My students love to read the Associated Press articles, and they love to write and respond. In fact, many are home reading and writing over the Christmas break.
Some students use post their own stories to work out problems, such as loss of a pet, death of a grandparent, missing a student that has moved away.
The best part of it for me is that I have never required their participation. That is a powerful statement on how much TweenTribune is changing lives.
The tech-savvy parents of my students are thrilled with the site as well.
TweenTribune demostrates the ideas of Daniel Pink, a former aide to Al Gore and Robert Reich and the best-selling author of "Drive" and "A Whole New Mind." He writes about the importance of autonomy, meaningful tasks and mastery within the workplace as well as the classroom - which describes how TweenTribune has taken off in my classroom.
Pink writes about brain-based learning and technology trends, and he is on a mission to shake up the status quo. The way my kids use TweenTribune is very "Pink-ish." They use it because they choose to, which is all the sweeter.
June S., San Antonio, TX
Critical thinking is a big thing for us right now, as it should be. With TweenTribune, my students are improving reading skills, thinking about what they read, creating at the keyboard and practicing writing skills.
Their comments come to me for approval, so nothing inappropriate goes out. They cannot use last names, so they're safe. It's very user friendly and doesn't take much teacher time. AND when you have a problem, you can contact someone and they respond immediately!
I highly recommend it! Give it a whirl! Your students will really like it. I've had several ask if they could get on it at home!
Debbie Y., Tom Bean, TX
I am a Literacy Specialist in a very poor and small rural school district. For the last eight years, I have taught reading in the middle school.
I have spent lots of money and time looking for materials that would hook my students and turn them on to reading. The goal was to instill in them the importance of being literate and reading for enjoyment.
I introduced TweenTribune a few weeks ago and I can't begin to describe the excitement of my students. They are enjoying the articles, blogging and even going home to access the site and blog some more! Thanks for this awesome resource!
With TweenTribune, there is no fear of a test but just true engagement in the reading process.
Nancy P., Friendship, NY
My students are 6th, 7th and 8th graders that read and function at a 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade level.
We are using TweenTribune as a blogging platform. We've tried using our local newspaper, but it is written at such a level that makes it difficult for my students.
But TweenTribune is great for them. They love it when I read the stories. It's a great site that I have shared with my coworkers.
My students are mad when they don't have the opportunity to get on the site.
Angi W., Grand Island, NE
I teach middle school social studies and we use this as often as we can have access to the computers at our school. Kids love it and have really taken an interest in what is happening outside of our school. Thanks for putting together such a great site!
Mike J., Calmar, IA
I told my students that TweenTribune is like getting up in the morning and reading the newspaper so they'd be current on what was happening AND they get to express their opinion. For 6th graders it makes them feel like they are being treated like a teenager to get to do something on their own.
I have noticed that several of my students are logging in and using this site at home to read articles and make comments. I'm so happy that they enjoy the site enough that it's not just something they are made to do in class.
Polly B., Whitney, TX
My students are REALLY excited about this website. I've had a lot of kids writing and commenting and talking to me about it. Honestly, I was surprised at how engaged they were. I figured they would see it as "just another site." Obviously they feel some ownership. This is one of the first sites I've seen that is specifically created with the middle school student in mind. Thank you!
Steve G., San Dimas, CA
My students love using TweenTribune to keep up with the news of the day and to have a voice about it. I urge them to read not just the stories, but the comments as well and to then dialogue directly with other commenters. It has been an excellent vehicle for teaching the students about the value of their voices in a democratic society, the value of listening closely to others, and the value of clear writing.
Ray S., Lexington, KY
I am so appreciative for this website. My students are learning to read the news and this has sparked their interest. Being challenged readers, these stories appeal to them enough to want to read them. Thank you very much for this service.
Debra G., Pillager, MN
We do like the site!! I'm using it as a monthly assignment, where students need to have so many comments by certain dates. I also see it as a way to post student's writing and have their peers comment upon it.
What I really like is that their comments come to me and I control the post, so they are held accountable for the quality of their post - they don't get the points until I post it, and it doesn't get posted as long as it contains major errors.
The parent comments I have heard have also been very positive!
Kerry N., Garner, IA
My students are excited about reading the news! It's relevant, up-to-date, and a wide variety of topics. Don't tell them, but they are engaged learners that are practicing reading and writing skills!
Cheryl E., Schaumburg, IL
I bring my students every two weeks or so to the lab to look on tweentribune, and they look forward to it each time. They are always very into reading the articles and posting their thoughts. Even my classes that are very small and have very quiet kids get into it, and share story topics with each other. It is a lot of fun. Plus, the kids are exposed to different news stories they otherwise might not read or hear about it.
Anna W., Wilmington, IL
I appreciate the diversity represented in the articles. It is hard to provide my students with real world experiences with people with diverse backgrounds due to our rural, midwest location. The articles are also engaging, not threatening due to difficult vocabulary.
Bob W., Decorah, IA
I like that my students are engaged in an authentic task. Just as I read the news and comment, so can they. This is giving them a life-long skill.
Carrie O., Des Moines, IA
The kids are not intimidated because the articles are short — they can all find something they're interested in- even reluctant readers.
Erin W., Louisville, KY
The freedom my student's feel when writing is wonderful! I have them going online at home, they love it that much!
Denise C., Pittsfield, MA
I like the fact that students can communicate with each other in a relatively safe environment. They can practice ways to respectfully offer diverse opinions while they are learning from each other. My class and another write and publish a student newspaper for our K-6 elementary school. The site gives them access to a wide array of news stories that are age appropriate. These stories also serve as a springboard for discussion on a variety of topics.
Maryann A., Acton, MA
Articles are short, descriptive & current. I LOVE the fact that I have to approve them before they can appear to the public. My students are mostly Cognitively Impaired non-readers, non-writers, but with alot of individualized time from my para & myself we get 1 article read & commented on per week per student. At a baby shower this weekend, I found some teachers & promoted this site :)
Judy M., Ortonville, MI
Articles are short, sweet, and vocab is at the level of my 4th graders. Also, the headlines are eye catching for my students. They enjoy the articles!
Jolene H., Munising, MI
Even my most unengaged students enjoy reading the articles. In fact, while they often refuse to read traditional class assignments, they are willing to read your articles.
Ruth T., Adrian, MI
It provides nonviolent current news articles for my 7th grade students when doing their Current Events assignments of the Eastern Hemisphere countries.
Nancy F., Traverse City, MI
The students feel like they have a voice and what they say matters. They are reading material that interests them and compose responses to issues that matter to them. As a teacher I love the fact that they're reading AND that they are required by be to take a stand on current issues. This tool is easy to use and easy to monitor.
Stephanie W., Alpena, MI,
I really like how readable the articles are for my 3rd graders. I also like that I must approve any post made by a student. My students had fun coming up with a unique user name for themselves. It is just a great site! I plan on sharing it with my entire staff and getting other Ann Arbor classrooms using it!
Molly C., Ann Arbor, MI
Here's what I like: Real articles from real news sources prescreened for adolescents; Kids manage their own login; Ability to post comments engages students with the material; Categories in right sidebar are useful.
Patrick O., Macomb, MI
I enjoy the articles that intrigue the kids to want to read. I work with students who have behavioral disorders and getting them to be motivated to read is very challenging. I love hearing, "WOW did you see this article!" It makes me smile and just knowing the one day a week for 25 minutes they are focused on current events is awesome.
Amber K., Cambridge, MN
My students enjoy the variety of stories your site offers. No matter their interest, it seems the students can find a story that intrigues them.
Krista C., Alma, NE
I like the fact there there is such a wide variety of current news available to the students and they have the ability to write about their reactions to the news stories.
Joan K., Allentown, NJ
It is very easy to use. I like the fact that we can see the students' comments and have control over whether to post them or not.
Carolynn J., West Deptford, NJ
The website provides interesting articles that get my 6th graders reading. They have strong opinions on some of the articles and enjoy expressing their ideas in writing. This gives them valuable practice in persuasive writing.
Betty D., Lavallette, NJ
It is user-friendly! Students can read topics interesting to them to comment on. It gives them a voice.
Katherine H., High Point, NC
I like the fact that students can read the opinions of their peers and get another perspective on a particular topic. It also lends itself to writing practice (grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure). I do not publish any comments that have mistakes. I actually return their comments and have them find mistakes. I will begin to use this as a grading tool.
Sheryl C., Kannapolis, NC
The stories are well written, high interest, and age appropriate. Kids are able to easily navigate around the website. I love that the kid's are having access to current events on a safe site. Kids feel empowered and share their voice by blogging and sharing their opinions and thoughts.
Michelle L., Green, OH
Students love reading the articles and commenting on them!
Christine L., Akron, OH
Students like to see what others are saying about the articles and they seem to be interested in the articles. They also seem to want to make comments.
Scott H., Norwood, OH
The articles are high interest for kids at this age and very well organized. I also like that as a teacher, I get to see what my kids are posting and have the ability to approve comments.
Litty M., Mason, OH
The news is current. Students can post and add their own comments. The stories are of interest to this age group.
Pat B., St. Marys, OH
I like the content and the fact that the students will be able to make comments for me to see.
Robyn H., Circleville, OH
I like that I can view their posts before they are actually posted.
Tracy D., Dillsburg, PA
News at the touch of your fingertips.
Jodi O., McDonald, PA
Easy to read student-friendly, interesting articles.
Ray H., Center Valley, PA
The comments section provides accountability for reading the articles.
Kathleen K., Coopersburg, PA
My students can pick the articles they are personally interested in or I can give the specific ones.
Michelle M., Connellsville, PA
The articles are appealing to the fifth graders. They enjoy writing for the "real world" and look forward to blogging opportunities.
Jennifer E., Albion, PA
I like the variety of topics listed on the right panel for students to choose from and that they can submit comments. My students really enjoy this website!
Elizabeth S., Wakefield, RI
Tween Tribune is an interesting and informative site for tweens. The articles are in kid-friendly language and students are learning valuable writing skills by commenting. They are also able to practice the skills learned in the classroom. I like that I can edit my students responses before publishing.
Kristin S., Warren, RI
My students are all really enjoying using this approach to current events!
Amanda E., Essex Junction, VT
Students can join a class and keep track of their own password. Students can learn how to comment well. Love the spell check!
Sheri E., Nespelem, WA
I’ve toyed with the idea of having students blog for over two years now. I’d always bailed on the idea because I couldn’t figure out how to do it safely. Last week my students jumped right in with me on our blogging adventure using TweenTribune and haven’t stopped since. I was amazed at how engaged the students were in news.
Kim W., Leesburg, VA
My fifth-grade students have loved TweenTribune! The day I introduced the site and let them browse, I was going out to get other teachers to come and see what was going on in my room. The productive buzz was unbelievable!
Jayne S., Laurelville, Ohio
I have recently enrolled my entire classroom (roughly 100 students) to Tween Tribune. So far, so good! My kids seem to be pumped up about the blogging idea. We have attempted other ways to blog, but none seems as safe and "kid friendly" as this! Nice job! Just some thoughts from a very satisfied teacher! Thanks.
Dean B., Whitinsville, MA
I am very excited to sign my class up for this awesome website.
Joan S., Westborough, MA
I just wanted to thank you for making these articles available to all of us. I have been searching for a place that has age appropriate material. This is perfect. I'm excited!
Eileen M., North Kingston, RI
Thanks for your good journalism work online. It looks like a good resource for our G/T students here. Science/Math/Technology is our strong suit, but these kids do amazing stuff in LA and SS.
Barbara H., Avon, CT
This site is really impressive; I'm excited about where it's going.
Nicholas P., New Haven, CT
I'm currently browsing around to see all the things I can do with this site! I'm looking forward to presenting it to my class!! I'm excited. Can't wait to use this in class! Thanks so much!
Catherine M., Stantonsburg, NC
I have a young lady in class that RARELY says two words, but she signed up and wrote an entire paragraph in response to an article. Maybe this is what she needs to break out of her shell and defeat her shyness! Thanks!
RJ H., Cincinnati, OH
Today I pushed aside a few "scheduled plans" to introduce my LA block students to TweenTribune. I was amazed at the response!
I began tempting them by projecting the Home page on my data projector. They were immediately requesting me to open different stories to read. We read a few together and then I showed them the comments of other students. They were immediately hooked. Where a few tentative hands raised at wanting to participate, I soon had the entire class wanting laptops to register!
I took them through the process effortlessly and they began scouring the site for articles to read. I quickly realized I'd better give them some BLOGGING rules, so I opened the attached parent letter and focused on my posting requirements.
I want to thank the fellow teacher here who provided the basis for my letter. I used much of her ideas and adapted a few to meet the needs of our students. An attached revised copy in WORD is available for those who would like to use.
My students spent about 40 minutes on the site. I had to drag them off to move onto our persuasive essay lessons. This will be an out of school activity for them and I plan on rewarding them with our grade level incentive stamps and little trinkets for my active bloggers. Periodically I'm going to log in during class time and share with them some of the postings of their peers to keep the excitement going.
Students have the ability to share their connections and responses to timely news articles. I also enjoy "Your Stories" where teachers can set up individual assignments for their students. They have a special place just for their news.
Thanks so much for all of your ideas! I'm looking forward to an exciting second semester!
Cindy Z., Naperville, IL
TweenTribune has been a valuable learning experience for the students in many ways. Here's a small list of what I like about our experience with TweenTribune.
1. It's of high interest to the students-ALL students were involved.
2. We have real life opportunities to talk about how writing traits and skills are important even while blogging on line. They appreciated reading well edited comments more than "junk".
3. They are encouraged to check spelling, and preview before posting. We studied many good samples and poor samples. In the lab, they were encouraged to have an in class partner read and OK their work as intelligent and appropriate before they saved it. This activity required them to READ the article, then discuss a meaningful comment. The conversations were rich.
4. We learned to use smart descriptive words rather than inappropriate acronyms. This process of editing evolved into 5 classes of "internet cops" who reported in writing, the user names, dates, other identifying info; then we passed it to the webmaster. Mr. Jacobson responded immediately, right before the kids eyes and deleted the material. In a weeks time, the link button for teachers to submit inappropriate comments was created. The website is young and getting better by the day.
I believe it's a valuable activity to help students not only be informed of current issues, but also increase reading and writing skills, using a medium that is real and meaningful. They are pleased to be recognized by this online newspaper, as an important audience.
Just an interesting aside, Mr. Jacobson gently chastised my first list of "approved" comments. I was so worried the first class of students would get discouraged, I let some poor writing be published. After sharing his comments with the students, we all decided to raise our standards. The students made their own set of writing rules. They know what good writers should do. The students are hooked. I will be checking "waiting for approval queue" during the break.
Barb C., Gladstone, OR
One of my students hates to write, yet he published two blogs on his first day on the site. He said, "I really like this!" He was truly proud of being a published writer.
Sherry P., Leesburg, VA
After only a few minutes on your site today, my students are hooked and love the content. They really like that they can respond and be heard. I want to thank you for creating something that is truly interesting for my 6th grade students.
Debbie V., Lee Vining, CA
All my students had positive comments about the site. They all said it was site organized and easy to navigate. I have no suggestions because they said it's great as is.
Carolyn B., Virginia Beach, VA
My kids are really excited about it; their vacation started today and I've already received 10 emails from kids who signed up. It warms my heart to know they're trying to do school work on a day off!
Carol O., Fresh Meadows, NY
I talked to you at the VSTE Conference and went back to work and told everyone about your awesome site! A co-worker and I are presenting a session at NECC entitled, "Who Needs Worksheets?" We want everyone to use your site!
Catherine S., Richmond, VA
Kentucky Teachers are interested in having students read a variety of genres and respond to text. They are very computer literate and realize that it is a skill students will need in the real world. I'm excited to start using TweenTribune!
Debby D., Park City, KY
I am the School Technology Coordinator and also take care of computer lab classes at an elementary school, so I am constantly looking for web-based resources for students. I have the most trouble finding language arts sites for us to use in the computer lab, so I am very interested in using TweenTribune.
Tammy Y., Bowling Green, KY
Kentucky has a heavy reading focus on Expository writing. However, text books and other school resources are heavy in fiction sources, so Kentucky teachers are always scrambling to find the sources we need to teach. We need news articles that are rich in text features (headings, titles, illustrations, etc.) in order to teach these required core content areas. My district also has a LoTI (student centered use of instructional technology) focus. Also, we are in the process of moving to new core content that will include a focus on teaching students to navigate websites and to use the internet responsibly to gather correct information. For all of these reasons, TweenTribune seems like a great idea.
Magan G., Adairville, KY
Third grade in Colorado has a benchmark within our social studies standards, that says "relates current events to topics within the classroom. Tweentribune seems like one of the best I've seen that students - even third graders - can use!
Sarah B., Firestone, CO
We are always encouraged to incorporate technology into the work we do in class - it engages students, some of our poverty-stricken students don't see technology elsewhere, and there is a general lack of knowledge about appropriate (educational) uses of the internet/computers which we need to address in preparation for their college classes. TweenTribune seems like one more way I can incorporate technology into my class activities!
Laura M., Greenwood Village, CO
TweenTribune looks great for my advanced 3rd grade readers I really like that the stories are categorized so the kids can read about things that they are interested in. We will be starting a unit on Europe in a couple of weeks, and I plan to have the students read the stories from around the world that happen in Europe to add to their curriculum.
Edie W., Greenwood Village, CO
This is an awesome resource to get kids into the news and reading nonfiction. We are consistently looking for ways to incorporate technology into our classes and not for playtime. Indiana educators are looking at doing more with less money. Thank you for the opportunity you have given us. Responding to real news and reading real students' responses, too - how awesome is that?
Terri G., Elkhart, IN
TweenTribune is a great resource for my students. It offers high-interest reading on topical information. It will not only get students looking at educational resources and information in their independent work time, it will also help to improve their nonfiction reading skills. I am excited to explore the site more and plan ways to incorporate it into my math and science classes.
Rebecca P., Indianapolis, IN
I'm an elementary school social worker doing a special project with the 6th graders. Every week I introduce a new topic and address how students can make each day matter and make a difference. I plan to use TweenTribune to reinforce what we are doing. I feel that kids are a great influence on other kids, so combining stories from grown-up news with stories about kids is a great idea.
Deidre K., Indianapolis, IN
This site is great! I teach special needs high schoolers, and I like the reading level of the articles.
Lynn O., Lebanon, IN
I'm very impressed and I'll continue to use TweenTribune! It was way easier to navigate than AZRepublic.com or LATimes.com and to find an article that was on their reading level and interest level.
Jessica M., Prescott Valley, AZ
I am a gifted resource teacher and thought that my students would love this opportunity. Kyrene School District definitely teaches us to use technology in the classrooms everyday.
Dodi P., Phoenix, AZ
TweenTribune is something new that we all have discovered and passed on to each other. We really like how the topics relate to the students. Personally I like using the articles as points of reference and news updates. Many teachers of all grade levels are looking for sources like TeenTribune to help keep kids up to date with news around the world, but in a fashion that is entertaining to them.
Cassie W., Glendale, AZ
I was amazed by TweenTribune. It has great ideas and stories to share with my students.
Leslie S., Casa Grande, AZ
Because of all the budget cuts we are all looking for other resources to use that don't require much printing and a lot of copying. So far, my students love the idea of doing their current event assignments online, which is what we're starting with. Thanks for having this free resource available! :)
Julie S., Tucson, AZ
Tween Tribune has lived up to the hype - and delivered so much more!
My 5th graders were very engaged and begged me to sign up for another computer time this week so they could do more. I have lots of their comments to read through tonight and I can't wait to see what they wrote.
I'm looking forward to getting my students' stories posted so they can comment on each other's work. I am so happy we explored Tween Tribune. My students are talking about some of the issues brought up by the reading stories on the site this morning.
Troy F., Farmington, MN
I love TweenTribune because it gives my students experience reading non-fiction news reports via the web - their preferred vehicle for keeping up to date. The news reports appeal to a wide range of interests and are written on a level even my struggling readers can comprehend.
The site is totally safe from a teacher's perspective and I have control of publishing which I use to to motivate my students to adhere to high standards when writing. I give them a chance to edit their comments before I publish them. ALL students can successfully publish!
I also love the lesson plans found on the site and I'm utilizing one on our next assignment, asking students to choose an article from a limited list to summarize.
Thanks for offering teachers a great tool for free and for the technical support, too!
Lora R., Moline, IL
My students are so engaged - and quiet - and to be able to navigate by themselves without having a teacher help them - it's very exciting! They like the freedom and the stories are very eye-catching and fun. Thanks so much!
Katie A., North Attleboro, MA
My students love the animal information. They get a big kick out of some of the stories - and so do I! So far, my students have really enjoyed the articles and want to know more, so that's a super good sign!
Nell G., Albuquerque, NM
I just found TweenTribune and we LOVE it - it's so easy to get my 9th grade Life Skills kids to read with such great material! They learned and had fun at the same time. Thanks a MILLION!
Michaeline K., Spartanburg, SC
My students ask to get on the laptops to read TweenTribune - Now THAT is progress!
I have them choose various topics and comment on two or three articles per class period, but sometimes I just let them read. It is quite fun to listen to them share, laugh and think critically about the articles they are reading. One way that I will soon use this is to teach grammar. As I edit their responses, this is a great way to teach grammar with their own writing. Thanks for this site!
Cindy M., Jamestown, OH
This is a great site and my students are all so excited about it. Great job making learning fun and interesting!
Annie W., Oxnard, CA
I love TweenTribune. It is at a perfect level for my students with mild MR and has high interest stories and a great opportunity for writing.
I have my high school students with mild mental retardation log in to your site 2-3 times a week and select a story. They write a response with support from me for organization and to check for understanding of the story. I help with some obvious editing needs, but mostly let it be their expression.
I find the stories very high interest, which is why I like the site, along with the instant publishing so they can see their name in print. The students like reading the stories and have trouble deciding on one to read and write about. They never grumble when I tell them to go to the site, like they do for other assignments.
Thank you for this wonderful free site. This summer I will get around to reading your lesson ideas and use this site to an even more valuable extent.
Elizabeth W., Tempe, AZ