The tool is called newsela and can be found at the following url:
What is it?
Quite simply, newsela is an online source that provides leveled texts. The texts in newsela are news stories that have been published by McClatchy-Tribune papers. The stories likely have some interest or relevance to students. Newsela has hired journalists to rewrite those stories at different grade levels. Each story is published at four different Lexile reading levels as well as in its original form. Leveled texts start for Grade 4 and go to Grade 12. Some of the texts have interactive quizzes that go with them.
Features of Newsela
Students can use this site without having a login name and password. Without a login name or password, they can access the articles, and change the reading level that it is set to. When a new reading level is chosen, the text of the article changes to reflect the lexile reading level selected. Students are unable to submit answers to quiz questions and are unable to print if they are not logged in. Students are also limited to picking 5 articles before they are asked to registrar for a username and password.
With a username and passwords, students have no restrictions. They can take quizzes, print out articles and can pick as many articles as they want. Teachers also can assign articles to specific classes. Students are given a class code to access the articles you have assigned. This is great for taking a blended learning approach for your classroom.
So this snack has promise. It is more an instructional tool for teachers, but it does provide a way to present leveled texts that are current, relevant and appropriate for a wide variety of learners. Yummy! This snack critic likes it!