With BPSCon just 19 days away, I wanted to start highlighting some of the more than 130 sessions that will be offering at our 10th annual back-to-school professional learning extravaganza. Aside from nearly 100 sessions led by BPS teachers, we also have some outside presenters coming to support staff in a variety of areas.
Our first highlighted topic is Newsela, a resource we piloted across the district last spring. Due to the tremendous feedback we received from staff who utilized Newsela, we have purchased a Pro account for all staff this year. Common Sense Media describes Newsela as follow:
an online news-as-literacy program that features current articles in seven categories: War & Peace, Science, Health, Kids, Money, Law, and Arts. Content is updated daily, with stories from a wide range of sources (from the Associated Press to Scientific American to the Washington Post) in both English and Spanish. On top of this, all articles are Common Core-aligned and available in five Lexile levels, ranging (roughly) from third to 12th grade. Each leveled text features a quiz tailored to that particular article plus a writing prompt that asks kids to write and respond to what they’ve read.
We will have a trainer from Newsela running sessions all day on Wednesday so that staff members can have multiple opportunities to get up and running with Newsela. In the meantime, please take a moment and go to Newsela.com and click on the sign-in button in the top-right corner of the page. Choose the sign in with Google option and then your BPS Google account to be signed in automatically. If you would like to get started learning about Newsela prior to BPSCon, you can check out the numerous options on the Learning and Support page which can be found under the question mark at the top of the screen on the right once you sign in.
We are excited to add Newsela to the list of resources available to BPS staff and students! You can check out the entire BPSCon schedule here. We will continue to tweak the schedule in the final days leading up to BPSCon.