CommonLit Archive A Peek Inside CommonLit's Plan to Raise Student Achievement

At CommonLit, our dedicated team of educators is committed to raising student achievement and ensuring that all students are on a path to college and career readiness. In fewer than 3 years, our digital library has grown to over 1,500 lessons, we’ve developed lessons in both English and Spanish, and we’ve expanded to serve grades 3–12.

As our team looks to the future, we are in the process of taking the next giant leap forward. Our team believes that in order to have a truly profound impact on student learning, we must develop resources and digital tools that make it easier for teachers to teach an amazing lesson, set of lessons, or unit.

CommonLit does not want to embark on this work alone. Based on experience, we know that the best curriculum and software development occurs when we have the opportunity to work closely with school leaders, coaches, teachers, and students. So far this school year, we have begun developing and iterating upon a high school curriculum that is being used in several schools and districts across the country.

In the upcoming school year, our team plans to begin development on a middle school curriculum. Our goal is to work with roughly 5–10 middle schools that are interested in piloting and providing feedback on these curricular resources.

Below, I’ve listed some of the values, mindsets, and curricular beliefs that guide our team and the work that we’re doing:

A belief that differentiated instruction is vital to student growth

The CommonLit team does not believe that all student learning should take place on a computer or that every student should be on a full self-guided experience.

However, CommonLit does believe that different students need different supports and tools to learn effectively. CommonLit is interested in working with schools that are interested in developing digital tools, lesson scaffolds, and specialized curriculum that raise that bar for all students.

A belief that all students can excel in English when they’re provided with the background knowledge needed to access the core curriculum

Our team believes that one of the greatest barriers to student learning is a lack of domain-specific background knowledge.

Take To Kill a Mockingbird as an example; Harper Lee’s masterpiece is both one of the most commonly taught and critically acclaimed novels in American history. However, the nuance and power of the book is often totally lost on students who don’t have a working understanding of The Great Depression or the Jim Crow era.

To remedy this, CommonLit is excited about the opportunity to create innovative opportunities for students to build the background knowledge that students often lack.

A middle school student taking part in a class discussion at one of CommonLit’s current partner schools, District of Columbia International School

A belief that collaboration and teamwork lead to better results

CommonLit believes that the best partnerships are ones that are truly collaborative. The best content or digital tools that CommonLit has built come from tons of brainstorming, on-site testing, educator feedback, and student observations.

To this end, CommonLit is looking to work deeply with schools, at no cost. Our team simply aims to work with enthusiastic partners who are excited to build free curricular solutions that will improve the lives of teachers and students.

Set up a call to learn more

If you and your team share these values and you’re excited to learn more about how the CommonLit team can support your work, please schedule a short meeting with me by clicking here.