A. Efficiency - 8.3
B. Productivity - 7.7
C. Design - 9.5
CommonLit: A Top Notch Website for Reading!
Summary : A high-quality website that focuses on students’ literacy development!
CommonLit is a learning management system designed to support students’ reading development. To begin, teacher users must register with the website and then create a class. To do so, teacher users must click the “My Dashboard” option and then click the “Create a New Class” option. At this point, teacher users can import a class from Google Classroom or they can manually enter information about their class (e.g., name of class, grade level, subject area) into the website. If entering manual information, teacher users click the “Invite Students” option to access a link and class code to share with students so they may join the class. (Students will then need to register with the website using that information to join the class.) At this point, teacher users can create assignments for students by first clicking the “Assignments” tab on the top of the screen followed by the “Add Assignment” button.
When creating an assignment, teacher users must first select the text for the assignment, select which classes they are assigning it to, and choose a due date. When selecting a text, users can scroll through the recommended text by grade level or choose one from CommonLit’s library. Once these options are inputted, the assignment is created and students who are enrolled in the class can access it.
When completing an assignment, teacher users have the option to enable the “Guided Reading” feature that defines vocabulary words for students and includes questions to help ensure their comprehension of the text. The “Assessment” option includes questions students should answer after reading the text, and their responses are recorded for the teacher. Finally, the “Discussion” option includes prompts that teacher users can utilize as springboards into a class conversation. As students complete the assignment, teacher users can view their work using the “Student Progress” tab. The data shown in this option includes a snapshot of the class performance, an individual breakdown of student performance, and if specific Common Core standards were met. In addition, when students read the passage, they can use the tools on the right of the screen to define words in the text, have the text read aloud to them, and translate the text into a variety of languages.
Finally, the “Library” section of the website contains a vast database of texts that teacher users can browse in order to select a text that is appropriate for their students. The texts can be filtered by grade level, genre, theme, and additional options. Plus, lesson plans and units related to the texts are available along with themed text sets.
Please Note: CommonLit includes additional options and functionalities. Users are encouraged to explore this website to identify them!
Instructional Ideas for CommonLit
- When teaching a unit about a specific topic, teachers can search this website’s library and text sets for articles, poems, and passages related to the topic. Teachers can then turn those texts into assignments that can be used for building student schema.
- At the beginning of the year, teachers can setup a class for their students. That way, they can assign their students articles to read in specific intervals, such as two assignments per week. That way, students can build their literacy development over time as a supplement to the class.
- Teachers can form a professional study group where they compare this website to Newselea and Read Theory. As a group, the teachers can decide which website they wish to adopt for the school year and meet in regular intervals to discuss how they are using it and the results and feedback they are getting from students.
- Teachers can have students read a passage using the tools on the right of the screen to help them annotate, define, and translate the text. These tools can be used as part of a close read activity.
|B2. Collaboration & Communication
|B3. Ability to Save Progress
|B5. Platform Integration
|C2. Ease of Use
|C5. Screen Design
|C6. Information Presentation
|C7. Media Integration
|C8. Free of Distractors
Screenshots of CommonLit