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Want to know what’s on educators' minds? Introducing Newsela Prep Period.

The Newsela Team
Mar 14, 2022

What comes to mind when you hear the words prep period? How about solutions? Newsela’s Prep Period is a new limited edition series designed to help discover solutions for educator’s most pressing classroom needs. We can be your resource to help you tap into what educators are dealing with and thinking about. 

Published weekly by Newsela’s Professional Development team, each column will answer a question from an educator focusing on five different areas of instruction: Classroom management, Lesson planning, Engagement, Assessment, and Content that you can use. Sort of like Dear Abby, but without all the family drama. 

With Prep Period, every week educators can turn to Newsela to help them tackle their everyday challenges and administrators can learn more ways to support teachers as they navigate classroom needs. 

Here are some of the burning questions we have gotten so far.

 Classroom management

Q: How do you handle behavior challenges with students both in the classroom and online? 

A: Always set really clear expectations and check that your students and you are on the same page. Then, spend time with students who had the biggest challenges and needs. A third and final strategy that was effective for me was asking my students for help, particularly when using Newsela. 

Lesson planning

Q: What are some more strategies that I can use to help struggling high school readers? 

A: First, help students foster a love of literacy. Second, ensure reading comprehension strategies are taught to clearly engage students with grade level texts. 

Engagement

Q: How can Newsela help me keep my kids engaged amidst disruptive situations? 

A: On Newsela, not only do we have powerful content that grabs the attention of every student, but we have a nifty tool called Annotation that enables educators to place strategic points within a text to peak their curiosity, excitement, and interest within their learning. One strategy for engaging your students in learning is to embed a link within the annotation itself to enhance the text.

Assessment

Q: I am struggling to assess my students in a new way. How do I keep students engaged with critical thinking, but not burnt out on testing? 

A: At Newsela, we also believe it is important for every learner's voice to be heard. One way you might do this is to adapt how you use our Quiz. Consider using it as a debate tool. For example, after students read an article, they might get together to consider what would make every incorrect choice- correct. Next, task them with explaining what piece of the text would be needed to make their option correct.

Content that you can use

Q: I have 5 minutes, what do I need to do to get started on Newsela? 

A:  If you find yourself thinking the same thing, check out this article to find the answer to that question and more! And, if you are hungry for more professional learning, please explore our Educator Center here.

When educators sharpen their craft and discover solutions, they are better able to address different classroom needs or other issues that may arise.  Take 5 minutes every Friday to keep up to date with Prep Period. 

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