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Back-to-School Updates Bring Supercharged Skill-Building Tools to Teachers

The Newsela Team
Jul 11, 2023

While many teachers are basking in the respite of summer, we want them to rest assured knowing Newsela’s team is working hard preparing for back-to-school season (don’t worry, it’s not like Voldemort, saying it out loud won’t make it appear any faster).

It’s been a year of listening to educators for us here at Newsela. We’ve learned which features need enhancements, what types of Newsela articles teachers need more of, and which skills we can help teachers build in their classrooms. We’re excited to say that this year’s updates will bring the full power of cutting-edge technology to the content teachers love and trust, to create a seamless instructional experience that keeps students engaged and learning. 

Intrigued? Here’s a list of the updates coming to Newsela this back to school:

New enhancements to articles, grading, and search will save teachers time and energy.

  • New search filters based on reading skills will help teachers search Newsela content to find the right resources based on the exact skill they’re teaching.

  • Improved grading experiences will keep all student quizzes and write prompts in one place so that reviewing, grading, and requesting revisions on student work can be done in fewer clicks.

  • AI-powered supports and write prompt suggestions will appear on every article. These new additions will help teachers brainstorm activities, discussion questions, identify Tier 3 vocabulary that needs scaffolding, summarize key takeaways, and generate additional write prompt ideas. Coming later this summer.

More control and flexibility for teachers with assignment creation, plus a new way for teachers to engage students. 

  • A new assignment builder includes options to schedule assignments, align assignments with learning objectives, and assign to small groups – without leaving the article page.

  • A new activity type – polls – will help hook students at the start of a lesson. Teachers can use polls to activate students’ prior knowledge and engage their classes as they’re starting a lesson. Users can choose from a Newsela created poll or customize one to fit perfectly with learning objectives. Coming later this summer.

An expanded content library, tied more deeply to standards and districts’ existing curriculum, with new novel studies, videos, primary sources, and more.

  • Over 150 new novel studies, or curated collections of texts and videos alongside practical instruction guides, ranging from “Much Ado About Nothing” to “In the Time of Butterflies,” and 150+ brand new videos have been added. This brings Newsela’s Novel and Book Studies collection to a total of over 300 titles. 

  • Refreshed Curriculum Complements collections with updated content that works alongside and enhances popular core curricular materials making them more relevant, engaging, and accessible to students.

  • Revamped middle school Ancient Civilization and World History collections will feature new content, Lesson Sparks, and topic-aligned text sets. Coming later this summer.

  • New and improved science collections that now support NGSS and the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER) approach. Students can use the CER approach to work through questions like "Why is it cold during winter and hot during summer?" or "What do plants eat?"

More resources that teachers love. 

  • Newsela’s acquisition of Formative brings together two beloved classroom products to offer more instructional solutions that engage students and accelerate learning. 

  • Launch of Newsela Lite, our new free experience, provides access to 4 timely articles that have been hand-selected by Newsela staff and access to grading features of Newsela’s premium subject products.

  • New free and flexible resources to help teachers reach their learning goals during weekly instruction.

Our favorite part of the year is going back to school, so we can’t wait for you to try out these new features and tell us what you think! For the latest on what’s new to Newsela, sign up for our weekly updates.

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