Schools & Districts 12 Reasons Administrators Love CommonLit

Black and white photo of students raising hands during a CommonLit reading lesson.

Everything you need to know to bring CommonLit to your district

With so many literacy programs on the market, it can be hard to find the right one. To make the decision process a bit easier, we’ve compiled the top 12 reasons why CommonLit is the ideal program for your literacy team that administrators will love.

Reason 1: CommonLit Has Great Reading Passages from Real Authors

CommonLit has an extensive digital library of over 3,000 English reading passages and over 800 Spanish reading passages, which are full of authentic texts of all genres and are free for teachers and students. Our library includes reading passages from famous authors including Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Martin Luther King Jr., Gary Soto, Malcolm Gladwell, Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez. When teachers use CommonLit, students read culturally relevant texts that are thought-provoking and meaningful.

Reason 2: CommonLit 360 is a Comprehensive and Easy-to-Use Curriculum

Our new, comprehensive CommonLit 360 ELA Curriculum for grades 6–12 embodies the perfect combination of evidence-based teaching practices and features ELA texts students and teachers love.

Each unit is centered around an engaging Essential Question and comes complete with high quality reading, writing, vocabulary, and discussion lessons. All units are available in both digital and printable formats!

Screenshot of CommonLit 360 Curriculum Library for Grade 6
Throughout the curriculum, students engage with many thought-provoking topics like the benefits of failure, and the perils of blindly following others.

Reason 3: 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 4: CommonLit Actually Works for Kids

Data in a bar graph shows students who use CommonLit more experience more gains on CommonLit assignments.
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 ELA 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 their students, you can be confident that it’s a reading program that will actually drive reading growth.

Reason 5: 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 teachers 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 reading comprehension question. This is a great method for increasing student independence and metacognition skills in preparation for assessments.

If students need additional scaffolding, we have built a toolbar to make our lessons more accessible. The toolbar includes text-to-speech, translation in over 30 languages, and a digital annotation tool that your students can learn how to use in seconds.

Reason 6: CommonLit is Perfect for Blended Learning

CommonLit’s lessons exist in both a printable and digital format. This means that the curriculum will be able to work in every classroom across your school or district. CommonLit is a comprehensive solution that will prevent you from having to purchase both a digital and print curriculum.

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

Reason 7: CommonLit is also 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 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 nonfiction text sets.

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

Reason 8: CommonLit has Hundreds of Spanish-language Reading Passages

CommonLit’s Spanish library includes 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!

Student view of a CommonLit Spanish reading lesson, including: a poem, standards-aligned questions, and digital tools.
One of CommonLit’s Spanish reading lessons.

Reason 9: Integrations with Google, Clever, and Canvas Make Onboarding & CommonLit Use Hassle-Free

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

With Clever, roster management is seamless for districts. When class rosters change and new semesters begin, rosters are automatically updated so you’ll never have to worry about changing or adding individual accounts. Learn more about how CommonLit makes it easy to roster your students.

We also provide integration with Canvas as part of our School Essentials PRO package. CommonLit’s Canvas integration is a powerful time-saver that teachers will love. This integration includes 3 key benefits. First, teachers can seamlessly import their classes from Canvas to CommonLit. Second, students can complete assigned CommonLit lessons directly from their Canvas account. Third, teachers can send student grades from CommonLit assignments back to their Canvas gradebook.

Reason 10: On-Demand Professional Development

In 2020, CommonLit launched its Professional Development Portal for all school and district partners.

This portal includes over 60 on-demand trainings that focus on best teaching practices for using CommonLit’s digital tools and lessons. The 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.

In addition to trainings that help teachers get started with CommonLit’s digital program, we offers trainings on advanced lesson planning, data driven instruction, and parent engagement.

Click here to check out CommonLit’s full menu of trainings!

Reason 11: The CommonLit Assessment Series Makes Progress Monitoring Easy

The CommonLit Assessment Series is a great option for school and district administrators who are looking to use data-driven instruction and closely monitor students’ progress and identify gaps in student learning. These high-quality growth assessments are easy-to-use, tightly aligned to grade-level standards, and designed to give administrators and teachers the actionable data they need to make effective instructional decisions.

Read more about the CommonLit Assessment Series here!

Schools and districts can access this assessment package with the purchase CommonLit School Essentials PRO.

Student looks at CommonLit progress tab on 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.

CommonLit has built a close partnership with Blount County Schools in Tennessee. Terri Bradshaw, the district’s Secondary Literacy Coach, really appreciates her team’s partnership with CommonLit:

“The CommonLit team has been amazing … You have been more than helpful. The response time has been really fast for any technical questions or ideas about new features.”


Next Steps

CommonLit is eager to support your team!

If you’re interested in learning more about how your team can fully utilize commonlit.org or are interested in learning about the benefits of the School Essentials or School Essentials PRO packages, please email partnerships@commonlit.org.

Two CommonLit employees enjoy a conversation.

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