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Check It Out: Women’s History Month
The Check It Out series highlights the most popular texts on LightSail, around a specific monthly theme or topic, based on our user data. Every month we’ll share which books… Read more
Check It Out: Black History Month
The Check It Out series highlights the most popular texts on LightSail, around a specific monthly theme or topic, based on our user data. Every month we’ll share which books… Read more
Pro Tips for Supporting Beginning Readers
by Mitch Center, former Assistant Superintendent for Newark Public Schools Most kids want to grow up fast – they want to run before they’re steady on their feet walking, and… Read more
Check It Out: New Year, New Me
The Check It Out series highlights the most popular texts on LightSail, around a specific monthly theme or topic, based on our user data. Every month we’ll share which books… Read more
Get Merry! LightSail 4.2 Has Arrived
LightSail’s product team strives to create an intuitive and delightful experience to engage students and support teachers. They are committed to creating an app which allows every user to discover… Read more
Check It Out: December Holidays
The Check It Out series highlights the most popular texts on LightSail, around a specific monthly theme or topic, based on our user data. Every month we’ll share which books… Read more
Featured Teacher: Melissa Rice, Floyd B. Watson Elementary School
Melissa Rice remembers when most of her time and energy during the reading period was spent matching her 5th graders to the right book. “It used to be an arduous… Read more
Check It Out: Top 10 Titles for Thanksgiving
The Check It Out series highlights the most popular texts on LightSail, around a specific monthly theme or topic, based on our user data. Every month we’ll share which books… Read more
Keep Rolling! Explore LightSail’s Latest Features
LightSail’s product team strives to create an intuitive and delightful experience to engage students and support teachers. They are committed to creating an app which allows every user to discover… Read more
It’s Up to Us: 4 Ways Adults Can Influence the Reading Lives of Kids
by Mitch Center, former Assistant Superintendent for Newark Public Schools Young readers of every age are undeniably influenced by the adults in their lives: whether you’re a parent, teacher, uncle,… Read more
Check It Out: Top 15 Spooky Titles on LightSail
The Check It Out series highlights the most popular texts on LightSail based on our user data. Every month we’ll share which books LightSail readers can’t stop checking out. These… Read more
4 Ways Diagnostics Can Tell You Even More About Your Students
Christina Peña is a LightSail Instructional Coach. Her former students will attest that Christina loves data, class competitions, and Google Spreadsheets almost as much as she loves shoes (high heels… Read more
Four Standout Features in LightSail Version 4
LightSail’s product team strives to create an intuitive and delightful experience to engage students and support teachers. They are committed to creating an app which allows every user to discover… Read more
Featured Teacher: Arielle Walker, Denver Public Schools
Like most students, Arielle Walker’s technology-loving 4th graders were thrilled to start using iPads a few times a week during independent reading. Walker, who teaches at Barnum Elementary School in… Read more
Digital Reading Platforms Offer New Opportunities for Educators
by Mitch Center, former Assistant Superintendent for Newark Public Schools Since the time of one-room schoolhouses, and likely before that, educators at all levels have been hard pressed to know… Read more
Fostering 21st Century Readers
by Bonnie D. Houck, Ed.D. What does it mean to be a reader in the 21st century? Many studies indicate that reading print offers increased metacognition and comprehension over online… Read more
Featured Teacher: Laurie Guyon, Schuylerville Central School District
“IT’S BEEN EYE-OPENING TO SEE WHAT STUDENTS AT EVERY LEVEL ARE REALLY CAPABLE OF” Like many ELA classrooms around the country, Laurie Guyon’s 6th grade class has a variety of… Read more
Summer School Sets the Stage for Success
Find out how one New York City student discovered himself as a reader during an unexpected time in the school year. Jay* was an intrinsically bright student whose lack of… Read more
Rebooting Reading in Rockville Centre
In Rockville Centre, New York, students are excited about reading — and with good reason: since the district started using LightSail, they have just-right books at their fingertips and assessments… Read more
Digital Discussion Takes the Fear Out of Shakespeare
Daunting. Funny. Problematic. Brilliant. Confusing. Shakespeare’s language can bring any one of these adjectives to mind. The famously difficult prose has been known to bring straight-up fear to high school… Read more
5 Ways to Spot True Engagement
Engagement is the key to long-term success. Students who are excited about their own learning are more likely to put in the efforts required to see growth in the long… Read more
NY School Board Raves About LightSail
Students from Mineola Middle School in New York shared their experiences with LightSail at their district school board meeting on December 17th, 2015, and gave the adults a demonstration of… Read more
An Antidote to Test Prep Season
Lauren Bochicchio Beaver is a LightSail Instructional Coach who expends her boundless energy in LightSail classrooms around the country — and spends her free time trying out new workout classes!… Read more
5 Ways to Create a Class of Stamina Superstars
In What Really Matters for Struggling Readers (2012), Dr. Richard Allington discusses a “strong positive correlation between the amount of time teachers allot for silent reading during the school day… Read more
Digital Libraries For The Win!
As classroom teachers, we’ve all had “that student”: the one that questions everything you say; the one that doesn’t like writing; the one that makes you do a little cartwheel… Read more
Oops, I Gamified Literacy – And It Worked
My life’s focus has been to improve student literacy outcomes, and I take that mission very seriously. After years devoted to literacy work in schools, I helped design LightSail based… Read more
Déjà New: How Old-School Literacy Goes High Tech
As a teacher, literacy specialist, and school leader who went into ed tech, I often find that I am straddling two worlds. On one hand (foot?), I believe that well-designed… Read more
Yes Kids Can: Metacognition and the CCSS
Among all the attacks on the Common Core, the one that is the most offensive – and destructive – is the one that suggests that the standards are too high… Read more
Five Ways to Get Students Obsessed with Nonfiction
We all agree kids who read more read better, acquire greater vocabularies and have stronger critical thinking skills. But we must also acknowledge that what they read is of equal… Read more
Why I Love Diary of a Wimpy Kid – and You Should, Too
“You can hide that, right?” principals will earnestly inquire. “Ugh, I hate that book!” many teachers will say while swiping through the LightSail library. I get it, I do. I,… Read more
Yes, #WeNeedDiverseBooks – and #WeHaveDiverseBooks
I started my career as a teacher in the Bronx. I had a decrepit classroom library filled with tattered, outdated, culturally irrelevant titles, and independent reading suffered accordingly. Given how… Read more
Hi-lo Hits: Readers Rank Top 10 Most Popular
Isaiah was an over-aged 7th grader with a ponytail and eyebrow ring who generally flew below the radar in class – mostly he liked flirting with the girls and drawing… Read more
Teacherpreneurs Do It Better
I’ve noticed that, for a lot of educational technology, the technology part seems to have come first. I’m all for cool software – but most teachers don’t have time to… Read more
Poetry in the Classroom: Finding the Rhythm
April is National Poetry Month, but if your students are anything like mine were, it can be tough to get them excited about reading poetry. For most of us, our … Read more
Kids Compete to Read and Everyone Wins
To an outsider’s eye, independent reading in my 5th grade classroom may feel, at first, a bit like recess. Students dash into the room, retrieving iPads with the same enthusiasm… Read more
Creating Powerful and Passionate Readers
There was a shelf of books in our living room when I was growing up, and it contained all of my mom’s vintage Nancy Drew books. As a first grader… Read more
Insights for your ELA Classroom

We've gathered information on the topics educators ask us about most often. Each post is written to be insightful, practical and most of all, based on what we know works from our experiences with tens of thousands of classrooms across the country.

Trending Topics:

  • Going Digital & Your Literacy Strategy
  • Engaged Students in Data Driven Classrooms
  • How Formative Assessments Can Guide Instruction

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