Schools & Districts 2022 Year In Review
This year CommonLit published impactful research, added hundreds of new library lessons, introduced Target Lessons, launched new 360 units, and more.
2022 was an exciting year for CommonLit. We introduced lots of new content, published some exciting research, and continued to make teacher’s lives easier and help students excel in schools across the world. In this blog post, we will go over all of the exciting new updates to CommonLit from 2022, and look forward to the future.
Research demonstrates CommonLit’s impact
In August, we published the findings of a research study that demonstrated that students with higher usage of CommonLit’s digital program demonstrated significant academic growth. Researchers found the results were statistically significant across all age groups. In fact, this report showcases that CommonLit can accelerate student learning by up to 2x!
Target Lessons launched
In February, we released Target Lessons. These easy-to-use, highly engaging lessons build specific reading skills. Each lesson teaches students a key skill crucial to build reading comprehension and mastering grade-level standards.
We published over 150 Target Lessons for grades 3-12, covering a wide range of fiction and informational standards. These lessons are perfect for small group intervention for students needing extra support, or for whole group lessons to teach brand-new skills.
New CommonLit 360 units published
This fall, we published four CommonLit 360 units for Grades 11 and 12. Previously, CommonLit 360 was for Grades 6 to 10, so this has been an exciting addition! In total, we published over 275 new CommonLit 360 lessons.
In 11th Grade Unit 1, students read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and evaluate how the American Dream has evolved over the past 100 years. In Unit 2, students read Their Eyes Were Watching God, a Harlem Renaissance novel by Zora Neal Hurston. Students explore whether a person can live an authentic life despite societal norms.
In 12th Grade Unit 1, students prepare to write their college application essays by closely analyzing examples of excellent memoir writing before crafting their own personal narratives. In Unit 2, students read = Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and explore what it means to be human and what consequences can arise from the quest for knowledge.
Our library continued to grow
In 2022, we published over 600 library lessons for grades 3-12. Many lessons were written by famous authors, including Cynthia Leitich Smith, Jason Reynolds, Joseph Bruchac, Shel Silverstein, and Sandra Cisneros.
We also published many CommonLit Originals, which are texts only available on CommonLit.org! Some of these original pieces are written by famous authors, including Lucy Tan and Gary Soto.
Teacher Overviews were added to each library lesson. Each overview includes key themes of topics of a text, a summary, and some tips from instructional experts about best practices for using the text in the classroom. These extremely helpful tools can be found by clicking on the “Teacher Overview” tab to the right of the text.
Updated data dashboards to provide teachers with clearer student insights
In the fall, we launched our standards-based performance charts to make analyzing data and planning targeted instruction seamless. These new charts calculate student performance automatically to provide at-a-glance data at the classroom and individual level.
Teachers can pinpoint exact skills students need to work on, and assign Target Lessons to remediate these gaps. Our standards-based data dashboards also provide teachers with opportunities to engage in meaningful growth conversations with students and guardians, clearly identifying skills students need to work on to meet grade-level standards by the end of the year.
New texts and features added to our Spanish library
In 2022, we grew our Spanish library. We added over 120 texts to the Spanish library, with many texts written by well-known Latinx and Hispanic authors including Gabriel García Márquez, Julio Cortázar, and Mario Benedetti.
Additionally, each Spanish library lesson now comes with Paired Texts, a favorite feature in our English library. These Paired Texts, or Textos relacionados, help students deepen their understanding of key ideas by making cross-textual connections. Each comes with a blurb that describes how the texts connect to one another as well as questions to use with students to encourage critical thinking and class discussion.
We also introduced Lecciones guiadas, which are guided instructional lessons in Spanish available for grades 6 through 12. These guided lessons promote interactive learning in classes, allowing students to practice habits of discussion while they learn important reading comprehension skills. The lessons include Write, Find Evidence, Think and Share, and Turn and Talk questions.
A look ahead to 2023
Get excited because there’s even more to come in 2023! In January, we will be releasing CommonLit 360 Unit 3’s for 11th and 12th grade. In 11th grade, students will engage in a unit called The Social Contact, by reading important theories by philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Students will read texts that challenge the social contract by famous thinkers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In 12th grade, students will read Othello as they consider the imperfections of humanity and the corrosive nature of jealousy.
We will continue expanding our CommonLit English and Spanish libraries, adding new lessons weekly. By March, there will be Target Lessons available for each standard for grades 3-12.
Want to support usage of Target Lessons or CommonLit 360 in your school or district? Chat with our Partnerships team about our affordable paid features: