If you are a Newsela user, you know it’s an amazing resource for your students. Having the ability to assign students articles based on their Lexile reading levels without having to do any re-writing yourself is a huge time saver. The grading features and quizzing in Newsela are really awesome, too.
But you know what would be great? If Newsela assignments could populate in the same place as all of your other course materials. When you have a reading for your students, you don’t want them to have to navigate between multiple apps and websites, right? That’s where Kiddom comes in to help.
Kiddom’s K-12 operating system helps by integrating a whole slew of third-party content providers in one place (bonus: you can grade in Kiddom, too). Newsela is no exception. In this article we’re going to share a great way to build a library of resources for your diverse levels of readers with Newsela and Kiddom.
Start a Playlist with Kiddom
Head on over to your Planner in the class you want to create the reading playlist
Create a playlist
Build Curriculum From Your Favorite Newsela Content
3. Click on “add an assignment” in your playlistand click on the Kiddom icon.
4. Filter for the grade levels you need by selecting “Newsela” in “sources” menu, then click enter to execute your search!
5. Once you find an article you want to use, select it and add it to your playlist (Tip: Label it with the Lexile Level at the front to help with sorting. Example: 890L: Article Title).
6. Newsela creates multiple Lexile level readings for each article. Using the same keywords that you used to execute your first search, repeat steps 3-5 for each Lexile level you need to add to your playlist! (Note: Newsela changes article titles for different Lexile levels, so make sure you are looking out for similar titles, not exact titles, while you search different grade level readings.)
Time to Assign to Students!
7. Now that you have your playlist ready to go, you can drag and drop the assignments to the Timeline when you need them AND assign each Lexile level to the appropriate group of students.
The real bonus in all of this? The fact that your Newsela readings and assignments can now be a part of a more holistic assessment of student mastery. Newsela assignments can live beyond the Newsela app, with all the other assessments and assignments you’ve created throughout the school year.
This article is part of ourBetter Together Series, which investigates all the ways the Kiddom K-12 operating system helps to enhance the tech you are already using in your classroom.
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Are you a Microsoft Office 365 user looking to use Kiddom as your classroom operating system? Look no further! In this 2-part series, we’ll be discussing a few ways you can maximize your use of MS O365 and Kiddom.
Even the most animated teachers know what it’s like to stand before a room full of glazed-over stares and drooping eyelids. Student engagement is often the toughest part of the job, and many educators struggle to “hook” their students and reel them into academic content.
The good news is, you don’t have to do backflips or pepper your lesson plans with the latest slang (you really, really don’t) to get your students interested, inspired, and ready to learn. ClassHook provides you with a simple way to hit refresh on your lessons. Here are three ways to engage your classroom using ClassHook and Kiddom:
Tip 1: Use ClassHook to bring a bit of interest, humor, and retention into the classroom
ClassHook is a full library of short film clips pulled from popular media that can be used to pique interest and make students feel more connected to the academic content. Let Bart Simpson explain the properties of metal. The Animaniacs remind students to carry their 1’s. Shrek schools them on literary tropes. How’s that for a mnemonic device!
Tip 2: Use a ClassHook video as a high-level primer for a new topic
Film is a familiar medium for young people, and leveraging media literacy is a powerful way to help students understand complex ideas. Use ClassHook to introduce or reinforce academic concepts. While students won’t receive all of the pertinent information just from watching these clips, it can be the spoonful of sugar needed to move through a lesson with ease. Each ClassHook clip is tagged by grade level, subject, and topic so it’s easy to find appropriate content to fortify any lesson.
Tip 3: Make homework more approachable
At the end of a class, use Kiddom to drag and drop a ClassHook video resource from Planner into student assignments for students to watch later at home. This kind of homework can can be quite helpful for retaining a lesson, and might be more approachable to those students who already have plenty of reading materials to study. This tip might be especially useful for teachers trying to keep students engaged over a break or a long weekend.
Kiddom integrates the most helpful teaching tools in one place so you can plan individualized lessons, assign curriculum, grade, and do your reporting all in one place. Along with our new Classhook integration, you can build your Kiddom lesson plans upon various other tools like CK-12, Newsela, LearnZillion, Quill, RocketLit, IXL Learning, and more!
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Teacher Voice is a blog for teachers, by teachers. Well, mostly teachers, give or take a few writers who wanted to be teachers, but couldn't make the cut. Join the Teacher Voice newsletter to get the latest stories, teaching tips, educational resources, product updates, and latest in the world of K-12 education.
You might have heard that we recently tripled the teaching resources available to teachers in Kiddom’s Library. Not only are we excited, but we’d like to share our team’s favorite content providers. So without further ado…
Liz: As an educator I am always looking for resources that are made with the student in mind. Zearn is that resource. They understand things about young children that a lot of us take for granted. The imagery is straightforward and easy to understand. The lessons are fun and engaging. They encourage student interaction, check for understanding and give corrective feedback so students can learn from mistakes. There are no flashing distractions or unnecessary components. The language used is student friendly and always has read aloud options. Zearn can be used as a full adaptive math curriculum that meets the students at their level or as targeted teaching opportunities to supplement a variety of other programs.
Kashon, Teacher Advocate
NextLesson: Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies K-12
Kashon: NextLessonis a great addition to the Kiddom Content Library. From the student’s perspective, you can select from a wide variety of subject matter that interest you, and share this with your teacher for more personalized assignments. From the educator’s perspective it’s a great tool to gauge a student’s personality type and find resources to engage them. You can also search lesson plans by aligned standards, giving teachers the ability to develop a child’s skill set within the parameters of their interests. They have great project based assignments that bring learning to life.
Amanda, Community Partnerships
IXL: Math & ELA PK-12, Science & Social Studies: 2–8
Amanda: I can’t wait for teachers and students to experience what IXLbrings to the classroom, catering to kids learning at different paces and on different levels. I was fortunate to find IXL in my third year teaching 6th grade Math. Students ranged in their mathematical ability from the elementary to high school level and I was determined to provide opportunities for kids who needed remediation andkids that needed a challenge. Incorporating IXL work-time in my classroom engaged my students at their appropriate level. I would select a number of lessons or topics for my students to explore and the IXL program monitored their progress, prompting students to move forward once mastery was reached or to practice more if they needed help. As the facilitator, I could see progress on each skill and provide small-group instruction for those students that got stuck within a concept. IXL provides immediate feedback, standards-aligned lessons, and more time for me to support students one-on-one.
Melissa, Professional Development
Listenwise: ELA, Social Studies, Science 6–12
Melissa: As a high school English and Social Studies teacher, it never made sense to me that students were only asked to analyze print texts on state exams. As an adult, I get news and entertainment across so many forms of media, including podcasts and audiobooks, and I deepen my understanding of new ideas through debate and discussion with friends and colleagues. That’s why I love Listenwise for using public radio podcasts to bring my students current events in an accessible, engaging format. It’s often hard for students to connect to faraway events they read about, so the varied perspectives from podcasts and interviews encourage empathy and critical thinking as students learn. Using audio sources also allows all of my students to access the same ideas and content, regardless of their reading levels, making it a great tool for differentiation. Listenwise also pairs graphic organizers and comprehension questions with their podcasts so that you can assess critical listening skills in addition to their silent reading comprehension. Easily keep your curriculum up-to-date with in-depth news stories and help your students become informed citizens.
Jessica, Curriculum Specialist
Everfi: Healthy Relationships, SEL 6–9
Jessica: I love a lot of content but I am very excited about Everfi because they offer resources for subjects and topics that are underrepresented in the digital world. I used the Healthy Relationships interactive modules in my health class to support students who struggled with conflict resolution, communication, and making decisions. The comic book style made the “true-to-life” scenarios more approachable for students who were not interested in role playing the situations in class. This resource is also great for people interested in covering Social Emotional Learning skills which have been in high demand. The greatest part is that this is all free. Soon, we also hope to share some of their other great life skills courses on Kiddom.
Shabbir, Support Analyst
Shabbir: I’m a visual learner with a variety of interests across all subjects and I could not be happier about the addition of TEDEd to the Kiddom library. TEDEd has videos curated for a wide variety of subjects, mostly geared towards an older student audience. TEDEd videos have a knack for being informative, but what makes them stand out are their engaging animations, pacing, and delivery. Maybe most important of all, many TEDEd videos have special guest speakers with expertise on the topic- so not only do students get exposed to information in a fun way, but now they are familiar with with some faces in the subject’s field. With TEDEd on your Kiddom utility belt you can assign engaging, personalized assignments, thoughtful remediation, and lessons that spark discussion and thoughtful dialogue.
Abbas, Chief Academic Officer
Desmos: Math 9–12
Abbas: As a former high school math teacher, I recognize it can sometimes be challenging to find opportunities to translate what’s being learned in the classroom to students’ lives. Sure, if we had more time to plan, we could probably come up with a plethora of creative projects and activities that help students understand how their daily lives are impacted by the mathematical concepts covered in class. Unfortunately, we aren’t always privileged with time to plan like this for every topic. Enter Desmos. Desmos connects a rich graphing calculator to engaging, real-world activities. These activities can instantly help your students engage with and connect more meaningfully with mathematical concepts. And don’t hesitate to roll your sleeves up and play along, they can get challenging.
We hope you’re able to find resources that support your classroom needs and love them as much as we do. If there’s a resource you’d like to see available in the Kiddom Library, let us know by tweeting at us or emailing us directly. Happy Teaching and Learning!
Plus 4 Ways to Differentiate Instruction Using Kiddom’s Library
Planning curriculum is a complex, ongoing project — teachers arrange their learning targets for the year into a scope and sequence, write daily lessons to scaffold instruction, and find content resources that align to the various levels and interests of all students. That’s a lot of heavy lifting.
Finding the right teaching resources online can be particularly challenging. There’s an endless supply of content and curriculum providers, and teachers have little time to comb through it all. That’s why we’ve been researching, vetting, and adding thousands of new resources to our library: to save teachers time. You already know teachers using Kiddom can access a comprehensive library of free resources and assign them instantly to students. Today, we tripled the size of that library, adding more content for more subjects across more grade levels. Yippee! 🤓
As an added bonus to teachers, resources assigned from select partners automatically transfer scores to your reports in Kiddom. That means more teachers will spend less time with data entry. Student progress will be imported into Kiddom, and your reports will be up-to-date.
Our library of teaching resources now includes a wider range of standards-aligned multimedia content and lesson plans. We’ve added a plethora of resources from new providers (IXL, LearnZillion, PBS LearningMedia, Newsela, and Desmos to name a few), and we’ve also added more resources from legacy providers (CK-12, Khan Academy, and CommonLit). Use this handy reference chart to learn which content providers support your classroom needs most appropriately.
Of course, what good are resources if they aren’t supplemented with implementation strategies? Here are four ways to use these resources.
1. Remediate or Extend 🚀
Content providers like IXL, Khan Academy, and Desmos offer excellent practice videos, problem sets, and challenge problems for math skills across grade levels. Create a playlist of instructional videos from Khan Academy or practice sets from IXL for students who are struggling with a specific skill-set. Send challenge activities from Desmos to students who are ready to apply new skills to real-life problem sets and move them up Bloom’s taxonomy to higher levels of thinking.
2. Offer Multimedia Perspectives 🎧
With Listenwise, you can support literacy instruction and listening comprehension through audio resources. Listenwise has a library of podcasts that cover current events with depth and a range of perspectives to help students draw connections between themselves and the world. Pair these podcasts with articles on the same topic from Newsela to meet multiple learning styles. Newsela’s articles are available at multiple reading levels to ensure all students have access to the same information. Create rotating stations and have students read articles from Newsela, listen from Listenwise at each one ahead of a class discussion, or have students choose their own station based on learning preferences.
3. Integrate Social Emotional Learning 💛
Incorporate Everfi’s Healthy Relationships course into advisory, counseling, or homeroom to support your students in developing positive, appropriate relationships with peers and adults. This course is self-paced and interactive, including authentic videos with diverse perspectives. Use them in an advisory setting to guide discussions about community values and shared norms, or weave them into a literature unit to give students language to discuss interpersonal conflict in the stories they’re reading.
4. Mix and Match 📝💻
Curriculum is rarely one-size fits all — use our content library to find the best of the bunch for your students. Both Zearn and Khan Academy have resources and materials aligned to EngageNY modules. Pick the ones that work best for your students and build out a cohesive sequence of lessons. Search “EngageNY” in Kiddom’s content library to find Khan Academy’s EngageNY-aligned units labeled by module number and topic letter. All of Zearn’s materials are aligned to EngageNY — you can see an overview of their curriculum map, organized in the same way, here.
I teach at a non-traditional high school for non-traditional students in New York City. Many of my students struggle with poor attendance due to insecure housing situations. To better support my students, I decided to change the structure of my class by providing flexible due dates and access to learning materials outside of school. I made these changes knowing the tools I was using at the time wouldn’t support self-paced learning, but I assumed I’d be able to adopt new platforms to assist with the transition. Finding technology that supported asynchronous learning however, proved harder than I expected. I explored a plethora of education technology tools, but found much of the same rigidity; either I had to send assignments to the entire class or I had to choose a specific due date. I also needed to use separate tools for sending, receiving, and grading the assignments.
Kiddom’s Planner on the other hand, allows me to meet the unique needs of my students in one collaborative learning platform. As a teacher, I’ve fallen in love with it.
Building a Strong Base
Planner allows teachers to “get ahead” by organizing learning activities for students within units. This could be ideal for blended learning or flipped classrooms, but it’s perfect for my self-paced class. I developed my classes with a foundation of lessons based on curriculum I taught year over year. The lessons and assignments that worked well are the backbone of the class and are the ones I make available for students to access today. I created these learning activities in Planner first, since I know I can use them over and over again. The icing on the cake is the ability to drag-and-drop assignments over to individual students’ timelines (timeline is where where they access assignments).
Now I can easily send a student the next assignment after they demonstrate mastery. They no longer have to wait for their peers to move on, and that’s wonderful.
Playlists to Personalize Pacing
An added benefit to using Planner is that I can also personalize the number of assignments I share with a student at any given time.
Some students (like adults) thrive on knowing what’s coming and what assignments or tasks they must complete. Others may feel overwhelmed when they have too many things to do and don’t know where to start. With Planner, I have the option to store groups of related assignments in a playlist. With playlists, I can quickly assign a complete set of assignments and resources or share individual assignments from the playlists, depending on how much I know that student can take on.
In a self-paced class, having a tool that allows you to match the pace of every student’s workflow is revolutionary.
Ready for Remediation
Sometimes, you don’t have time to reinvent the wheel. With Planner, I can also access Kiddom’s Library of resources, including quizzes, lessons, videos, and more from Khan Academy, CK-12, and CommonLit.
As I mentioned previously, my curriculum is designed over years of testing and adjusting, so I know which assignments work to support learning for moststudents. However, as teachers we know all students are unique and some may need less or additional support. Recently, I’ve been supplementing each unit in my Planner with differentiated and remediated playlists. I take advantage of the relevant content available in Library so I don’t have to make an entire new lesson myself. Sometimes students benefit from hearing the same idea via a different means of communication or from repetition. I keep these additional learning materials available to intervene as soon as students demonstrate a misconception.
Create remediation assignments in advance as a playlist, then assign based on student need.
Possibly the best thing about Planner is that curriculum development won’t have to start from scratch next year. The curriculum I designed is accessible in every class I make in Kiddom. So next year, I already have all of my lessons and learning activities in one place for the next cohort of learners. I’m looking forward to using this strong foundation to find even more ways to meet student needs and develop projects that allow them to explore their interests.
Today, we released a redesigned student experience on Kiddom to help 21st century learners access and submit work, track their own progress, and solicit feedback from teachers in real-time, from one place.
Over the past century, education technology has often left students out of the equation. That’s unfortunate, because students today move fast and are incredibly tech-savvy. At Kiddom, we believe students shouldn’t have to wait until progress reports are printed to learn where they stand in class or on specific skills. Students shouldn’t have to wait to see their teachers in person to pose clarifying questions or solicit feedback on an assignment. And from what we’ve gathered, teachers are constantly looking for ways to empower students to take control of their learning. With our redesigned student experience, the possibilities of student ownership are endless.
Timeline — Everything in One Place
When students login and click into their class, they’ll be greeted by their Timeline. Timeline allows students to view assignments (past, present, and upcoming) from one place. This not only includes teacher-created assignments, but also all the Khan Academy videos, CK-12 exercises, CommonLit readings, and other resources their teacher might’ve assigned for differentiation purposes via Kiddom’s Library of resources.
Submitting Work and Soliciting Feedback Made Easy
When students click on an assignment from their Timeline, they’ll be able to see any instructions or attachments their teacher may have included, as well as the standards or skills has appended to the assignment. Students may upload and submit their own work and also engage in a discussion with their teacher regarding the assignment.
Reports — Monitor Progress and Self-Advocate
When students can actively monitor their progress in class, they’re more likely to advocate for themselves. With our redesigned Reports, students can track their overall class progress, as well as progress on individual standards and skills — all in real-time. This means they finally have the data they need, when they need it.
We’re Just Getting Started
The new student experience has been long overdue. And while we’re incredibly excited about the positive impact it will make in classrooms around the world, there’s still a lot more work to be done. Over the next several months and into the next school year, we’re going to focus on adding community features to accelerate our vision of building a collaborative education platform. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the new student experience with a comment or chat with us directly using the in-app chat tool. Happy teaching and learning!
Editor’s note: We’re still testing the new Kiddom student experience. If your students signed up before Friday, April 21, 2017, they may not experience the new Kiddom just yet. We plan to conclude testing on Friday, April 28, 2017, at which time all students will be on the redesigned student experience. For more information, contact our support team.