Newsela provides several “levels” of the same newspaper articles, along with accompanying online quizzes, that students can read and take. Teachers can create a virtual classroom, assign articles and monitor student progress.
I wouldn’t say it promotes higher-level thinking but, of course, I would say the same thing about most (if not all) of the sites on The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress. They are, however, useful for reinforcement of certain skills at home or at the computer lab for an occasional change of pace.
One thing that Newsela does have going for it is the different levels of complexity it offers for the same article. That increases the odds of it being useful to English Language Learners.
One thing Newsela does not have going for it is that though it’s free for a “trial,” it clearly indicates that it will cost at some point but the only way you can find out the price is if you send them an email. That makes me a bit suspicious, especially since most of the other sites on my previously mentioned “The Best” list are free.
Nevertheless, at least until they start charging, I’ll be adding Newsela to that list.