5 Reasons Teachers Love CommonLit

Teacher helps students with lesson.

Why teachers everywhere are using the edtech literacy tool

With tears in her eyes, a teacher I had just met hugged me after I introduced her to CommonLit at a recent conference. I could relate to that emotion of sweet relief of finding a tool that saves time and meets student needs. I used to teach at a low-income school, and I know that the task of finding resources feels insurmountable when you have students with tremendous literacy gaps coupled and limited resources for purchasing products.

That teary-eyed teacher’s hug resonated with me deeply, as it does for all of us at CommonLit. We have an acute awareness of the challenges that come with teaching reading. Now, nothing brings me greater joy than seeing a teacher discover CommonLit for the first time!

Today, I’m going to share some of that joy with you. Each day, thousands of teachers reach out to us and tell us how much they appreciate the resource. Although there are hundreds of reasons teachers love CommonLit, here are 6 I think will resonate with everyone:

1. Everyone’s favorite F-word… FREE!

Yes. You read that right! CommonLit is — and will always be — a free resource for teachers and students. Don’t believe me? Michelle Brown, our CEO and founder, explains how we’re able to provide this amazing resource at no cost to you in this post.

A teacher sits in front of students with their laptops open to a reading lesson.
Teachers like Kimberly love engaging readers with CommonLit. Read her story!

2. Relevant and engaging content for students

It can be difficult to engage students in reading, especially if the stories you assign are boring and irrelevant. In my classroom, I was fed up with giving my students stories that felt out of touch, so I spent hours and hours searching for engaging reading passages online. This is why we spend hours curating our library with thousands of reading lessons from relevant authors like J.K. Rowling, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Martin Luther King Jr., Gary Soto, Malcolm Gladwell, Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez.

For students who prefer nonfiction, we have text sets on the Civil Rights Movement, Influential Speeches, and great STEM reading lessons on subjects like Space and the Human Body.

3. Reliable for best practices

CommonLit was born out of the belief that all teachers should have access to a tool that promotes educational best practices in literacy.

Logo for Library of Congress Literacy Awards 2017.

Our team of expert educators painstakingly design every tool, feature, and lesson you see on the site, so you can trust it to be the best. In recognition for this hard work, we were recently recognized by the Library of Congress with the Best Practices in Literacy Award.

To learn more about the instructional design behind CommonLit, read this post from our founder and CEO Michelle Brown.

4. Differentiation tools help support struggling readers

Struggling readers are often the hardest to engage. They can quickly get overwhelmed if they can’t understand a text above their reading level. CommonLit resolved to help all students access grade-level texts by building support tools like:

  • Guided Reading Mode: A feature that breaks the reading into chunks, asks comprehension questions, and gives students real-time feedback on their understanding
  • Read Aloud: A great tool for students who struggle with reading fluency or need auditory engagement
  • Translation & Annotations: More great tools for vocabulary and English Language Learners

5. A simple design keeps the focus on reading

The last thing you need when you’re in a classroom of 20+ students is a tool that takes an entire class period to explain. We made a simple interface and integrated with Google Classroom and Clever to keep the focus on the reading.

The CommonLit Lesson "Malala Yousafzai: A Normal Yet Powerful Girl."

BONUS: Did we mention it’s FREE?

Seriously. CommonLit is — and always will be — free. Too many edtech tools out there have “free features” but then you have to pay premiums to access their best tools. It’s like falling in love with someone, only to realize they’re “not available”

CommonLit is a product you can fall in love with, for life!

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