12 Reasons Educators Love CommonLit

Several children raise their hands in a classroom.

Everything you need to know to know about CommonLit.org

We’re so excited to work with you and your team this year! In this article, we’ve compiled 12 of the top reasons why CommonLit is the ideal program for your literacy team.

Reason 1: CommonLit Has Great Reading Passages from Real Authors

The Library of Congress recognized CommonLit in 2017 with the Best Practices in Literacy Award. This is due in large part to CommonLit’s extensive digital library of over 1,700 English reading passages and over 600 Spanish reading passages that cover many different genres and reading levels. Our library includes reading passages from Amy Tan, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Martin Luther King Jr., Gary Soto, Malcolm Gladwell, Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, and many other well-known contemporary authors. When you and your team use CommonLit, you know that your students are reading texts that are thought-provoking, culturally relevant, and meaningful.

Reason 2: CommonLit Has Standards-Aligned Lessons

Each CommonLit reading lesson includes rigorous standards-aligned content that has been thoughtfully created by CommonLit’s team of literacy experts. All of the lessons include:

  • Carefully-chosen videos to help build engagement
  • Paired passages to help students build background knowledge and extend learning
  • Discussion questions to build student engagement
  • Standards-aligned reading and writing questions that allow educators to measure student growth

Reason 3: CommonLit Actually Works for Kids

A chart that shows student completion of CommonLit assignments and related performance gains.
The more CommonLit assignments students complete, the more gains they experience on CommonLit’s reading assignments.

CommonLit continuously works with a third-party evaluator, AdHoc Analytics, to measure the effectiveness of our reading program. These researchers found that when students completed over 20 lessons on CommonLit, they saw scores increase by an average of 13 percentage points. Increased CommonLit usage is also associated with more students reaching proficient or mastery level on a state assessment. So, when your team uses CommonLit with your students, you can be confident that it’s a reading program that will actually drive reading growth.

Reason 4: CommonLit Supports All Learners

When adopting a literacy program, it’s important to know that it will support all students — not just a small segment. CommonLit’s lessons are rigorous, but you can also use Guided Reading Mode to bridge the gap for struggling readers. When Guided Reading Mode is enabled, it automatically “chunks” the text into smaller pieces so students can’t move on until they’ve correctly answered a comprehension question. This is a great method for increasing student independence and metacognition skills in preparation for assessments.

If students need additional scaffolding, we offer text-to-speech, translation in over 30 languages, and a digital annotation tool that your students can learn how to use in seconds. Digital annotations allow students to highlight any part of the text and add an annotation that teachers can view through their assignment report.

Reason 5: CommonLit is Perfect for Blended Learning

CommonLit’s lessons exist in both a printable and digital format. This means that our resources can be flexibly used to fit your specific classroom situation and instructional needs. CommonLit is a comprehensive solution that will prevent your school or district from having to purchase both a digital and print curriculum.

The CommonLit lesson "Thank You, M'am"
You can assign lesson digitally (above) or print them out.

Reason 6: CommonLit Provides Ready-Made Units of Instruction for ELA

CommonLit offers a full, comprehensive curriculum for English Language Arts in grades 6–10. Our CommonLit 360 Curriculum includes high-quality units of instruction centered around an essential question and focus skills. Each unit includes:

You can check out all of our CommonLit 360 units and resources here.

Reason 7: CommonLit Is Also Great for Science and Social Studies Teachers

Over 50% of the texts in CommonLit’s library are informational and can be used to bring literacy instruction into a science or social studies class. The CommonLit library features famous speeches and original articles from The New York Times, NPR, NASA, and The Atlantic. To make these informational texts easy to use, our team created dozens of science and social studies non-fiction text sets.

Explore this post for creative ideas for utilizing non-fiction text sets.

Reason 8: CommonLit Has Spanish-Language Reading Passages

CommonLit offers a Spanish-language library with over 600 reading passages. These lessons include many of CommonLit’s most popular tools and lesson features such as related media, discussion questions, read aloud, and digital annotations.

To learn all about CommonLit Español, click here!

The CommonLit Español lesson "Identidad."
One of CommonLit’s Spanish reading lessons.

Reason 9: Integrations With Google and Clever Make Onboarding Hassle-Free

With Google Classroom, teachers can join CommonLit and roster all of their classes in less than a minute. You can also post lessons to your Google Classroom stream and export your grades from CommonLit directly to your Google Classroom gradebook.

CommonLit also makes roster management seamless for districts that use Clever. When class rosters change and new semesters begin, rosters are automatically updated so you’ll never have to worry about changing or adding student accounts.

Learn more about how CommonLit makes it easy to roster your students.

Reason 10: On-Demand Professional Development

Through our partnership with your school or district, you have access to the CommonLit Professional Development Portal. This portal includes over 30 on-demand trainings that focus on best practices for using CommonLit’s full digital program. These trainings are flexibly designed to fit into any professional development plan; they can be facilitated by an instructional leader or completed independently by teachers who are looking to develop their skills.

The CommonLit Professional Development Portal also includes trainings on advanced lesson planning on CommonLit, the CommonLit Assessment Series, and CommonLit 360.

Click here to check out the CommonLit Professional Development Portal!

Reason 11: The CommonLit Assessment Series Makes Progress Monitoring Easy

You and your team also have access to the CommonLit Assessment Series, which includes three benchmark assessments per grade-level for grades 3–12. These high-quality assessments are easy-to-use, tightly aligned to grade-level standards, and designed to give administrators and teachers the actionable data you need to make effective instructional decisions. After your students complete each of these assessments, you’ll receive information on how they scored compared to grade-level peers nationally and how they performed by skill and question.

If your school or district has set you up with access to the CommonLit Assessment Series, you can schedule your first assessment here.

A student looks at her CommonLit progress data on a laptop.
A student measures her own progress on CommonLit after completing her latest assessment.

Reason 12: CommonLit’s Team Will Support You Every Step of the Way

CommonLit’s team is filled with former educators who care deeply about supporting teachers and students. When we partner with a school or district, we work hard to ensure a seamless experience.

If you have any questions as you get started with CommonLit, you can reach out to our support team directly by emailing help@commonlit.org or by clicking the Help button at the bottom right corner of your CommonLit screen.

CommonLit is eager to support you and your team this year!