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Reading Apps and Websites [Open Source]

CommonLit [Intensive reading]

Feature-rich literacy resource offers superb support for readers.

Free, browser based, for Grades 3-12.

Common Sense Education Review [5 stars]

CommonLit is a treasure trove of literary resources that teachers can use to build lessons that target students' reading needs. Use the robust search and filter tool to explore texts by themes like America, Education, Family, and Friendship, Prejudice and Discrimination, Resilience, and Growing Up. Or, search by genre or literary device. Looking for a specific grade or Lexile level passage? Use that filter. Need to pair it with an emerging or challenging text? Click the Paired Text tab. Teachers pressed for time can skip to the Text Set filter and select one of the 50 options organized by historical period or literary movement and find a variety of texts at a variety of reading levels -- news stories, articles, speeches, poetry, and short stories -- ready to use.

Read the full REVIEW.

From Experience:

Pros:

  • Extensive range of texts covering all text types, themes, genres and topical information. Could be used in English and HASS classes.
  • Most effective when used online but PDF copies of comprehension quizes are available.
  • Pre-assessment test made available at the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere school year. Self marks all multiple choice questions.
  • Great analytics available on individual students or classes.
  • Teachers allocate reading passages and control use in guided reading mode. All passages have a suggested reading grade level.
  • Students can annotate texts as they read. An audio track is also available for some passages. Additional resources (e.g. video clips) provided for each passage.

Cons: 

  • It is intended to be managed by classroom teachers. Teachers need to be sufficiently interested/committed to manage the student interaction.
  • Library staff need to use a generic account to also be able to access the classes.
  • An American site, so not much Australian literature. You can suggest texts to be included. 

Take a look inside [4 slides]

Introductory Video