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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.

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HOMER Reading: Learn to Read

A captivating, comprehensive beginning reading resource

Bottom line: Concrete phonics learning alongside books, songs, storytelling, and art.

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.

ReadWriteThink

Excellent free resource for all things reading and writing

Bottom line: A language arts teacher's dream; lesson plans, professional development, and all-around quality support.

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.

Lexia Reading Core5

Interactive reading program promotes targeted, individualized growth

Bottom line: A good blended reading platform that offers students some choices, and teachers actionable data and useful offline resources.

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.

Flocabulary

Delightful hip-hop-based platform teaches vocab across content areas

Bottom line: Flocabulary has the goods: It's savvy enough to keep kids focused, and teachers will love the engaging, multi-modal platform.

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.

Freckle

Target skills and differentiate with dynamic practice and assessments

Bottom line: Rich with content-aligned assessments, printable worksheets, and progress analytics; mindful teachers will find it a valuable resource to promote skills mastery through practice.

ReadTheory

Useful, adaptive tool for assessing, tracking 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.

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 targeted reading instruction in any classroom.

VocabularySpellingCity

Subscription-based, student-facing app fine for independent practice

Bottom line: A potentially more engaging -- although uneven -- option for your students, if you've got a Premium membership.

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.

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.

LightSail Education

Robust, full-featured reading app measures meaningful literacy gains

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

News-O-Matic: School 2018-2019

Flexible, interactive daily stories for elementary school students

Bottom line: Engaging, high-quality news stories help students learn about the world.

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.

TeachingBooks.net

Dense site collects resources on authors and books in one place

Bottom line: With time and effort, this database of literary resources can extend learning experiences with books and their authors.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 reader keeps kids actively, independently engaged

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

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.

Community in Crisis

Game shows real-world uses for literacy and decision-making skills

Bottom line: A clever, real-world, and civic-minded context to learn and practice ELA skills.

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.

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.

StudySync

Superb ELA/EL resource is a complete package

Bottom line: StudySync continues to thoughtfully grow its already robust platform, offering a complete secondary ELA/EL program that cleverly bridges reading and writing, online and offline work.

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.

Youth Voices

Vibrant online community hosts authentic student writing

Bottom line: Supported student writing, collaboration, and communication make this a healthy space for kids to express themselves.

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.

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.

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