At the beginning of October we had a professional development day where our technology teacher (who did a fab post for me that you can read here) shared some great resources for teachers. One of my favorites that he shared was Newsela. It's a website that is currently in the beta phase, but it looks like it will be amazing.
So what is it? It's a website where you can create a class for your students to login to. You can assign newspaper articles that have been rewritten for various Lexiles, some as low as 3rd grade. You have the ability to bring current events to your class at an appropriate reading level. Many articles also have quizzes that students can take to monitor comprehension. It's a great way to easily incorporate differentiation. Your students can all read the same article, but at their own reading level.
Newsela is excited about bringing articles down to the 2nd grade level in the near future. I'm thrilled about that, because the 4th grade level (which I find is most often the lowest lexile band) is just a tad out of reach for several of my students. I'm excited to use it as a whole group reading activity until the Lexiles are lower.
When you sign up during the beta phase you're able to place 10 votes on suggestions that you'd want to make to the site. Of course, the one getting the most votes is "Keep it free!" It looks as though this site plans to be fee-based in the future, which might keep this amazing resource out of many classrooms. Go sign up, check it out, and vote to keep it free.