Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms: Steps for Success

Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms: Steps for Success 

Exclusive opportunity for PRO Educators 

To make the most of the Newsela’s Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms event, we’ve created some step-by-step instructions for participating classrooms.

 In celebration of National Reading Month, Newsela’s Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms event brings our Newsela Community together like never before. Our goal is to provide a unique virtual opportunity for students to connect with a classroom of peers from another part of the country.

As an educator, how can I prepare for Newsela’s Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms event?

  1. Choose one of three paired texts for your students to read. This paired text will be the overarching theme of your virtual discussion with your paired partner classroom.
    • Learn more about paired texts here.
  1. Complete and submit this short form to sign up for the Newsela’s Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms event.
  2. Once you receive a confirmation email with your paired partner classroom, coordinate a date and time for your class’ virtual meeting. 

How can I prepare my students for Newsela’s Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms event?

  1. Assign both articles in the paired text you have chosen. Learn how to assign articles here
  2. Using the provided discussion questions and Write prompt, encourage students to support their thinking with evidence from the text and form a conclusion about the topic. Students should also complete and discuss the customized Write prompt prior to your virtual class discussion. See discussion questions and Write prompts for each Paired Text here.
  3. Increase student understanding about the theme or topic by assigning a paired text graphic organizer for independent practice, small group work, or homework. 
  4. Challenge students to generate their own questions to ask of their partner class during the discussion. What are they wondering about? Do they think their partner class may have different points of view on the topic?
  5. Provide students with some guidance for participation prior to the actual discussion with their partnered class, here is some advice:
    • Allow one voice to speak at a time.
    • Speak clearly and with the appropriate volume.
    • Actively listen.  
    • Encourage equitable participation between classes.

What should my class do during the virtual discussion?  

  1. Teachers or students can introduce their classrooms, providing additional background information (location, type of classroom, grade, etc.).
  2. Use the provided discussion questions as a guide for the virtual meeting to lead the conversation and encourage dialogue between classes.
  3. Ask your partnered class questions about the conclusions they drew, opinions they may have, and questions they’re still wondering about after reading the articles.

What should my class and I do after the virtual discussion?

  1. Provide students with an opportunity to reflect about their virtual learning experience. Were they surprised by anything? Did their initial thoughts about the topic shift or change?
  2. We are constantly looking for ways to improve. Complete this survey so we can learn more about your Newsela’s Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms experience and what your students thought of the experience.
  3. We are eager to hear more about your class’ virtual learning experience. Tag @Newsela with the hashtag #NewselaPairs on Facebook, Twitter>, and Instagram to share with us.
  4. Did your class enjoy participating in Newsela’s Paired Texts, Paired Classrooms event? If so, we encourage you to keep in touch with your partnered educator to schedule more online learning experiences like this one.
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