Today’s tech snack can be found at the following url: http://www.tweentribune.com/
What is it?
Tween tribune is a free online resource run by the Smithsonian Institute. Because it is online, it will work on any Internet enabled device including smartphones and tablets. The concept behind tween tribune is simple-provide valid, reliable current event articles to reach all readers. Similar to another tech snack, Newsela, Tween tribune allows teachers to provide leveled articles to their students. The readability levels of all the articles are based on Lexile levels. Using this tool, teachers can assign the same content to students but the content is personalized based on the individual reading levels of the students.
Articles range in interest levels, subjects and are also provided in English and Spanish.
There are two ways to use this site. If you have limited access to technology in your classroom, you could find an article by simply typing in some key words in the search box. Once you find an article you like, you can click on the corresponding Lexile level and then print out the article. You could print out the same article on different Lexile levels and distribute it to your students. Students can then read the printed article, and provide questions, commentary via student journals or tests. (You could also have students read the article on screen if you don’t want to print them out.)
If you have more access to technology, you could create a free teacher account. Once you create a teacher account, you can add as many classes as you want as well as add students to each class. Students are assigned easy to remember usernames and passwords by the site. Once you have added students to your classes, you can assign any article to a student, and assign the Lexile level to the article. Students will then log in using their computer generated usernames/passwords. They will see the articles you assigned and can click on the articles to read them. They can also provide comments on the articles and take pre-made quizzes about the articles.
This tool allows for personalized learning practices. It gives an easy way for teachers to provide students with quality content while also allowing for equity in the classroom. Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. It easily allows teachers to meet students where they are without alienating them by assigning them different content and materials.
This tool also allows teachers to create blended and flipped learning environments. Since the tool is web-based, teachers can have students access the information from home. Students can read articles as homework, and then come to class to participate in discussing the article. Also, students can provide comments for every article they are assigned. Only teachers can approve comments, so once comments are approved, students can view them. Teachers can share comments using an lcd projector to help further discussion and understanding.