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Best Common Core ELA Tools for High School

With elementary and middle school under their belts, high school students turn to mastering their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills in areas like textual analysis, narrative and research writing, persuasive argumentation, and student-led discussions, presentations, and projects. This collection of Common Core-aligned tools will help in teaching these skills, providing support for assigning texts, building and scaffolding lessons and writing projects, prompting classroom discussions, offering feedback on student work, and measuring learning outcomes.

 

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LearnZillion

Quality Common Core-aligned lessons with great modeling for teachers

Bottom line: An innovative way to enhance lessons and tailor learning for individual needs.

ReadWorks Digital

Research-based site makes it easy to assign, differentiate readings

Bottom line: An effective digital reinvention of the trusted ReadWorks platform that makes it simple to distribute and track high-quality reading assignments.

Quill

Let students do the writing to make grammar lessons more meaningful

Bottom line: Excellent opportunities for grammar and writing practice; teachers may need to tailor lessons to best fit into their own curriculum.

LightSail

Robust, full-featured reading app measures meaningful literacy gains

Bottom line: A powerful, well-designed literacy platform for developing engaged readers.

Newsela

Absorbing daily news stories offer kids just-right learning content

Bottom line: Up-to-date, high-interest articles meet students right at their level: Use this robust tool to bolster students' nonfiction reading practice.

StudySync

Superb ELA resource has comprehensive coverage, tons of supports

Bottom line: StudySync offers a complete core literacy program for secondary schools, making it easy to recommend, especially for teachers new to digital platforms.

Writable

Smart writing platform places focus on feedback and revision

Bottom line: While there's some room for improvement, this tool is rock-solid pedagogically and can be the engine of your classroom's writing process.

Actively Learn

Empowering social ereader keeps kids actively, independently engaged

Bottom line: Far beyond the average ereader, this tool helps students connect and stay engaged while teachers easily measure progress.

ThinkCERCA

Well-structured lessons encourage deep analysis, thoughtful writing

Bottom line: This is a ready-to-go, research-backed resource that focuses intently on CCSS-aligned and AP-level critical reading and writing skills.

CommonLit

Feature-rich literacy resource offers superb support for readers

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.

WordFlex Touch Dictionary

Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting

Bottom line: Dynamic, highly visual presentation makes learning new words exciting.

The Learning Network

Process current events through engaging NYT-style lens

Bottom line: From a trusted news organization with its finger on the pulse of the world, this free resource can be a reliable source of activities and ideas for current event discussions.

The Sports Network 2

Make news and build ELA skills with this cable sports show sim

Bottom line: It's a great blend of important cross-disciplinary critical reading skills and a fun newsroom context that'll show students how learning translates to working life.

Shakespeare In Bits: Macbeth iPad Edition

Multimedia shines in this elegant remix of an old classic

Bottom line: Engaging and supporting kids throughout, it breaks down Shakespearean language and brings the play to life.

Shakespeare's The Tempest for iPad

Explore Shakespeare's wild island in excellent, well-rounded reading app

Bottom line: Shakespeare's The Tempest for iPad packs a college-level course into an affordable iPad app.

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