Website review by Amy Lauren Botula, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2021

Quill

Let students do the writing to make grammar lessons more meaningful

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 67 reviews
Privacy rating
63%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
1–12
Subjects & Skills
English-Language Learning, English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration

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Pros: Since exercises get students writing, they feel authentic and help to cement skills. Seeing strong sentence examples after completing your own is a nice touch.

Cons: The resource library could be deeper. Activities can become rote if not tailored to students' needs.

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

Using Quill Diagnostic is a great place to begin, especially with the recent additions of leveled ELL assessments and pre-AP and AP English surveys. Once students' needs are determined, mix and match Quill Connect (sentence combining) with Quill Grammar (writing mechanics) to support daily warm-ups, whole-class instruction, small-group work, or independent practice. The activity packs in Quill Lessons (writing collaboratively) and Quill Proofreader (editing passages) can serve as mini-lessons for whole-class writing workshops, particularly for older and more proficient students. Create your own activity packs to integrate into your curriculum or use the ones provided. Either way, the experience can be individualized. Students can log in at any time to see what you've assigned. Also, if your students have consistent access outside of school, consider assigning lessons as homework.

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Quill is a website for interactive grammar and writing practice and development. It features hundreds of activities organized into five separate "tools":

  • Quill Diagnostic: Activities designed to assess students' skills and help guide them toward activities at their level
  • Quill Lessons: Slides designed for whole-class and small-group instruction featuring writing prompts, discussion topics, and independent practice
  • Quill Connect: Sentence writing activities that help students form more complex sentences
  • Quill Grammar: Sentence writing activities focused on developing key grammar skills
  • Quill Proofreader: Expository passages that students proofread and fix

All of the tools align to Common Core skills and often offer differentiation for ELL, pre-AP, and AP English students. In the teacher dashboard, teachers can create a classroom, add students, and then assign diagnostics, single activities, or entire units/activity packs to individual students, small groups, or a whole class. An optional Premium upgrade adds more detailed reporting.

Quill gives teachers instant access to the kinds of grammar and writing lessons they've usually had to create: authentic writing activities targeting Common Core-aligned concepts. With Quill, the icing on top is that the lessons are adaptive, and students get immediate, instructive feedback as they work through the application. Feedback alerts students to both correct and incorrect examples of usage, and sentence activities include multiple examples of good answers. This helps to alleviate the frustration of simplistic (correct or incorrect) feedback found in other tools, and effectively models success. Paired with the diagnostics, Quill can place students in a good spot for their development and then put them on a path to building their skills. And given the range of grade-level lessons, your students can grow into these exercises as they become more proficient with reading and typing. Of course, it'd always be nice to have more, and there's room for a larger library of activities.

While Quill's tools for assessing good writing are sound in general, the fact that accurate spelling and capitalization factor into students' scores could be good or bad. While these are important foundational skills, this specificity could obscure more important reasons why a particular student is struggling, especially at lower grade levels. Using Quill's dashboard, however, will help. Teachers can view color-coded mastery indicators for students' work -- green for proficient, orange for nearly proficient, red for not yet proficient -- and then click through to see their responses in detail.

Overall Rating

Engagement

The instant feedback on writing will appeal to some students, and the adaptive learning should keep them challenged and progressing.

Pedagogy

Diagnostics help tailor activities to students' developmental needs. Activities get students to write actual sentences and then receive feedback. Reports are solid, allowing teachers to easily track students' proficiency.

Support

Exercises are adaptive and can be retaken multiple times. Recent improvements on accessibility include supporting the use of major screen readers, increasing each page to 300%, and providing translation in other languages.


Common Sense reviewer

Community Rating

(See all 67 reviews) (67 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Allison C. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Hannah Senesh Community Day School
Brooklyn, United States
Great resource for grammar, typing, and spelling.
Overall, I have enjoyed using Quill. One particular aspect that is important to me is that students don't simply select and click on answers; they must retype sentences, filling in the correct answer. This element, in my opinion, is crucial to deeper learning, as students have to reconstruct sentences themselves, simultaneously checking for spelling, spacing, and punctuation. Though this can be frustrating for some students (the program will say, "Check your spelling"), it's a helpful exercise for stude ...
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Personal information is displayed publicly.
User-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
Ads & Tracking
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Unclear whether data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
Unclear whether this product displays behavioral or targeted advertising.

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