Monday, February 09, 2015

Website Review: TweenTribune

TWEENTRIBUNE from the Smithsonian Institution is a newly launched website focusing on news and information for K-12 students.
The project is designed so that teachers can make reading assignments and involve youth in posting public or private comments. Free teacher accounts allow educators to create 9 classrooms and manage student accounts for each classroom.
The home page contains chronological access to the latest article postings. Each article contains a photo, caption, short article, and critical thinking challenge. The Lexile reading level can be selected, a comment can be added, an option is provided to assign the article to students, and a quiz link is also provided.
One of the most useful aspects of the site is the ability to choose the Lexile level for a reading assignment. While each article contains a default Lexile such as 900L, the article may also be displayed as 680L, 1090, or 1310L. A master list of articles can be listed by Lexile levels from 500L to 1600L. Teachers can also explore articles by topic such as animals, art, entertainment, fashion, and science.
In addition to the articles, a Photo of the Day area is designed for youth to write their own captions to match interesting photos.
Teachers can assign an article for a particular classroom and add a message. For instance, they might ask students to address a question using the comment feature. Quiz questions can also be assigned and student results recorded.
Common Core aligned lesson ideas are available that help connect the informational reading experience to practical assignments.
The TTJunior and TTTeens sections present articles of particular interest to younger and older youth. The TTEspanol section is still under development.
School librarians can partner with teachers to build an exciting informational reading experience across content areas. Consider a school-wide approach that involves students in reading and discussing current events.
To get started, go to
To visit TTJunior, go to
To visit TTTeens, go to
To visit TTEspanol, go to
To visit the Lessons, go to