The pandemic continues to show us the importance of responsiveness in education. The shift to remote learning and then back to in person learning require administrators to determine the most appropriate response, in a timely manner. Even in more “normal” times, administrators must be responsive when they implement new standards and help teachers adapt to shifting instructional needs.
When your core resources don't adapt quickly to changes in state standards, instructional approaches or other shifts in content needs, this is what we call a coverage gap. As a result, students may begin to fall behind and teachers may be less likely to fill the gap.
Newsela provides a vast library of content that allows you to quickly adapt materials to the current climate. As the world and/or your instructional priorities change, it’s important to continue to prioritize the needs of districts, educators and students. Below you will find 3 tips to ensure your core resources can quickly adapt to change using Newsela.
Choose supplemental materials that align with your standards
Ensuring content aligns with state standards is essential to addressing a coverage gap, as it responds to the current needs of the learning environment. States have already begun instituting mandates to include courses such as Ethnic Studies or Native American history, so it is important we are responsive to those changes. Educators do not have to worry about looking at multiple sources to address new standards or mandates. With Newsela, you can be confident that your students have the right content.
Every Newsela ELA article includes a quiz that aligns with ELA standards. Additionally, at the top of our social studies and science texts you can see the alignment with a state specific standard. Newsela Social Studies content is not only aligned to social studies state standards but also national frameworks such as The College, Career and Civic Life (C3). Newsela Science content aligns with state science standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Prioritize social-emotional learning in your instructional materials
In addition to responding to the distance learning needs that came forth from the pandemic, social-emotional learning (SEL) also became a more urgent need than ever before. Even beyond and prior to distance learning, the reality is that SEL should always be an area the country prioritizes since it increases achievement, prosocial behaviors and helps students navigate problems that may arise in or outside the classroom in a healthy manner. To support students’ SEL needs alongside academics, you can turn to The Newsela Social-Emotional Learning Collection. SEL also supports students in developing the skills they need to develop healthy habits. For instance, The Newsela Social-Emotional Learning Collection helps ELA teachers promote self-management skills they need for academic success in the ELA classroom, and helps social studies teachers reinforce critical social studies skills, like considering others’ perspectives.
The Newsela Social-Emotional Learning Collection provides content that teachers can integrate into their core instruction. This collection consists of up to date relevant and relatable content that responds to the growing needs of students in the 5 CASEL SEL competencies. The Newsela SEL Collection for middle school, includes texts related to self-awareness such as How to understand your emotions, with accompanying activities to further expand students' understanding of the lesson and build cognitive and emotional skills. The self-awareness competency includes 4 sub-topics: 1) emotions, mindfulness, 2) identity and self concept and 3) confidence and 4) strength.
Partner with Newsela to customize a collection for your districts unique needs
Districts can also partner with Newsela for Custom Collections. So what exactly are these? Newsela Custom Collections are custom aligned resources that we build in partnership with your district staff based on your vision and needs.
We publish your collection at 5 different reading levels and align the content with whatever curricular resources, frameworks, and scope and sequence documents you have. No matter what needs are arising in your classrooms, we can respond to them and ensure that transition is both smooth and effective for your district. To learn more about the Custom Collections process click here.
No matter what educators face this school year, it’s clear that responsiveness is needed to ensure you always have access to the content needed to create engaging and impactful learning experiences. When there is a coverage gap, administrators miss an opportunity to adapt to changes in state standards or make shifts in instruction.
Stay tuned for more about the common gaps in core materials in the next blog in the series on promoting literacy across the curriculum. If you missed the previous blog on reinforcing skills practice read it here.
Take a look at this story to learn how a school district utilized Newsela when they had to adapt to new state standards.