Using Canvas for Teachers

Teachers are able to log in, sync classes, embed Newsela articles in Canvas, and review student submissions within the Canvas SpeedGrader. In order to access these features, teachers must first sync their Canvas courses with Newsela. 


Sync with Canvas

Signing in or Creating a Newsela Account

  1. Log into Canvas.

  2. Open a published class in Canvas.

  3. Click the Newsela link in the course navigation menu on the left side of the screen to open Newsela.

Syncing Canvas Classes in Newsela

  1. In Newsela, go to your Classes page by clicking your name in the upper right-hand corner and selecting the Classes tab from the settings menu.  

  2. From the Classes tab, click Sync with Canvas to choose the classes to import from Canvas into Newsela.

  3. From the pop up menu, choose the courses you would like to sync with Newsela and click ‘Sync Selected Classes’.

    • Do not sync Canvas PD courses with Newsela. Syncing courses in which teachers are enrolled as students will restrict access to features and content.

  4. After the initial sync, class rosters will sync automatically when you log in through Canvas.

Rostering your Students

Your student roster will import when you sync your classes. To view your students in your Canvas classes in Newsela, follow these steps:

  1. In Newsela, go to your Students page by clicking your name in the upper right-hand corner and select the Students tab from the settings menu.  

  2. You’ll see a list of your students. This import might take a few minutes the first time you sync.

Embed Newsela Content in Canvas Assignment

  1. If you haven’t already, sync your Canvas courses in Newsela.

  2. Create a Canvas assignment.

  3. Under “Submission Type" choose "External Tool." 

  4. Click Find. Scroll and click Newsela

  5. If you have already created the assignment in Newsela, you can select the assignment and click Embed Assignment.

  6. If you have not created an assignment in Newsela yet, follow the steps in the pop-up window and click Go to Newsela.

  7. You’ll be taken into Newsela to create an assignment. Note the dark blue ribbon at the top of the Newsela screen. This blue ribbon indicates that you are working on assigning an article in Canvas.

  8. Search for the article you want to assign. You can also utilize the Filters to search by grade range, language, and reading skills.

  9. Click the Assign button on the article you want to assign.

  10. Click + Add Classes and select the synced Canvas class for the assignment.

  11. Customize the assignment with instructions and choose to lock the level or allow students to read at their just-right reading level.

  12. Click on the Assign Button in the top right. 

  13. Now, you can return to Canvas.

  14. You will see the Newsela assignment appear in the pop-up window.

  15. Make sure the assignment is selected and click Embed Assignment.

  16. Click Select in the bottom right of the “Configure External Tool” pop-up.

    • If you want students to view the content and submit quizzes inside your Canvas classroom, uncheck the “Load This Tool In A New Tab” checkbox.

    • If you want students to view the content and submit quizzes in a new browser tab, leave the box checked.

  17. Add any customizations you would like to the Canvas assignment.

  18. Click Save and Publish at the bottom.

Viewing student grades

  1. Student quiz scores, annotations, and writing prompt response submissions can be viewed and manually graded in the Canvas SpeedGrader. Newsela’s Canvas video demonstrates grading Newsela assignments in Canvas

  2. You can learn more about using the Canvas SpeedGrader here.

  3. Since Newsela is an adaptive tool which allows students to take quizzes multiple times and adjust article levels, individual scores graded in Newsela can be viewed in the Speedgrader, but they do not pass back to the Canvas gradebook.

Newsela and Canvas Classes FAQ

Will assignments created in Newsela sync back to Canvas?

  • Assignments have to originate in Canvas to sync with Newsela. Assignments originated in Newsela will not sync back to Canvas.

When are Canvas courses updated in Newsela?

  • Currently synced classes and enrolled students will be automatically updated in Newsela every time the teacher clicks on the Newsela icon in the course navigation menu of a Canvas course. To sync new classes, go to the Classes tab and click the Sync Now button.

Which Canvas courses will be imported into Newsela?

  • Currently published courses will import into Newsela. If your classes are not importing, confirm that they are published. You will need to sign into Newsela from Canvas to trigger the course import.

When will my classes archive in Newsela?

  • Newsela will archive your classes once they are marked concluded in Canvas or after the course end date passes. You will need to sign into Newsela from Canvas to trigger course archiving.

How will cross-listing my courses in Canvas affect my Newsela classes?

How do I add a co-teacher to a class imported from Canvas?

  • Newsela imports co-teachers from Canvas. Co-teachers need to be added in Canvas.

How do I add students to my Canvas-synced course?

  • Students in the Canvas course will be added to the course in Newsela. It is not possible to add new students to your Canvas-imported classrooms with a class code in Newsela.

Can I assign an article in Canvas to multiple classes at once?

  • No. Newsela’s integration with Canvas only supports assigning articles to one class at a time.

Can I assign an article in Canvas to individual students or groups of students?

  • No. While Canvas allows teachers to create assignments for individual students or groups of students, Newsela does not have a parallel feature. Any article assigned via the Newsela/Canvas integration will be assigned to the entire class in Newsela.

If Newsela does not appear in your course navigation sidebar in Canvas, you may need to add Newsela manually by following the steps below:

  1. Open a published class in Canvas.

  2. If Newsela is not shown in your course navigation menu:

    1. Click Settings → Click the Navigation Tab.

    2. Click on the three dots next to Newsela → Choose Enable

    3. Click Save.

  3. Repeat for each of the classes which need Newsela access. These steps will also need to be repeated each quarter/semester in new courses.

  1. In Newsela, click [your name] in the upper right-hand corner and select the Classes tab.

  2. A list of classes will be displayed. 

  3. To set the grade level for each class, click the Edit icon beside the class name and select the grade level.

  4. For lower grades, toggle the elementary filter.

  5. Repeat for each Canvas class using Newsela.

Student grade levels are not stored in Canvas and are not synced from Canvas to Newsela. To ensure that student grade levels are accurate in Newsela, teachers should set grade levels and elementary filters prior to assigning articles.

Teachers can add rubrics in Canvas to score Newsela assignments. Please note that you’ll have to first add a rubric to the assignment, then assign your Newsela article. You can find more information here.

Newsela content can be searched and added into Canvas assignments directly from that assignment. When you select content from within Canvas, your students will be linked to independent reading within Newsela. This feature must be enabled by a district system administrator.

  1. Create an assignment within Canvas.

  2. Click the Newsela “N” icon from the editor menu.

    1. If the “N” icon isn’t immediately available, Click the v-shaped drop down menu and select “More External Tools.” 

  3. Enter a search term to Search for content.

  4. Click any filter option to Filter search results.

  5. Click a card to Preview article content and activities.

  6. Click “Close” to return to the search results.

  7. Click “Add” to add a link to Newsela content into the Canvas assignment from the browse or search results page. 

  8. Add this content as a Newsela Assignment to be able to view and grade it in Assignments.