Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Top 3 ELA sites That No One Is Talking About

I am in love with finding new resources that help my class be the best it can be in reading math etc.  Today I'm bringing to you some of my ABSOLUTE favorite sites that not too many teachers know about.  Take some time over your upcoming summer break to check out these FREE... yes you heard right... FREE ELA websites!
Newsela site might as well be the best educational site under the sun in my opinion.  
First and foremost their tagline is

"Read closely.  Think critically. Be worldly."

The premise of Newsela is to provide students with current event articles that are all the same content but can be presented at different Lexile levels.  Sometimes it'll range from 2nd all the way up to 12th!

I love giving my kids a text that is about the same topic but provides enough challenge for each kid.  Plus the topics are about everything under the sun.  Sometimes I'll choose stories based text structures, stories we're reading, or even student interest.  What's even cooler is the fact that these are real new stories from national papers that have been rewritten for different levels.

My class has used both the online and printable version.  It's super helpful when you're trying to teach your kids about text structures and you want them to practice marking up the text.  They come with quizzes that test critical thinking and close reading strategies... What more could you want?

If you're looking for a reading site for your upper elementary students... get to this site NOW!  Readtheory is an online reading comprehension site that offers activities for all ages and ability levels.  You heard me ALL!

The site adapts to each students levels and moves with them to provide the best instruction!  Talk about differentiation.  I love that after the students enter their answers they have the opportunity to see the justification for the correct answers.  Talk about higher order thinking!  Plus the kids get motivated because the text topics are always changing and they're receiving points for correct answers.

It also provides teachers with extremely helpful and meaningful data.  I love seeing my kids scores graphed for me.  I get a progress report every time I log in.  It helps me with tracking their progress which is super helpful when it comes to planning for intervention time.  

TGFR!  (Thank God For Readworks)

Readworks is a wonderful reading comprehension must have!  It's a site that provides research-based units, lesson plans, and authentic, leveled passages.  It's aligned to Common Core and state standards for all 50 states!  Best of all there is something for just about every skill and strategy.  

The units are great because they pair mentor texts with passages to best meet what you need to teach.  For example if you're working on Main Idea and Details, you can use your Snowflake Bentley read aloud along with their lesson.  You can then have them apply that lesson on their paired passage.  The unit comes with a plan, standard alignment, any materials, and passage.  

The passages are my favorite part!  Aside from being there being fiction and non-fiction choices, there are a ton of topics to choose from.  You can choose how it's leveled as well as the skill you want to focus on.  You can choose the formatting of the text as well as questions you want the students to answer.   My go to is always including short response questions to help with applied skills testing in the 3rd grade.

So I shared about the Top 3 ELA Sites No One Is Talking About... what are you favorites?  Anything else we should know about??

With Love,


  1. Are you using the readtheory site as an ELA station? Would love to hear more of how you're implementing it! (I'm familiar with and use the other 2!)