What Do Students Care About? What Skills Do They Need?
The District

What do students care about? What skills do they need? 3 ways to capture both

The Newsela Team
Sep 14, 2022

What does “relevant instruction” mean to you and your staff? Engagement? Content that makes students say WOW? Students’ interests change as fast as TikTok trends. Teachers need high-quality content that resonates with students and cultivates those interests, all while aligning to district ELA goals. 

So…how do you ensure that teachers have the resources to connect with students' interests, cover standards, and develop skills? These 3 strategies can help.

1. Scaffold instruction for all with leveling 

The feeling of being welcomed during those first weeks of school can’t be beat. Especially among students who enter the classroom with different backgrounds and reading levels. So what does welcoming instruction look like? Students of all reading levels can access grade-level content and concepts. To make sure learning remains relevant while meeting the unique needs of students, educators need resources with built-in scaffolding supports that meet students where they are in reading. 

Newsela content is published at 5 reading levels. Texts are presented at students' Just Right Reading Level based on student performance on Newsela comprehension quizzes or their most recent MAP Growth assessment. With these scaffolding supports in place, all students can access content that they otherwise may not have been able to. Prioritizing personalized lessons and adaptive leveling provides space for teachers to ignite reading comprehension and cultivate an inclusive learning environment on topics that matter most to students.

2. Ready-to-go resources that save teachers time  

We all know that time is limited, especially during back-to-school season as educators adjust to new faces, needs, and district initiatives. That’s why teachers need pre-curated resources that keep students alert, all while reinforcing necessary standards and skills.  

Newsela's Curriculum Complements makes instruction more relevant and responsive by incorporating engaging, real-world content into your existing materials. With over 25 Curriculum Complements, like Amplify ELA, Mystery Science, and iCivics, you'll have access to content and lesson resources that work alongside some of the most popular curricular materials.

3. Prioritize student agency in texts

Remember when we asked what “relevant instruction” means to you in the beginning of this blog? Well, that can simply be how students interact with the text. Voice and choice open space for students to have agency in their learning, explore their own interests, and move away from solely relying on the teacher to lead.

Newsela ELA’s Research Projects collection provides opportunities for students to explore their own interests while building ELA skills. Students can dive into a range of topics like where chocolate comes from in All About Chocolate or put on their historical hat to learn about the role of women in society like artist Frida Kahlo in Women in History.

Pairing relevant content that matters to students with essential ELA standards and skills, can spark student interests and empower teachers to meet students where they are. With Newsela ELA, you can enhance your existing ELA materials this back-to-school season with leveled, engaging standards-aligned content across 20+ genres.

Discover more of the top elements to prioritize in your ELA instructional materials.

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