Celebrate Student Growth in and Mastery of Literacy Skills Using Newsela Data

Have students set personalized goals and track their growth in key literacy skills to celebrate their growth and mastery
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Using Newsela Data to Celebrate Students' Growth and Mastery

About This Strategy

Recognizing and celebrating growth in the education of a student is an important part of every classroom. This strategy highlights ways to use Newsela to track students' literacy growth and includes several ways to celebrate students' growth and mastery in specific literacy skills. It also focuses on how to support students to set measurable literacy goals and reflect on those goals.

Before Reading Implementation Steps

Teacher Preparation and Planning: 

  1. Get to know your students. This can be done in a variety of ways, but it is important to know where your students are and where you want them to be so that you can align that with the personal goals of your students.

    • Review individual students' literacy data on Newsela. Standard Newsela accounts allow the teacher to view completion as a class but not see individual results. Newsela PRO accounts can review data by the individual, class, and school. Specifically be sure to review:

      • Quiz assessment scores. Each article has a quiz that assesses various reading standards. These quizzes can be used to track success and recognize achievement.

      • Write Prompt responses. These responses can be an additional way to identify student growth and areas of need.

      • Lexile level increase. As students read more articles on Newsela, the platform will identify the appropriate Lexile level of each student based on their quiz responses. An increase in Lexile level over time should be recognized as student progress.

    • Discuss the importance of reading and survey the students on how often they read and their confidence in reading various types of text (content-specific, fiction, non-fiction, etc.).

  2. Develop a definition of mastery and growth in a way students can easily understand. 

  3. Review and familiarize yourself with the Newsela Binder and PRO Binder if a pro account is available. Reading standards that are assessed through the binder can be used to identify students who are growing and mastering specific standards.

  4. Determine how you would like to recognize individual and whole class students' growth and celebrate mastery. Some ideas include: 

    • Making a Celebration Wall. Students names are placed on a growth and mastery wall located in the classroom or hallway for all to see.

    • Badging. If a learning management system is in place in the district, badging can be a great way to recognize student growth. Examples of badges could be:

      • Quiz completion

      • Perfect score on a quiz

      • 5 Quiz perfect score streak

      • 10 Articles read

      • Mastery of a given reading standard

    • Having a class celebration for achieving a specific goal such as 85% of students completing 15 articles and quizzes in a term

  5. Create a system and explain how it will work with the students. Identify the goals set out for the students and how to ascertain the recognition or rewards for meeting the goals.

Student Preparation: 

  1. Have students evaluate their own reading skills using Newsela. After students evaluate their reading skills, have them identify one area of strength and one skill they would like to work on. Have students turn the skills they want to work on into a personalized goal using the SMART goal format. (To learn more about SMART goals, consult the resource section below.)

    • Students can share their personalized goals with a partner and/or with their teacher, or they can display their goals publicly.

    • Have students set SMART goals for the week using the Goal setting and reflection hand out.

    • Have the class set a SMART goal for the month, and define a celebration for achieving that goal.

  2. Identify areas of interest in reading subject matter.

  3. Have students come together to set a class-wide goal.

During Reading Implementation Steps

  1. Have students read a self-selected Newsela text or Text Set at their just right reading level and take the Quiz. This text or Text Set can be on a topic that aligns to the curriculum of study or a topic that interests them.

  2. As students are reading, review students' results in the binder such as: 

    • Standard & Pro Accounts- Assignment results, including who has completed and who has not

    • Pro Account- Reading summaries that show how long students viewed the article, how many articles were viewed, standard mastery, average write and quiz scores for each student

    • Pro Account-Summary- In addition to class data, instructors can view the data for the building/district to view how other teachers are using Newsela and how their students compare

  3. While students are reading, meet with individual students in order to review their progress on their account. All students have access to their own binder that will show the results of the quiz scores and other progress tracking data.

After Reading Implementation Steps

  1. Have students review their achievement earned on their Newsela assessments and complete the reflection questions in their Goal Setting and Reflection handout.
  2. Post mastery and growth on Celebratory Wall weekly, bi-weekly etc., initiate badges for the individuals as they earn them, or have students post their own mastery or growth on the wall. 

  3. Conference with students individually to discuss their progress toward their goals and provide guidance.

  4. Stay consistent in recognition and share successes with other teachers and administrators.

Recommended Newsela Text or Text Sets

Marvel in the World

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  • Content Area: Any

How Does Diet Affect Our World

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  • Content Area: Science, Health Science

Math Meets Art

  • Grade Level: 9-12
  • Content Area: Math, Science, Art

"Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen

  • Grade Level: 6-12
  • Content Area: ELA