TOP PICKS | 34 TOOLS

ELA Tools Aligned to Common Core Standards

Teachers tackling the ELA Common Core State Standards know how challenging it can be to adequately cover all the skills students need to master. It doesn't matter if you're teaching elementary, middle, or high school; each has its own challenges. Since the ELA CCSS were designed to better prepare students for success in school and life, they're extensive and require students to build and demonstrate deep reading and writing skills. There are tons of tools out there that claim to support the standards, but the tools on this list are specifically targeted at the CCSS and its unique framework. To this end, there are tools that'll help students develop foundational understanding of phonics or grammar as well as skills-building tools for textual analysis and supporting arguments with evidence. So whether you're looking for help with vocabulary-building or reading comprehension or writing clearly, we hope you'll find something on this list relevant and useful to you and your students.

HOMER Learn & Grow

Early learners follow an individualized path of skills and interests to gain literacy skills and more

Bottom Line: Top-notch phonics program effectively balances and guides students, but isn't as strong in non-literacy-related topics.

Grades: Pre-K–2
Price:
Free to try

Lexia Core5 Reading

Blended reading program offers individualized growth

Bottom Line: This is a research-backed blended reading platform that builds literacy skills and helps teachers plan and deliver targeted instruction in the classroom.

Grades: Pre-K–5
Price:
Paid

Literator

Handy app helps structure and track reading conferences

Bottom Line: Once teachers are all set up and organized, this can be a useful tool for conferencing and tracking student progress.

Grades: Pre-K–8
Price:
Free, Paid

ReadWriteThink

Free hub for literacy lessons aims to deepen learning, engagement

Bottom Line: This is a trustworthy site that teachers of all grades/subjects could find a way to use weekly for lessons or professional development.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

Lalilo

K–2 literacy program offers comprehensive, adaptive activities

Bottom Line: An easy-to-recommend tool thanks to its broad coverage of key skills and nice balance of student-driven and teacher-differentiated learning.

Grades: K–3
Price:
Free, Paid

Literably

Simple and useful reading fluency assessment tool frees up teacher time

Bottom Line: Some districts may find this to be a cost-effective, time-saving option for reading records.

Grades: K–7
Price:
Paid

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.

Grades: K–8
Price:
Free

Flocabulary

Delightful hip-hop-based site connects literacy to every content area

Bottom Line: This site's content is savvy enough to keep students focused, and teachers will love the flexible options for deepening learning.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free to try

Freckle

Standards-aligned, adaptive, core subject materials with lots of support

Bottom Line: It's rich with content-aligned assessments, worksheets, and progress analytics, so mindful teachers will find it a valuable resource to promote skills mastery through practice.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

ReadTheory

Useful if not exciting adaptive tool for assessing reading ability

Bottom Line: It's very utilitarian, but what it does it does well: getting students test-ready by effectively assessing and tracking reading ability.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

ReadWorks

Differentiate reading instruction with high-quality texts and lessons

Bottom Line: The quality and scope of texts, lesson plans, assessments, and supports on this platform can help facilitate online or offline targeted reading instruction in nearly any home or classroom.

Grades: K–12
Price:
Free

826 Digital

Popular after-school program shares its resources with teachers

Bottom Line: This is a worth-bookmarking resource thanks to relatable writing lessons and motivating examples of actual student writing.

Grades: 1–12
Price:
Free

LightSail

Powerful, flexible reading tool measures meaningful literacy gains

Bottom Line: A powerful literacy platform for developing and empowering readers, with useful customization features for both teachers and students.

Grades: 1–12
Price:
Free to try

Quill

Let students do the writing to make grammar lessons more meaningful

Bottom Line: This tool offers excellent opportunities for grammar and writing practice, well-tailored to students' abilities and needs.

Grades: 1–12
Price:
Free, Paid

News-O-Matic EDU

Daily news stories and supplements keep elementary schoolers current

Bottom Line: This highly useful current events platform can be a daily fixture of elementary school classrooms.

Grades: 2–6
Price:
Free to try

TeachingBooks.net

Comprehensive site collects resources on authors and books in one place

Bottom Line: This rich database of literary resources is a must-bookmark for teachers looking to extend learning experiences with books and their authors.

Grades: Pre-K–12
Price:
Free, Paid

Biblionasium

Site for reviewing and sharing books makes reading a social adventure

Bottom Line: This safe, simple social network lets kids share their reading success with friends, creating healthy competition and confidence.

Grades: 2–8
Price:
Free, Paid

Grammaropolis.com

Catchy parts-of-speech instruction, from hook to assessment

Bottom Line: The fun songs will stick, and so will kids' knowledge about the parts of speech.

Grades: 2–10
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Newsela

Great stories, just-right leveled reading; now mostly by subscription

Bottom Line: Up-to-date, high-interest articles will meet students right at their level, and help teachers bolster students' nonfiction reading skills.

Grades: 2–12
Price:
Free, Paid

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.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free

ThinkCERCA

Structured literacy program inspires deep analysis, thoughtful writing

Bottom Line: This is an expertly scaffolded and pedagogically sound resource for developing critical reading and writing skills.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Paid

Writable

Stellar program scaffolds the writing process with peer review and feedback

Bottom Line: This is an intelligently structured tool for teaching writing and review that focuses on process as much as product.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free to try

Readorium

Science and reading come together in aging but effective platform

Bottom Line: There's not much out there that focuses specifically on reading science texts, so if your students can get past the dated design, this could be a handy tool to turn to.

Grades: 4–8
Price:
Free to try

Actively Learn

Empowering reader invites students to read with purpose

Bottom Line: Far beyond the average e-reader, this tool helps students connect with texts and each other while giving teachers useful insight into student thinking.

Grades: 3–12
Price:
Free, Paid

iTooch 6th Grade Language Arts

Quality lessons, challenging quizzes help kids learn core concepts

Bottom Line: This solid companion to the ELA classroom offers brief lessons and quizzes to reinforce key concepts and skills.

Grades: 5–8
Price:
Free to try, Paid

Quandary

Slick ethics game teaches students to make tough decisions

Bottom Line: This versatile game that can teach ethics, argumentation, and civics is light on interactivity but will come alive through discussion.

Grades: 5–8
Price:
Free

Read to Lead

Realistic games provide career-based practice for ELA and SEL skills

Bottom Line: A great middle school choice for integrating literacy skills with real-life scenarios and careers.

Grades: 5–9
Price:
Free

Amplify Reading 6-8

Supplemental reading program puts sci-fi twist on core ELA concepts

Bottom Line: This is a creative, thoughtfully built program that, while a bit contrived, could slot well into many classrooms with some scaffolding.

Grades: 6–8
Price:
Paid

Listenwise

Bring real-world stories from public radio into the classroom

Bottom Line: A fantastic resource that brings both historical and current event public radio stories into the classroom.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free to try, Paid

StudySync

Superb ELA resource features engaging activities, stellar support

Bottom Line: An exceptional, ever-growing resource for helping your students become close readers, careful writers, and critical thinkers.

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free to try

Wordflex Touch Dictionary

Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting

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

Grades: 6–12
Price:
Free, Paid

The Learning Network

High-powered news site offers daily resource to process current events

Bottom Line: Driven by 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.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free

Youth Voices

Aging online community hosts authentic student writing

Bottom Line: With some patience and understanding, this could be a good space for supporting healthy student expression.

Grades: 7–12
Price:
Free

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.

Grades: 9–12
Price:
Paid

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