The Complete Guide to CommonLit's Professional Development Portal

The Complete Guide to CommonLit's Professional Development Portal

The CommonLit team is very excited to announce the launch of our new Professional Development Portal!

This portal includes over 20 on-demand trainings that focus on best practices for using CommonLit’s digital resources and literacy lessons. Several of these training modules focus specifically on strategies for using CommonLit’s resources for distance learning. The goal is to help teachers understand how to make the most of CommonLit resources using research-based best practices in literacy instruction.

The trainings are also 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.

In this blog post, you’ll learn more about the trainings that CommonLit is offering:

CommonLit 101: The Essentials

This set of six trainings is designed to support educators who are new to CommonLit and help them master the basics of lesson planning with CommonLit.

CommonLit 101: Finding the Perfect Lesson from CommonLit’s Library

Training Snapshot: In this training, you will learn insider tips for filtering and searching CommonLit’s library to find the perfect lesson.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, you will choose at least one text to add to your next unit.

Length of Training: Approximately 25 minutes


CommonLit 101: Planning Your First Lesson on CommonLit

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will review the lesson planning resources that come with each CommonLit text: assessment questions, discussion questions, related media, and paired texts. Then, we’ll share best practices for using those resources in a lesson.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will choose a reading passage from CommonLit and design a full lesson using CommonLit’s lesson planning resources.

Length of Training: Approximately 45 minutes


CommonLit 101: Customizing and Assigning A Digital Lesson on CommonLit

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will share tips for customizing digital lessons on CommonLit to better meet the needs of students.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will create their classes, customize a CommonLit lesson, and assign it to their students.

Length of Training: Approximately 45 minutes


CommonLit 101: Previewing CommonLit’s Student Experience

Training Snapshot: In this training, educators will get a glimpse into the student experience on CommonLit.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will have a full understanding of the student experience on CommonLit and will have resources that they can share with students to help them navigate CommonLit seamlessly.

Length of Training: Approximately 25 minutes


CommonLit 101: Introduction to CommonLit for Administrators

Training Snapshot: In this brief training, administrators will learn the key benefits of CommonLit’s digital literacy program.

Length of Training: Approximately 10 minutes


CommonLit 101: Overview of CommonLit for Teachers

Training Snapshot: In this brief training, teachers will learn the basics of what resources and tools are available through CommonLit’s reading program.

Length of Training: Approximately 20 minutes

CommonLit Español

These trainings are designed to support Dual Language, ELL, and Spanish teachers who are looking to use CommonLit’s 500+ Spanish-language lessons.

CommonLit Español: Finding the Perfect Lesson from CommonLit’s Spanish Library

Training Snapshot: In this training, you will learn best practices for filtering and searching CommonLit’s Spanish library to find the perfect lesson.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, you will choose at least one text to add to your next unit.

Length of Training: Approximately 25 minutes


CommonLit Español: Planning Effective Lessons on CommonLit

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will share information about the lesson planning resources that come with each CommonLit Español text. Then, teachers will learn best practices for using those resources in a lesson.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will choose a reading passage from CommonLit Español and design a full lesson using CommonLit’s lesson planning resources.

Length of Training: Approximately 45 minutes


CommonLit Español: Supporting Spanish Language Learners in a Dual Language Classroom

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will demonstrate how CommonLit’s Spanish resources can be used to effectively scaffold instruction in a Spanish dual language classroom.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will create a scaffolded lesson plan for their Spanish Language Arts class.

Length of Training: Approximately 45 minutes

Advanced Lesson Planning Strategies

These trainings highlight a variety of advanced strategies for effectively utilizing CommonLit’s digital resources. Several of these trainings are designed specifically to support distance learning.

Scaffolding Reading Instruction Using CommonLit

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will review tips for using CommonLit’s digital platform to scaffold instruction. Teachers will learn more about how to promote the effective use of CommonLit’s Guided Reading Mode, text-to-speech tool, translation tool, digital annotations, and flexible assignment options.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will create a scaffolded lesson using CommonLit’s digital platform and tools.

Length of Training: Approximately 35 minutes


Turning Any CommonLit Lesson Into A Video Lesson

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will share a few strategies for how to record short videos that you can use to introduce CommonLit reading lessons. This training is ideal for distance learning or for teachers who use a flipped classroom model.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, you will produce a video that introduces a CommonLit reading lesson.

Length of Training: Approximately 45 minutes


Effectively Using CommonLit for Read-Aloud Lessons

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will review best practices for modeling a reading skill using a CommonLit text. Teachers will learn how to gradually release responsibility to students during a whole-class read-aloud and how to monitor students’ digital annotations.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will create a lesson plan for a read-aloud lesson that utilizes a text from CommonLit.

Length of Training: Approximately 50 minutes


Building CommonLit Lessons in Google Classroom

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will share information about CommonLit’s integration with Google Classroom. Teachers will learn how to use this integration to effectively manage instruction.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will create an effective lesson utilizing CommonLit’s integration with Google Classroom.

Length of Training: Approximately 50 minutes


Choosing CommonLit Lessons for Homework

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will focus on best practices for choosing texts from CommonLit’s library to assign for homework.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will strategically choose a CommonLit lesson to assign to their students for homework.

Length of Training: Approximately 25 minutes


Effectively Teaching One of CommonLit’s Distance Learning Units

Training Snapshot: In this training, you will learn best practices for selecting, previewing, assigning, and customizing instructional materials in CommonLit’s Distance Learning Units.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will identify one distance learning unit to use with students, develop a pacing plan, and map out the additional resources to create in order to make the unit effective.

Length of Training: Approximately 90 minutes

Advanced Strategies for Data-Driven Instruction

These trainings highlight a variety of best practices for utilizing CommonLit’s grading, feedback, and data tracking features to effectively monitor and promote student growth.

Effectively Administering and Analyzing Data from CommonLit’s Pre-Assessment

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will share strategies for assigning and proctoring CommonLit’s free Pre-Assessment. Then, we’ll review best practices for analyzing student data.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will create an effective plan for administering CommonLit’s Pre-Assessment and will understand strategies for analyzing assessment results.

Length of Training: Approximately 35 minutes


Reinforcing Strong Academic Writing with CommonLit

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will show teachers how to assign writing lessons, grade student work, give feedback, and review student writing progress over time.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will grade students’ writing for a recent assignment and provide targeted feedback.

Length of Training: Approximately 45 minutes


Using CommonLit Data to Determine Instructional Next Steps

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will review tips for tracking student data on CommonLit and share best practices for creating instructional next steps based on that data.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will analyze their own students’ data and then identify next steps to support students.

Length of Training: Approximately 35 minutes


Utilizing CommonLit Data for Action Planning with Students

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will share strategies for how to analyze CommonLit’s individual student data reports and strategies for using that data to have productive conversations with students.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will use CommonLit’s data reports to identify a student who is struggling. Then, teachers will plan out a data conversation with the goal of brainstorming strategies to help the student improve their grades.

Length of Training: Approximately 35 minutes


Using Data from CommonLit’s Interim Assessments to Drive Instruction

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will share information about how to access CommonLit Interim Assessment data. Then, teachers will learn best practices for using that data to inform daily instruction.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will know how to access and analyze their interim assessment data reports and choose targeted lessons from CommonLit’s digital library to remediate instruction.

Length of Training: Approximately 60 minutes

Family Engagement

Engaging with Families to Support Home Learning with CommonLit

Training Snapshot: In this training, we will share strategies and resources for engaging with families throughout the school year.

Training Outcomes: By the end of this training, teachers will understand the resources that CommonLit has developed to support at-home learning. Teachers will also create a plan for helping parents support their students when using CommonLit at home.

Length of Training: Approximately 30 minutes


Next Steps

If you would like to learn more about CommonLit’s Professional Development Portal, email partnerships@commonlit.org.

We are eager to support your team!