In EVSC we are very fortunate to have access to Achieve 3000. This program gives students a level set test and has nonfiction text available for the reader at their level. Over time with the completion of the 5 step process students will double or even triple their lexile level within a school year. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to explore within Achieve. If you haven’t and want to know more, reach out to your friendly district eLearning coach or iCat. We will be more than happy to help.

Today’s post will introduce alternative online resources that offer texts at various grade levels to help meet differentiation needs in your classroom.

TTJunior/TeenTribune/ TweenTribune

TTJunior presents nonfiction articles for students in grades K-5.TweenTribune is designed for grades 5-8 while TeenTribune is designed for grades 9-12. The staff at the Tribune scours the internet each day for age appropriate news stories, posts them along with quizzes and critical thinking questions.

Click on the picture to visit the website for each.

TTjrTweenTribune TeenTribune

Getting Started

1. To get started with the grade level of your choice, click the red Teacher sign up in the top right hand corner of the page.


2. Fill in the requested information. You will then receive a confirmation email containing your username and password.

3. Then log in to set up your classroom(s) by clicking on the Manage classrooms – (Resource is no longer available) link that’s include in the welcome email to you. The Manage classrooms link appears 2 places: In your welcome email and in the list of For teachers links on the right side of the homepage after you log in

4. Use the Manage classrooms link to rename your classrooms, add students, delete students or retrieve your students’ usernames and passwords. After you have registered all the students in your classroom(s), click the Print button to print out your students’ usernames and passwords on sheets of paper. Tear the sheets into strips, then distribute usernames and passwords to your students.

5.Then ask your students to log in with the usernames and passwords you created for them, then select a story from Topics menu or the homepage of TTJuniorTeenTribune, TweenTribune, or TTEspañol and create a comment about the story. Comments do not appear until you publish them.

6.Then log in and click the Comments awaiting approval link to review, then publish, your students’ comments. This link displays within the list of For teacher links that appear on the right side of the homepage after you log in. Select the classroom you want using the Change classroom pulldown.

Within the website you can search by grade level or any topic of your choice by selecting the topic in the menu on the right hand side of the page or typing in a search topic in the box.


Readworks is an additional free resource for K-8 teachers who want to provide literary and nonfiction texts at various lexile levels to their students. Each article is paired with an activity that helps building comprehension skills. Along with the texts there are hundreds of common core aligned lessons. You can search by lexile,state or common core standards to find materials.

Click the picture to visit the site.


Getting Started

Jeff from ReadWorks will show you how to get started, search, and describe the features available on ReadWorks.

 Searching for Texts

Since ReadWorks focuses on multiple reading comprehension points, it gives you various ways of searching.By state standard, common core, lexile, grade, or comprehension skill. To do so start by clicking on reading passages on the left hand side menu.

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A box will appear where you can adjust your search settings. Type in a keyword and select your search preferences. It will then provide a list of available texts or lessons for you to choose from. Post them to your online learning management system or print for use.

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60 Second Recap 

Looking for a resource to sum up everything in a novel? 60 Second Recap offers a quick summary of the most used novels in middle school and high school.They also provide book reviews, articles of interest to teens, tips for the future college student, and writing tips. Click the picture to visit the site.

60second Recap

Free Audio Books

Sometimes we want to mix things up and need a change in format. Audiobooks are utilized by all levels of readers and are especially nice for those on the go. There are many great websites, but these are my favorites.

Your Challenge

Check out one of the Tribune websites or ReadWorks. (Or if you’re feeling fancy why not both!)

Find an article or text to use with your students in your content area.

Tell us what you like and don’t like about the choice. How could the use of these websites help you in your classroom?

How to Comment

Comment login

If you are an EVSC Employee, login to the website using the Orange Login button on the menu bar.  Once logged in, return to this post and click inside the comment box and submit your comment.

If you’re not an EVSC Employee, choose one of the social media login buttons available.


  1. I have looked at Teen Tribune several times, but haven’t actually used it with my class. Since our class is based around social media, I looked at this subject area and found the article “Would you give up Facebook for Lent?” I find this article interesting because we have been discussing if social media is hindering family interaction. I think it would be interesting to have them keep a log prior to this experiment of how much family time they spend in true interaction with each other by non-social media time and then after the experiment starts, how much time they spend when they give up social media. This could make for an interesting self discovery article. What I’m concerned about is that the article does mention giving something up for Lent, but handled the right way, it shouldn’t be a problem.

  2. I chose the article in Spanish about the French eating less healthy than Americans. We are studying foods right now. We are also studying more than or less than. I like the article because it is fairly simple to understand. I often find simple articles and have students pick out key words and answer a couple of easy questions. It works great for bell work or bonus work!

  3. I found an ariticle on Tween Tributes about “Would you travel to space in a balloon?” My students would like this. It doesn’t explain a lot about the method, so the students could list things they’d need to know before doing something like this.

    I also like the free audio books sites and sent a list of those to the ELA teachers in my building.

  4. The audio book option is a great way for students to have productive time in the classroom when they’ve finished the assignment. You can assign a specific passage and have pre-assigned questions that the students will discuss in an open forum once everyone is caught up on the assignment. It’s also useful for students who need to have a story read to them for better comprehension. This would only work, though, in a 1:1 classroom.

  5. I explored the TweenTribune site. I love that each article included a critical thinking question. My 5th graders really struggle with critical thinking. I could use the articles each day as a bell ringer activity to build both their ability with nonfiction texts and critical thinking.

    I also took a look at What an amazing collection of materials for building Reading skills. I teach Social Studies, but I could find lessons to combine with my curriculum to build their Lexile levels.

  6. I think Read Works would be useful for the teachers that I work with in my resource and self contained rooms. If we could pair the passages with it reading aloud to them, it would work well. Plus, I like that the comprehension questions for Kindergarten level have picture cues.
    I also need to encourage the use of audio books for students and to teachers that struggle with reading.

  7. We do main idea and supporting detail exercises as part of our school improvement plan and these would be great source for articles for this. They are not very long and deal with a current topic. They even have them sorted by content area. Although it is sometimes nice to bring in other areas as well.

  8. I had been receiving mails about Tween Tribune for a few years but never checked it out until now. I think the stories are interesting and I like that they are current and relevant to tweens. This is a great way for students to have ownership in their choices of reading, something at their grade level, and to be able to comment or discuss with a question at the end.
    I will look more into the Read Works also to see if this is something I can use with my special needs students in the resource room.

  9. I logged on to TeenTribune and opened the National News page. The articles that appeared included several that were law-related and would work well in either the Freshman or Junior Shepard Academy. I could see giving students a some time to search the National News page, chose and read an article, and then share their article with a small group. TeenTribune will add to our tools for discussing current events.

  10. We are lucky to have Achieve 3000. While only our 6th graders have access to the computer portion and tracking of Achieve 3000 our other teachers are still using it via print. The 6th grade classes have contests between the classes to see which class gets the most growth for that week and that class gets a trophy. Our other teachers like to print off the various articles and then use for intervention or small groups. It is nice to be able to have the same article just at a variety of levels so students never really know which group they might be in. The teachers also use the polling questions at the beginning as a bell ringer for class. I heard aout at the ICE conference this fall and had some time to “play” with it. It seems very close to Achieve. I am the technology and keyboarding teacher this year but last year when I was Science it would have been nice to have these additional tools to use with intervention. I will for sure be passing the other sites along to our teachers and adding them to our ProtoPage. I will have to see how our teachers use these sites and get back with more ideas later. I like the Audio books and could have the students use them maybe if there is ever any left over time in Tech class,like that will ever happen, or if they finish a project it would give them something to do.

  11. This would be a great website to use for 1to1 classrooms as a starter. When students come in they could read a short article and take the quiz.

  12. I have used all three sites: Achieve 3000, Tween Tribune, and ReadWorks. Achieve 3000 is great for differentiating reading levels. With one click you can increase the difficulty level for students above the grade level benchmark, or lower the reading level for students who are below level. Achieve articles can be searched by topic/subject area as well as skills. We use Achieve to find science nonfiction articles for responding to text articles which is one of our school’s LCPs. If your school has access to Achieve, ask for a log-in even if you don’t teach ELA. Tween Tribune is another great reading resource. It is very easy to creat accounts for your students. With an account, you can respond or leave comments about articles. You can also easily search for articles. When I taught fifth grade, I also used the feature where your students can write and submit their own articles on Tween Tribune. This site is a must for ELA teachers. ReadWorks is another great source. I use it in my intervention time with students to work on numerous reading skills. All three are great resources for students and teachers.

  13. This is an article from TeenTribune that caught my eye for a Biology opener. It is a short article about an 18 ft oarfish…something rarely seen. I like one question at the end of the article…the article & question are just long enough to start a conversation. The question makes it very simple to tie in with a current lesson (in this case biogeochemical cycles & decomposition..even comparative anatomy to tie in with evolution).

    I need to explore this site more. Can multiple classes be set up by one teacher? And can many students be set up..say 90?

    I also love the 60 Second Recap. I have two sons who do not enjoy reading..I love to read. This site could be used as an introduction for a novel..which might catch the attention of a reluctant reader. I’m hopeful that the site will soon include novels I could use in Biology.

    Both sites are easy to use from an iPad…greet since my students have this tool.

  14. This is a great post and right in my power alley!!!

    I have used several different articles from the TeenTribune. This is an interesting source for materials as they are aimed at the same audience I am teaching. The articles are topics that are of high interest to teens and geared to them, both in writing style and information. Some of the reader submissions are bit dark and depressing, but again, it is from their peers so it is fitting.

    The 60 Second Recaps are great. I love her quirky delivery and the way that she delivers her message. They videos cover a wide range of topics and literary pieces. They are nice to use as an introduction, but I warn my students that many of them assume that the audience has more than a glancing knowledge of the materials.

    I have used the LibriVox for many different literary works. The website is easy to use and there is a huge selection of offerings. Audiobooks are a great way to help students bridge the gap into tough reading by helping in the decoding. I especially find it helpful when the language is a bit difficult or when the names are unfamiliar.

  15. Thanks so much for the awesome resources. I’m jealous that you have access to the Achieve 3000! Sure wish did. We are always on the lookout, however, for free resources such as these. There are so many language arts standards connect to reading/understanding nonfiction text, that a website like the Tribune site is an invaluable resource. The fact that the articles are current will be appealing to students. They will also make nice additions to tie current events into the content area classes and help encourage our science and social studies teachers to work on literacy standards. We could also use this site during remediation time.

  16. I enjoyed reviewing all the materials and resources of Readworks. I also liked that the resources are available as a PDF, which allows for text to speech support.

  17. I really like the organization of Read Works. I am not a teacher, but as a parent, I find the layout of it to be very user friendly. I looked for lesson plans that would align with my family. I also like how it is related to Indiana standards. I will share this with teachers.

  18. These are all great resources I had not heard of before. I have sent this onto my entire school as the TweenTribune articles are current and interesting to the kids at each specific grade level which could be easily used for bellwork. With the followup question at the end of each article, it could lead into some great real life discussions. ReadWorks seems great for some short NONFICTION reads and comprehension questions. Kids need to read more nonfiction stories which these can target specific skills and are short enough to not intimidate some kids.

  19. I think the sites could be used for RTI or for kids who don’t have anything to do during flex or HR. I personally would not use them in my math classes at the time but I could see uses for other classes and subjects.

  20. I am a member of Readworks. I love the variety of articles. I also love how they are organized in different ways. you can get Articles by strand of reading, or by grade level. I used to use them as warm ups to get their brain going with shorter articles. Use the poems to address things that you don’t want them to spend a lot of time reading, but more time discussing and practicing the skill. I am excited about the other options too!

  21. I found several good articles on Readworks. The Lexile levels were, in my estimation, very close to what they advertised. If we don’t have Achieve at some point in the future, this will be my first stop. I liked the leveled articles and the questions at the end were high quality. My main complaint is that Achieve makes it much easier to provide the same content in multiple Lexile levels; it happens automatically. I may supplement Achieve with some articles from this site on occasion, especially if we do something as a whole class.

  22. Being a math teacher, we don’t do a lot of reading articles or opinion based discussions. The reading we do is mostly word recognition and being able to decipher directions to a problem. Since I also teach science, many times things come up in discussions about the different ideas scientists have had. For example, google’s self driving car. I would have the students read the article, and then form an opinion about it. Put a line down the middle of the room and ask a series of questions and they move to the side that supports their opinion. Then discussion ensues and they are allowed to switch sides. Below is a copy of the article I would use in the class.

  23. hits me as a great tool for differentiating during reading time. While not all children are at the same level, all children are reading and working on comprehension! Love it!

    TweenTribune is a great way to provide current events as well as relevancy for students. I am planning to use this with my help desk students next semester as a portion of their blogs. I think students sometimes need text that relates to their daily routine in addition to classic text. Creating interest is critical! What a great way to do so!

    60 second recap can be a great tool for students as they decide to read books or begin research. Additionally, students are being encourage to write abstracts but we often fail to provide examples. 60 second recap can offer that source!

    The free books – bring those on! My teachers are constantly searching for ways to read but not spend money. Budgets are tight! Wonderful!

  24. I had never heard of the resources that you gave us today, but after looking at them, I will definitely encourage our teachers to use both. I set up an account on Tween Tribune, and enjoyed reading the short articles. This will definitely keep the children up on current events. I love that there are small tests that they can take after reading the article and that the teacher can see all of the children’s comments. I also looked at ReadWorks, I like how it uses fiction and nonfiction articles for the children to read. I fell like these are two resources that will be used at our school.

  25. I think today’s resources are awesome.. I am definitely going to share them with my teachers. I would love to see them assign a tween tribune article for a bell ringer assignment to get the class started. These tools will be great to help students enjoy reading more. If they get to use their ipads to read an article they will be more apt to read more.

  26. Tween Tribune is a perfect way for teachers to integrate current events easily into their day. Articles are up to date and are a quick read. Love the pre-made quizzes and critical thinking component as well. The set up works well with our 1:1 district. Teachers have the ability to set up nine different classes to help differentiate as well.

    I formerly taught 5th grade and ReadWorks seemed to have a lot of the books I used for novel assignments. What a wealth of resources at a ton of different levels. Wish I would have known about this sooner!

  27. I have used both sites and really enjoy both! I have found that I am using more from ReadWorks this year. I like that I can give a student a lower level passage, if needed. Most of the time, the students can’t tell the difference, so that makes things easier in the classroom. I believe that the stories in ReadWorks are very appropriate and the level of the questions are useful in the classroom. Sometimes I will project the story onto the screen and we’ll read it together. Other times, I will photocopy the story and they will read it individually. If that is the case, we will discuss the answers together.

    With computers in my classroom, I plan on using Tween Tribune more this year. I think it is vital for the students to read different articles and know what is important and what isn’t.

  28. In reviewing, it seems like it would provide a very simple way to differentiate instruction and provide students practice using fresh reads at their reading levels. I like the quizzes as well, as they seem to each have an open ended writing prompt. I could see these being used in Daily 5 rotations, as a DI homework assignment, etc.

  29. I have used Tween Tribune for several years and it is a user friendly site. I use it to keep the kids up to date on current topics. A lot of the time I let the kids choose which topic they would like for the day. I can monitor or respond to their conversations.

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