CommonLit Archive Data-Driven Instruction with CommonLit

“Year-end tests are autopsies, not assessments: they explain what went wrong after it is too late to change course.” — Paul Bambrick-Santoyo in Leveraging Leadership

At CommonLit, we believe that teachers and administrators should be given the tools to play an active and continuous role in measuring student growth and in identifying areas for student improvement. To make this possible, schools need high-quality quarterly assessments and formative data that provide clear action steps.

To give administrators and teachers the data points needed to make effective instructional decisions for students, CommonLit has created two solutions — CommonLit Interim Assessments and CommonLit Formative Insights.

CommonLit Interim Assessments

CommonLit Interim Assessments have a few key features that make them valid and high-quality.

Tightly Aligned to TNReady

Each assessment includes 20–25 questions. Assessments include one literary passage, two paired informational texts, and an explanatory or argumentative writing prompt.

The multiple choice items are aligned to state standards and the style of the questions closely mimic the style of the items on TNReady. For example, students encounter Part A / Part B questions, multi-select questions, and questions that require students to analyze paired passages. After students have read a paired set of informational texts, students are asked to respond to an explanatory or argumentative writing prompt.

10th grade questions that students can expect to see on a CommonLit Interim Assessment.
These are sample standards-aligned 10th grade questions that students can expect to see on a CommonLit Interim Assessment.

Multiple Opportunities to Track Student Progress

Students in grades 3–12 have the opportunity to take up to three CommonLit Interim Assessments throughout the school year. This schedule of tests gives administrators, teachers, and students the ability to track overall and standards-based performance from quarter to quarter.

Data table showing student performance by grade level
CommonLit Interim Assessments allow administrators to track student progress.

Standardized Across the District

In an era where teachers have the ability to collect copious amounts of data, we believe it’s vital to have several data points throughout the year that are standard throughout a school or district.

CommonLit Interim Assessments are designed to be administered as a common assessment across each grade. This design gives school leaders the chance to identify which grades, sections, and/or teachers are having the most success and which cohorts need additional support.

Bar graph showing comparative overall performance by grade
CommonLit Interim Assessments make it easy to compare student performance by school, grade, class, or student.

CommonLit Formative Insights

While CommonLit Interim Assessments are great for rigorous performance comparisons on items similar to those that students will experience on TNReady, CommonLit Formative Insights is ideal for monitoring how students fare on daily lessons. With this tool, administrators can track teacher and student usage and performance on CommonLit’s digital library of free lessons. This tool also gives school leaders and instructional coaches the chance to lead effective Data-Driven Instruction cycles with their teams.

CommonLit lesson for “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
CommonLit’s free digital library includes over 1,500 reading lessons for students in grades 3–12. Each lesson comes complete with high-quality standards-aligned questions and resources for teachers.

Monitoring Classroom Trends

CommonLit’s digital library includes a robust assortment of over 1,500 lessons. These lessons range from a 3rd through 12th grade reading level and cover many different genres, topics, and themes. Each reading passage in the CommonLit library includes approximately 5–8 standards-aligned text-dependent questions and gives teachers the opportunity to collect formative data after reading.

With access to CommonLit’s formative tracking tools, teachers and administrators can closely monitor trends, set goals for students, and adjust instruction to better meet the needs of all learners.

Student Performance dashboard on
CommonLit’s formative data dashboards make it easy for school leaders to closely monitor student learning.

Next Steps

The CommonLit team is eager to support you. To learn more about rolling out CommonLit in your school or district, connect with our team!