Best Digital Assignments of 2015


With over 11,000 assignments in Edcite’s assignments library, it can be difficult choosing which ones to use with your students. We decided to chip in, and analyzed which assignments were most popular this last year. Check out the assignments below, and please share them with the other educators you know!



Grade Level Assignment Name Share URL

(To share this assignment with friends and colleagues!)

K Long vowels vs. short vowels
1 Penguin Babies
2 Baby Bao Bao
3 Grade 3 Fable: The Lion and the Mouse
4 Excerpt From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer×19
5 Too Much Soda
6 Figurative Language Practice
7 Nonfiction Article — the Kudzu Plant
8 The Black Pearl
9-12 Batman Begins Learning Parallel Structure
Maya Angelou — Reading Informational Text
The Tell-Tale Heart Part 1

Social Studies


Grade Level Assignment Name Share URL

(To share this assignment with friends and colleagues!)

4 Archaeology Pair — Grade 4
5 Sequencing Lesson — Multiple Passages — Segregation + Civil Rights
6 Timelines
7 Democracy in America: the Women’s Rights Movement
8 Patrick Henry
9-12 Gettysburg Address
Kennedy Space Speech
Gains of the Great Depression




Grade Level Assignment Name Share URL

(To share this assignment with friends and colleagues!)

K Sorting and Counting
1 Reading Graphs — Measurement and Data
2 Number Sentences
3 SBAC Practice Test
4 Basic Fractions Formative #1
5 Performance Task — Fractions — Grade 5 — Numbers and Operations
6 SBAC Practice Test
7 SBAC Practice Test
8 Math 8 Slope + Linear Equations
9-12 Exponential Functions
Int Math 1
Working With Slope



Grade Level Assignment Name Share URL
3 Respiratory System — Speaking + Listening
4 Grade 4 Force and Motion Unit Assessment
5 Ecosystem Review
6 – 8 Volcanoes
Universe & Space Quiz
Cell Diagrams
9-12 Early Stage of Automobiles
Sickle Cell Anemia + Evolution

Read On: Edcite’s New Passage Library

Since Edcite began, we’ve heard a clear need from teachers for more free, high-quality digital literacy tools. Teachers have voiced that they love Edcite because it’s a great platform for creating reading-based assignments, even if you’re teaching Spanish or Biology. But we wanted more for our teachers. We wanted more free texts for our teachers, including texts specifically designed to help struggling readers and English Learning Learners (ELLs). And we wanted our teachers to easily add these texts to the assignments they create.

And so we let these motivations guide us and we built our very own passage library. We’ve gathered dozens of passages for different subjects, grade levels, and lexile ranges. We’ve partnered with an incredible non-profit Story Shares, which works to bridge literacy gaps, providing relevant and readable texts to struggling readers in middle school, high school, and beyond.

Here is some more passage library information:

About The Passage Library

  • Contains dozens of passages, for subjects like STEM, History, Math, Psychology, and Civics.
  • Contains passages in different languages, including Gaeilge and Spanish.
  • Includes passages from Story Shares, specifically designed for struggling readers.
  • Searchable by subject, topic, and Lexile score.

How To Use The Passage Library

  • Video on using the passage library.
  • You can insert the passage library directly into an ELA question when you make it. Here are the question types with the ability to add passages:
PARCC Questions SmarterBalanced Questions
Tabular Drag Response

Select Text Answer

Multiple Choice (ELA)

Essay Response (ELA)

Extended Select Answer (ELA)

Free Response (ELA)

Multiple Choice (ELA)

Essay Answer (ELA)

Select Text (ELA)

Rearrange Text (ELA)

We can’t wait to hear what opportunities our new passage library unlocks for you and your students. Tell us how it goes in the comments below! In the meantime, read on!


The Power of Partnership: Bringing Equity to EdTech


For educators who care deeply about equity, the prospect of increased technology in classrooms affords much potential. With more EdTech, teachers can differentiate their practice to best fit the varied learning styles and instructional needs of their students. Students can push their own learning forward by listening to lectures online, watching educational videos, or merely scouring the web. Consider the story of Battushig Myanganbayar, a boy from Mongolia who aced MIT’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on ‘Circuits and Electronics’ at the ripe age of 15.

While these stories encourage and inspire us (rightfully so!), they may also mask the flip side of the coin: the fact that education technology can greatly exacerbate preexisting issues of equity. While the internet has made it possible for students to research concepts to no end, many rigorous practice opportunities still require a fee. This trend exists with teachers as well, who are often asked to pay for lesson plans and other curricular resources, like good reading material or practice worksheets for students. All too often can one see divides like these form along racial and/or socioeconomic lines, for both students and teachers alike.

Two years ago, I joined a team of people who seek to take advantage of the current EdTech trends to even the playing field for teachers and students alike. Together, we began building a website called Edcite, which equips teachers with high-quality digital assignments, regardless of their tech access (the site works on all devices), their school budgets, or even their country of origin.

But our firm, unwavering commitment to equity in education technology can’t start and stop with us. In that vein, we chose to magnify opportunities for the students we serve by partnering with organizations and individuals who are equally dedicated to addressing inequity. So we were really excited when, through the powerful professional learning network (PLN) of #edtechbridge, we met another organization that shares our vision for equity: Story Shares.

Story Shares is an incredible non-profit aimed at closing the literacy gaps among students beyond elementary school. Typically, students that read below grade level often have to read texts that aren’t age-appropriate. Story Shares solves this problem by providing interesting, engaging, and age-level appropriate reading content for struggling readers. It’s all digital, and it’s all free!

We knew that our combined interests and vision for education necessitated a partnership of some sort. And so we thought: what if we could equip teachers with passages from the Story Shares books to accommodate struggling readers? What if we could build an even larger passage library so students can get free, rigorous reading practice?

A few months later, we did just that. By soliciting the feedback of Story Shares and many of our ELA teachers, we built a passage library with dozens of passages for different subjects: English, History, Science, Politics + Civics etc. And this number will continue to grow each week!

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.20.42 AM

We’re thrilled about this passage library and our continuing partnership with Story Shares, for we know that, together, we can get valuable reading material into the hands of the teachers and students that need it the most. And, beyond this initial project, we’re excited to have met yet another partner in this shared mission to spread the benefits of high-quality education to everyone, everywhere.

*Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post and videos on how to use the passage library!

Back to School Assignments


The best thing about teachers is that they give a damn. Year in and year out, they work to incorporate new pedagogical strategies into their classrooms and tailor their curriculum to their ever-changing group of students. This year, to make sure you start off right, we compiled a list of outstanding teacher-created assignments that fit with your beginning of the year curriculum. For more assignments, check out our 10,000 digital resources on!


(These assignments are great reading comprehension/close reading assignments!)shutterstock_182278637

Grade Level Assignment Name Link
K Fruit or Vegetable? – L.K.5a
1 Long/Short Vowels – ELA.RF.1.2a
2 Baby Bao Bao – ELA.RI.2.1
3 Sam – Characters, Literal Comprehension, and Text Evidence
4 Grade 4 Fable: The Story That Has No End
5 The Little Match Girl – ELA.RL.5.3
6 Junior Cycle/Middle School Short Story: The Three Spinners
7 Fiction Short Story – The Black Pearl with video comparison to passage
8 The Story of My Life – Identifying Central Ideas; Objective Summary Writing
9 9th Grade Writing Practice
10 Glancing at Children’s Picture Books Critically – Reading Literature and Reading Informational Text
11 What is ALS and this #IceBucketChallenge?
12 Persuasive Writing Practice – 11th Grade



Grade Level Assignment Name Link
K Sorting and Counting
1 Quiz 1 — All Standards (*Comprehensive quiz for each Common Core standard, though it can be a great pre-assessment for teachers in any state)
2 Working With Equal Groups
3 Quiz 1 — All Standards(*Comprehensive quiz for each Common Core standard, though it can be a great pre-assessment for teachers in any state)
4 Quiz 1 — Grade 4 — All Standards
5 5.NBT.A.1 (Place Value) worksheet
6 Ratios + Proportions
7 7th Grade Ratios Homework
8 8th Grade Geometry- Similarity + Congruence



Grade Level Assignment Name Link
Middle School Science Volcanoes
Middle School Science The Coriolis Effect
Chemistry John Dalton and the Atomic Theory
AP Chemistry Amazing Carbon
AP Chemistry Ionization Energy
Biology Macromolecules Review
Physics Ohm’s Law Assignment



Grade Level Assignment Name Link
Lower Elementary 4th Social Studies PBA
Lower Elementary Government Literacy Connection
6-8 Colonial Assignment
6-8 Sequencing Lesson – Multiple Passages – Segregation and Civil Rights – I Do, We Do, You Do & Exit Slip
High School The Groups in the Women’s Rights Movement
High School Susan B. Anthony


15 Ways Teachers Define Summer

With New York and New Jersey schools ending this week, summer has officially reached classrooms across the country! To spearhead festivities across the country, we wanted to celebrate summer and acknowledge what it means — truly means — for teachers. Thank you to all the educators who shared their thoughts and funnies with us and helped us make this blog post happen!


1. Pure bliss


2. Relaxation


3. Recharging


4. Celebrating

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5. Time for camp!


Some camps, like Camp Phoenix in Oakland, California, focus on creating the joyful camp atmosphere while also working to prevent Summer Learning Loss (SLL). Learn more at!

6. Time to reboot


7. Time to sharpen the saw

The ‘Sharpen the Saw’ concept comes from Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. For more info, click here!

8. Catching up on reading!


9. The reason I teach…


10. Planning and getting ahead!


11. A time to explore! (PBL? Edcite?)


12. An opportunity to reflect, revitalize and reinvent


13. The beginning of next year


14. A chance to gather momentum for the journey ahead


15. Having fun!

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~ We hope you enjoy your summer break! You deserve it. ~

15 Reasons Teachers Are Superheroes

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1. They inspire.


2. They care. And they care deeply.

Veterans Memorial Elementary teacher Lisa Heben receives goodbye hugs from students in her K1 class Thursday as Collier County closed out it's school year and sending students off on summer break until August 23. Heben and her co-teacher Kathy Morrow donned flight suits as part of their classroom program "awesome aviators" which introduces kindergarten students to the school system as co-pilots and sends them off to return as first grade student "pilots."   Michel Fortier/Staff
Big hugs and teary goodbyes — par for the course for a teacher! Photo of elementary school teacher, Lisa Heben, from

4. They are ever-patient.


5. They can do 15 things at once, and still appear calm.


6. They can say everything, without saying anything at all.

Professor McGonagall has a formidable “teacher stare”. Source:

7. They open up young minds.

shutterstock_2060322258. They are the best role models.


9. They always believe in their students and can see the best in their students, even when the student can’t see it him/herself.


10. They never stop thinking about how they can help their students. They work hard, day in and day out, to meet the needs of each student.


11. They spark a lifelong love of learning.


12. They shape the people that will one day be political leaders, doctors, or teachers.


13. Even though we don’t appreciate them nearly as often or as well as we should, they keep swimming.

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14. They believe in the power of their students and help their students dream big.


14. They are changing the world.


So thank you, teachers for all you do. You make the world a better place each and every day, and for that we are indebted to you. And huge thank you to everyone for shared their thoughts and contributed to this post! 

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Our Test Prep Playlist: ELA

Last week, we posted a blog post with links to our math test prep resources and the response was overwhelming! ‘Tis the testing season, after all. Based on this positive response, we chose to spend this week’s blog post highlighting our exceptional ELA resources as well. We hope these are helpful!

SmarterBalanced Resources

Practice Tests

Grade Assignment Name Short URL
3 ELA SBAC Practice Test
7 ELA Practice Test
8 ELA Practice Test

Performance Tasks

Grade Assignment Name Short URL
4 ELA Performance Task
6 ELA Performance Task
7 ELA Performance Task
8 ELA Performance Task
11 ELA Performance Task

Other Practice Assignments for SmarterBalanced

Grade Assignment Name Short URL
3 ELA SBAC Practice Assignment
6-8 SBAC Prep
7 Frederick Douglass

PARCC Resources

Elementary School Resources

Grade Assignment Name Short URL
3 Gr. 3 PARCC Practice
4 PARCC Practice: Foster Care
4 PARCC Practice: Secret Garden
5 5th grade PR
5 PARCC EOY Practice



Middle + High School

Grade Assignment Name Short URL
6 Module B PARCC Practice
7 PARCC Task 1
8 Happiness PARCC Research Task
8 Research Simulation Task
8 The Giver Final Test
11 Crucible ELA Assessment

A huge thank you to all the teachers who created these outstanding assignments and shared them with the greater community. If you have come across any other helpful ELA resources in the Edcite library, please share in the comments below!