said it’s great as is.
    Carolyn Brown, Lynnhaven Middle School, Virginia Beach, VA

    My kids are really excited about it; their vacation started today and I’ve already received 10 emails from kids who signed up. It warms my heart to know they’re trying to do school work on a day off!
    Carol Ann O’Donnell, Highland Science Teacher, Fresh Meadows, NY

    I talked to you at the VSTE Conference and went back to work and told everyone about your awesome site! A co-worker and I are presenting a session at NECC entitled, “Who Needs Worksheets?” We want everyone to use your site!
    Catherine Shiflett, K-2 Instructional Technology Integrator, Chesterfield County Schools, Richmond, VA

    Kentucky Teachers are interested in having students read a variety of genres and respond to text. They are very computer literate and realize that it is a skill students will need in the real world. I’m excited to start using TweenTribune!
    Debby Doty, Park City School, Park City, KY

    I am the School Technology Coordinator and also take care of computer lab classes at an elementary school, so I am constantly looking for web-based resources for students. I have the most trouble finding language arts sites for us to use in the computer lab, so I am very interested in using TweenTribune.
    Tammy Younglove, William H. Natcher Elementary, Bowling Green, KY

    Kentucky has a heavy reading focus on Expository writing. However, text books and other school resources are heavy in fiction sources, so Kentucky teachers are always scrambling to find the sources we need to teach. We need news articles that are rich in text features (headings, titles, illustrations, etc.) in order to teach these required core content areas. My district also has a LoTI (student centered use of instructional technology) focus. Also, we are in the process of moving to new core content that will include a focus on teaching students to navigate websites and to use the internet responsibly to gather correct information. For all of these reasons, TweenTribune seems like a great idea
    Magan Gaddis, Adairville School, Adairville, KY

    Third grade in Colorado has a benchmark within our social studies standards, that says “relates current events to topics within the classroom. Tweentribune seems like one of the best I’ve seen that students – even third graders – can use!
    Sarah Bloms, Centennial Elementary, Firestone, CO

    We are always encouraged to incorporate technology into the work we do in class – it engages students, some of our poverty-stricken students don’t see technology elsewhere, and there is a general lack of knowledge about appropriate (educational) uses of the internet/computers which we need to address in preparation for their college classes. TweenTribune seems like one more way I can incorporate technology into my class activities!
    Laura M. Marschke, Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood Village, CO

    TweenTribune looks great for my advanced 3rd grade readers I really like that the stories are categorized so the kids can read about things that they are interested in. We will be starting a unit on Europe in a couple of weeks, and I plan to have the students read the stories from around the world that happen in Europe to add to their curriculum.
    Edie Widoff, Belleview Elementary, Greenwood Village, CO

    This is an awesome resource to get kids into the news and reading nonfiction. We are consistently looking for ways to incorporate technology into our classes and not for playtime. Indiana educators are looking at doing more with less money. Thank you for the opportunity you have given us. Responding to real news and reading real students’ responses, too – how awesome is that?
    Terri Gaff, Concord East Side, Elkhart, IN

    TweenTribune is a great resource for my students. It offers high-interest reading on topical information. It will not only get students looking at educational resources and information in their independent work time, it will also help to improve their nonfiction reading skills. I am excited to explore the site more and plan ways to incorporate it into my math and science classes.
    Rebecca L. Pfaffenberger, Rousseau McClellan IPS 91, Indianapolis, IN

    I’m an elementary school social worker doing a special project with the 6th graders. Every week I introduce a new topic and address how students can make each day matter and make a difference. I plan to use TweenTribune to reinforce what we are doing. I feel that kids are a great influence on other kids, so combining stories from grown-up news with stories about kids is a great idea.
    Deidre Knop, Meredith Nicholson IPS #96, Indianapolis, IN

    This site is great! I teach special needs high schoolers, and I like the reading level of the articles.
    Lynn A. O’Brien, Lebanon High, Lebanon, IN

    I’m very impressed and I’ll continue to use TweenTribune! It was way easier to navigate than AZRepublic.com or LATimes.com and to find an article that was on their reading level and interest level.
    Jessica Marks, Liberty Traditional, Prescott Valley, AZ

    I am a gifted resource teacher and thought that my students would love this opportunity. Kyrene School District definitely teaches us to use technology in the classrooms everyday.
    Dodi Price, Kyrene de los Lagos, Phoenix, AZ

    TweenTribune is something new that we all have discovered and passed on to each other. We really like how the topics relate to the students. Personally I like using the articles as points of reference and news updates. Many teachers of all grade levels are looking for sources like TeenTribune to help keep kids up to date with news around the world, but in a fashion that is entertaining to them.
    Cassie Wright, Foothills Elementary, Glendale, AZ

    I was amazed by TweenTribune. It has great ideas and stories to share with my students.
    Leslie Snyder, Desert Willow Elementary, Casa Grande, AZ

    Because of all the budget cuts we are all looking for other resources to use that don’t require much printing and a lot of copying. So far, my students love the idea of doing their current event assignments online, which is what we’re starting with. Thanks for having this free resource available! :)
    Julie Shivanonda, Rincon Vista Middle School, Tucson, AZ

    Tween Tribune has lived up to the hype – and delivered so much more!
    My 5th graders were very engaged and begged me to sign up for another computer time this week so they could do more. I have lots of their comments to read through tonight and I can’t wait to see what they wrote.
    I’m looking forward to getting my students’ stories posted so they can comment on each other’s work. I am so happy we explored Tween Tribune. My students are talking about some of the issues brought up by the reading stories on the site this morning.
    Troy Feustel, Akin Road Elementary, Farmington, MN

    I love TweenTribune because it gives my students experience reading non-fiction news reports via the web – their preferred vehicle for keeping up to date. The news reports appeal to a wide range of interests and are written on a level even my struggling readers can comprehend.
    The site is totally safe from a teacher’s perspective and I have control of publishing which I use to to motivate my students to adhere to high standards when writing. I give them a chance to edit their comments before I publish them. ALL students can successfully publish!
    I also love the lesson plans found on the site and I’m utilizing one on our next assignment, asking students to choose an article from a limited list to summarize.
    Thanks for offering teachers a great tool for free and for the technical support, too!
    Lora Rathje, 8th grade Language Arts, John Deere Middle School, Moline, IL

    My students are so engaged – and quiet – and to be able to navigate by themselves without having a teacher help them – it’s very exciting! They like the freedom and the stories are very eye-catching and fun. Thanks so much!
    Katie Antonitis, North Attleboro Middle School, North Attleboro, MA

    My students love the animal information. They get a big kick out of some of the stories – and so do I! So far, my students have really enjoyed the articles and want to know more, so that’s a super good sign!
    Nell Guarienti, Alameda Elementary School, Albuquerque, NM

    I just found TweenTribune and we LOVE it – it’s so easy to get my 9th grade Life Skills kids to read with such great material! They learned and had fun at the same time. Thanks a MILLION!
    Michaeline Klob, Special Education Teacher, McCracken Jr. High, Spartanburg, SC

    My students ask to get on the laptops to read TweenTribune – Now THAT is progress!
    I have them choose various topics and comment on two or three articles per class period, but sometimes I just let them read. It is quite fun to listen to them share, laugh and think critically about the articles they are reading. One way that I will soon use this is to teach grammar. As I edit their responses, this is a great way to teach grammar with their own writing. Thanks for this site!
    Cindy B. Mercer, Greeneview Intermediate, Jamestown, OH

    This is a great site and my students are all so excited about it. Great job making learning fun and interesting!
    Annie Webb, Brekke Elementary, Oxnard, CA

    I love TweenTribune. It is at a perfect level for my students with mild MR and has high interest stories and a great opportunity for writing.
    I have my high school students with mild mental retardation log in to your site 2-3 times a week and select a story. They write a response with support from me for organization and to check for understanding of the story. I help with some obvious editing needs, but mostly let it be their expression.
    I find the stories very high interest, which is why I like the site, along with the instant publishing so they can see their name in print. The students like reading the stories and have trouble deciding on one to read and write about. They never grumble when I tell them to go to the site, like they do for other assignments.
    Thank you for this wonderful free site. This summer I will get around to reading your lesson ideas and use this site to an even more valuable extent.
    Elizabeth Whitesell, Marcos de Niza High School, Tempe, AZ

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