CommonLit Best Practices What Are Common Teaching Methods Used By Teachers That Boost Classroom Engagement?

CommonLit is on a mission to empower educators to better support their students by optimizing teaching practices. Through CommonLit’s online digital literacy program, teachers gain access to thousands of high-quality texts and comprehension questions.

We will highlight three common teaching methods that are research-backed and share how teachers can implement them using CommonLit's program. These methods have the power to transform teachers' lesson plans and boost classroom engagement for all students. By adopting these teaching methods, teachers can create an exciting classroom environment that keeps students eager to learn.

Teaching Method 1: Differentiated instruction and scaffolding

Differentiating instruction is a powerful common teaching method used by teachers to tailor instruction to individual students’ needs. Teachers can provide different levels of support depending on students’ learning styles and current abilities.  

One effective way to differentiate instruction is through scaffolding. Scaffolding is a teaching technique that provides students with temporary support as they learn a new concept or skill, gradually helping them become independent learners.

CommonLit offers Guided Reading Mode to help teachers differentiate instruction. This feature, available on every CommonLit lesson, incorporates scaffolded comprehension questions which teachers can enable for individual students or whole classrooms as needed. These multiple choice questions act as crucial checkpoints to help students monitor their own understanding of the text.

Here is an example of what students’ screens look like with Guided Reading Mode enabled:

Student view of a Guiding Question with a CommonLit text

In addition to Guided Reading Mode, CommonLit’s Related Media resources are a useful tool for differentiated learning. These multimedia resources, which come with each lesson in CommonLit’s library, are chosen to enhance students' comprehension. Teachers can incorporate Related Media into their lessons to build background knowledge before reading or extend learning after reading. Each Related Media recommendation comes with suggested discussion questions that teachers can use to promote student talk. By incorporating a variety of media such as audio clips, videos, and podcasts, teachers can offer an interactive and engaging learning experience that encourages collaboration among students.

Related Media Tab on CommonLit’s website

Teaching Method 2: Blended learning

Blended learning is a common teaching model that incorporates both print and digital mediums. It offers flexibility and convenience for teachers and enhanced learning for students.

With CommonLit, teachers can download and print any CommonLit lesson or assign lessons directly on our digital platform. When using the digital platform, CommonLit provides students with the option to annotate, translate, or listen to the text being read aloud.

A reading lesson with a question that could be assigned to a student digitally or printed.

Teachers can learn more about effectively using CommonLit for blended learning in the CommonLit Professional Development Portal.  The Professional Development Portal is available for purchase with our affordable school support packages.

Teaching Method 3: Using a rigorous and standards-aligned curriculum

In a rigorous, standards-aligned curriculum, the content and learning objectives are designed to meet the specific requirements and expectations outlined in state standards and are supported by research-backed instructional practices.

CommonLit provides just that with CommonLit 360. CommonLit’s curriculum fosters academic growth through high-quality texts, lessons, and assignments that grow progressively more challenging throughout the year. After using CommonLit 360, teachers reported that students were highly engaged in learning and felt a strong sense of belonging in class. One teacher stated “My students have NEVER been more engaged in reading. They don’t dread ELA class…because they know it’s going to be of high interest.”

CommonLit 360 is free for all teachers to use. However, for schools and districts, CommonLit offers paid features to help teachers leverage the curriculum effectively. Our School Essentials PRO Plus package provides valuable support, like Professional Development, Unit Skills Assessments, and school wide data.

CommonLit 360 Units

Next Steps

If you are interested in implementing these common teaching methods into your classroom or learning more about CommonLit’s resources, you can sign up for a CommonLit webinar for an opportunity to learn more about CommonLit’s comprehensive program.

Or, if you are interested in leveraging CommonLit with our affordable, paid packages, get in contact with our team.