To our valued educators,
A lot of you are in standardized testing hell at the moment. My kids at PS 101 and JHS 190 in Queens certainly are. But for just a minute, let’s set aside the question of the standards our children must meet or the score they need to achieve and focus on a more important question: what do we want our children to be?
I want my kids to wonder at the world. I want them to learn a little about something they don’t know, then feel a burning desire to delve deeper. I want them to band together with their peers and take action when they discover injustices that demand to be cured, problems that need to be solved, or frontiers of the universe or the mind that beg to be investigated.
You want that for your students, too. But no textbook or workbook is going to stoke that intellectual fire. So many of you spend countless hours hunting down news and stories on a particular theme that you know will grab and challenge your class, then cobble them together into text sets. We want to make that a little easier.
Introducing Newsela Text Sets. We’ve been quietly building more than 100 sets of articles around themes from “Climate Chaos” to “U.S. Presidents” to “America’s Expanding Waistline,” and today they’re live on Newsela. Every article in every text set is at five reading levels, from grade 2 through 12.
We’ll keep making more. But I bet the best Text Sets will come from all of you. That’s why we’ve given you the power to make your own Text Sets.
Pick an article that inspires you and create a new Text Set around it, or come up with a theme that matters to you and your students and make a Text Set from scratch.
You can do this all for free. But I do have one request: when you create a Text Set, don’t keep it to yourself. Share it by email. Post it on Facebook. Tweet it. The best magic in education happens when we create, curate, share and collaborate with our fellow educators. Let’s leverage the power of every Newsela teacher in more than 80,000 schools and growing.
I hope you’ll take a breather from test books or textbooks and do something that reminds us of why we became educators in the first place. Think about what you want your kids to be, pick a topic, and start a fire.
Yours in reading,
Founder & CEO