Independent Reading

Students choose and read Newsela articles on their own

What is this lesson component or teaching method?

Independent Reading is a time in class or at home when students independently read texts they can both decode at 98-100% accuracy and comprehend without support (in other words, texts at their independent reading level). Students select the texts they read during Independent Reading. The teacher confers with students on a regular basis to monitor, coach, and assess progress.

How does Newsela fit into this lesson component or teaching method?

Students read Newsela articles at their independent reading level (as measured by the Lexile® Framework for Reading), though they may be able to read an article at a higher reading level if they have significant background knowledge about the topic. Students select the articles that interest them most, though the teacher might occasionally suggest an article or two. In order to ensure students are reading a certain volume of nonfiction text, the teacher might ask them to read a certain number of articles per week or per quarter. The teacher can add accountability by:

  • asking students to take quizzes
  • requiring students to earn a minimum score on the quiz in order to earn credit for that article
  • asking students to use the annotation tool to write questions and reflections as they read
  • conferring with students regularly about the articles they read

Teachers who are Newsela  users can review data about which articles students have read, their quiz scores, and their progress by Common Core State Standard. Newsela  users can also respond to students’ annotations within Newsela.

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