Ready, Set, Spark!

Spark Reading Newsletter | May 2023

The school year may be winding down, but we’re already thinking about September and all the new features coming to Spark. Many are teacher suggestions! All are designed to help you and your students reach your literacy goals. Let’s take a sneak peek.

New Features Coming to Spark This Fall

Let’s explore the updates we’ve got in store. Why you’re going to love them. And when you can expect to find them in Spark.


So many of you asked for the ability to create your own book collections, and now you can! 

Curate Collections to share with specific classes, groups of students, or individual students. Then use them for curriculum units, Book Clubs, extra support, and engaging reluctant readers.

Classroom Ideas:

  • Create collections by subjects (i.e., Math, Science) or curriculum units (Weather, Simple Machines), etc.
  • Try a “Book tasting” in your classroom. Create collections with labels like “Mystery” or “Poetry,” and share them with your entire class. Then encourage your students to “taste” different styles of books. 

Souped-up Searches

We’ve improved Spark’s search functionality to give you more accurate and defined search results. In addition to these updates, you’ll also notice that books load faster!

More Accurate Searching

For example, if you search using the keyword “car,” all the books with “car” in the title will display. Results are also listed alphabetically, so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.  

New Search Filters

We’ve also added two new search filters. First, you can now filter books by Language (French or English). Second, you can use the new Decodable filter to find books that support Phonics instruction.

Time-Savers, Teamwork Tools, and Language Toggles

You’ll also find new functionality designed to improve collaboration, save time and enhance French classroom experiences.

  • Add a co-teacher to your class so you can both use Spark when working with students
  • Import students into Spark from your Google Classroom for faster setup
  • Display the Spark interface in French or English, which is great for French Language teachers and students.

New For Students 

We’ve also updated the student view in Spark with fun (and functional) features.

  • The MyBookbox tab is now called “From My Teacher,” and students no longer need to send books to their book box before reading them.
  • In the library, the “Find Books” filters now appear on the left.
  • When reading books, students now have access to the same annotation tools as teachers.
  • Book tallies in the student’s view now include all the books students have read (you can even see if a student has read a book multiple times). 

Watch A Video Sneak Peek 

This September, once we’ve tested (and tested some more), we’ll make all of these new features and functionality available in Spark. All you’ll have to do is log in to access them!

We’ll also make it super simple to start using all these new features with tutorials and more in our Back-to-School Issue of the newsletter.

Until then, we know how much you love a good visual aid, so we’ve created a quick video where you can see the new features and functionality in action. Watch it now.

See you next month!