Introducing New Products for 2020

Matthew Gross
Jan 8, 2020

Big things are happening in curriculum, motivated by educators who share my beliefs on the state of education in today’s world. 

It’s a world that doesn’t stand still, so we no longer settle for reading materials and activities that don’t change with a changing world. All students should love to learn, so we no longer tolerate lessons that are devoid of excitement and emotion, controversy and soul. No two students are the same, so content must be personalized to their interests, without leaving anyone stigmatized or cut out of the conversation

Newsela has been a big part of this curriculum revolution. 25 million students and two million teachers have read over a billion articles with us, from primary sources to current events, biographies to poetry, novel studies to science texts. We’ve done the unthinkable: deliver content to 90% of U.S. schools that both teachers and students are wildly excited about. 

Today, I am thrilled to announce three new Newsela products. Each will make instruction more equitable for students, more effective in meeting standards, and more empowering for

Introducing Newsela Social Studies.

In social studies, textbooks are out of date the moment you buy them. Dedicated teachers make up for this by spending hours searching online for resources. What do they find? A few good articles, and plenty of junk. We can do better. Teachers need reliable access to current, high quality content that drives inquiry-based learning, offers diverse perspectives, presents the history behind today’s most sensitive topics, and inspires action in every student. 

Newsela Social Studies takes the pain out of vetting, differentiating and matching content to standards. Teachers can access thousands of carefully selected, leveled texts on civics, history, geography, current events, climate change, race, immigration and more, on a platform they already rely on. It’s all aligned to state social studies standards and comes with instructional supports built in. New content is published every day, so teachers always have the perfect text or unit to use with each student at their fingertips, and can easily respond as standards change. 

Welcome Newsela Science.

The world faces big problems that require scientific minds. But many students either can’t access science texts, or they encounter scientific concepts too late. Teachers know background knowledge in science helps unleash curiosity, and curiosity motivates students to succeed. To have this foundation, students must learn science while building literacy. Teachers crave engaging, accessible, and equitable science content that gets students to pay attention and doesn’t make anyone feel like they’re over their head. 

We’ve assembled over a thousand authentic texts that bring science topics to life in ways that inspire students to explore the wonders of how their world works. Everything in Newsela Science is published at five reading levels. And we’ve connected all this rich, engaging, real-world content to the Next Generation Science Standards and individual state standards. Science is about knowing and doing. Newsela Science is the perfect partner to hands-on science instruction. 

Meet Newsela ELA.

Drill and kill approaches that strip the love out of learning don’t work. This is especially true in ELA because engaged readers are better readers. But most ELA curricula are a mash-up of disconnected passages that students don’t find relevant or interesting. 

Regardless of reading level, cultural background, or socio-economic status, every student gets excited about something. Teachers know this “wow” moment when they see it. And once
they light up a kid’s attention, they know to throw fuel on the fire and the skills will follow. 

Newsela ELA delivers the context and relevance that ELA curricula have been missing. Real-world, leveled texts across 20+ genres let you create engaging lessons while delivering the skills, background knowledge and vocabulary students need. Content is organized into
collections and paired texts, so teachers can connect themes, fiction, and novel studies to topics students care about most. And every article, comprehension quiz, writing prompt and vocabulary activity is aligned to ELA standards by state, so teachers know exactly what skills their students are working on and how they’re doing.

Hello Newsela Essentials, nice to see you again.

For those looking for a basic reading solution to support literacy across subjects, we are keeping Newsela Essentials, which is the new name for the product formerly called Newsela PRO. Teachers from all subjects will have access to thousands of authentic, engaging, leveled texts, each with a reading comprehension quiz that helps determine the just-right reading level for each student. 

No learning takes place when students aren’t engaged or don’t understand what they’re reading. That’s why we expect more from the content we put in classrooms. 

I look forward to working together toward our shared beliefs. See you out there.

Matthew Gross

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