App of the Week: Education’s best digital library

Feature-rich literacy resource offers superb support for readers.

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

CommonLit is a free digital library of leveled texts — news articles, poems, short stories, and historical documents. You can filter collections by grade level, Lexile level, theme, genre, literary device, and even Common Core State Standards. Every passage includes footnotes with vocabulary words and essential background information. An adaptive-technology-type toolbar for online reading includes a dictionary, a highlighter, text-to-speech functionality, and translation features for 13 languages.

Price: Free

Grades: 5-12

Rating: 5/5

Pros: Leveled texts and adaptive tools make it easy to tailor the reading experience for every student.

Cons: Students will need some help to get the most out of the toolbar.

Bottom line: Access a hefty collection of reliable, ready-to-print, leveled passages that allow you to tailor lessons, assign online reading, and track progress.

Meris Stansbury

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