Supporting skills growth while providing students with sufficient ELA test practice can be overwhelming, but a strong online ELA program can help teachers balance these priorities.
As an English teacher, it can be a challenge to help students develop the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills they need to succeed both on standardized ELA tests and in their future educational and professional pursuits.
Fortunately, from test-aligned diagnostic assessments and progress reports to authentic ELA test practice questions and writing activities, there are a variety of tools and resources that make test prep more effective and less stressful. Below, we run through a few popular ELA test prep websites that you can use to build student skills and support improved test performance.
CommonLit Library is a free online ELA program that delivers a vast collection of leveled texts. Teachers are able to browse texts by grade level, genre, literary device, theme, and more. CommonLit texts are highly accessible to students of all skill levels and needs, as every selection is available in online and printable PDF formats, features background information and explanations of difficult vocabulary words, and includes text-to-speech and translation functionalities.
CommonLit provides teachers with several ways to keep students engaged as they read. Teachers can assign the assessment and discussion questions that accompany each text (questions that mirror those students see on standardized ELA tests), turn on CommonLit’s Guided Reading Mode (which poses comprehension questions as students read), or ask students to utilize the program’s inline highlighting and annotating feature.
i-Ready offers an array of reading programs that are tailored to students in grades K-8. Its products help students work on everything from reading basics like phonetics to complex reading skills like evaluating arguments. i-Ready’s lessons are aligned with Common Core standards and state standards, ensuring the reading skills students master will be similar to the ones assessed by most common standardized tests.
Because student reading levels tend to vary widely, i-Ready makes it easy for teachers to evaluate student strengths and opportunities for growth and assign differentiated work as needed. It also gives teachers access to a large library of pre-designed lessons that they can use to supplement the learning students are doing online.
Lexia® PowerUp Literacy®
PowerUp Literacy is designed to boost reading proficiency among students in grades 6-12, making it an appropriate tool for both middle school ELA test prep and high school ELA test prep. Its adaptive exercises help teachers address skills gaps in three areas:
- Word study: Exercises build reading accuracy and fluency by emphasizing practice on sound and syllable patterns.
- Grammar: Exercises focus on the functions of parts of speech and the meaning conveyed by distinct sentence sections.
- Comprehension: Exercises include passages from a variety of genres that are aimed at helping students become strategic readers.
The tool’s reporting features enable educators to view skills progress against Common Core standards as well as a small selection of state standards. PowerUp Literacy is one of several Lexia products focused on reading, and can be paired with Core5® Reading (for PK-5 students), English Language Development™ (for emergent bilingual students), and RAPID™ Assessment (for in-depth assessment in grades K-12) for a more comprehensive experience.
NoRedInk’s free online writing and grammar curriculum provides extensive resources for driving student growth and preparing students to meet state and national standards and excel on standardized tests. NoRedInk helps educators with multiple steps of the ELA test prep process, including:
- Identifying individual student needs: NoRedInk offers Planning Diagnostics that are aligned with Common Core standards and each state’s standards. These diagnostics give teachers critical insight into test readiness and broader learning needs.
- Backing instruction with mastery-based practice: NoRedInk skills exercises are aligned with key state and national ELA tests, making it easy for teachers to assign targeted, high-impact work.
- Supporting the development of writing proficiency: NoRedInk’s scaffolded practice essays guide students step by step through the writing process. As student proficiency increases, teachers can use NoRedInk’s unscaffolded essays to mirror the test-taking experience. Both these essay types include released prompts from past state and national tests, providing students with exposure to real standardized test examples.
- Evaluating student growth: NoRedInk data dashboards enable teachers to view student progress toward mastery of specific skills evaluated by state and national tests.
- Differentiating learning: NoRedInk facilitates differentiation across skills practice and writing activities. From assigning exercises based on student performance data to adjusting which parts of an essay each student must complete, teachers are able to efficiently create unique learning experiences.
Whether you’re looking for a way to keep students engaged as they learn key writing and grammar skills or you’re looking for an online application specifically for ELA test prep, NoRedInk’s adaptive exercises and flexible design will support your priorities.
Sign up for free today to get access to thousands of writing and grammar activities spanning hundreds of topics!