New Version of Zinc's Reading Ignition Unit!

Launching the week of August 7

Updated over a week ago

NOTE: All in-progress Ignitions from the 2022-2023 school year and the summer of 2023 will be canceled on August 7 so that every student gets a chance to use the new, improved Ignition in the fall of 2023.

The Zinc team has worked tirelessly to bring you a better, brighter, briefer version of Ignition for the '23-'24 school year.

Here's some information about the improvements:

Shorter Completion Times

We've limited the number of levels per skill to three (last year it ranged from three to seven). This year, students will receive their level on the Initial Level Placement, then complete one passage at that level, one level above, and two levels above. We're calling these levels, "Your Level," "Goal Level," and "Challenge Level."

We expect that each Level Placement will take students between 15 and 45 minutes, and that Ignition gameplay will take 60 to 90 minutes. So plan to budget a total of 90 to 180 minutes total for class time. We recommend having students work on Ignition for 15-20 minutes each day for a couple of weeks.


We got feedback from lots and lots of students and teachers asking for Ignition to sync with the Leaderboard. Now, students can earn Leaderboard points AND cool new badges for their work on Ignition. We expect this to help keep students' interest piqued throughout the entire Ignition experience.

Ignition Homepage Map

We also heard that students want to have a better idea of where they're going in Ignition and why they're doing it. The new Ignition homepage map will help students understand what they'll be doing at a quick glance while keeping them excited about their progress along the way.

More Student Choice

We know that increasing student agency increases buy-in, engagement, and learning. As students move through Ignition, they will get to select the topics for most, if not all, of their passages. Ask students about their choices to learn a little bit more about them!

Ignition Teacher Resources

New: Teacher Resources Page

Keep an eye out for the new Teacher Resources page under My Zinc. There you'll find lesson plans, videos, user guides, and more!

Implementation Recommendations

1. Assign Ignition in the Fall

We recommend that teachers start this school year off by assigning Zinc’s Reading Ignition Unit. This can help combat summer slide, and also provide a standard vocabulary to discuss reading throughout the school year.

2. After Ignition, Practice Reading on Zinc

Once your students have finished up with Ignition, we recommend taking one of two paths (though you can certainly do both or switch back and forth between these).

  • Option A: Lift Off

    • The first path is to assign Lift Off. Each week for four weeks, your students receive a new batch of auto-leveled, choice-based assignments on their dashboards.

      • Every week includes one article and its quiz. You have the option to assign a comprehensive Lift Off, which adds a second article each week.

      • Lift Off provides each student with a selection of leveled articles, and they are free to choose from topics that interest them.

      • Options include adding Close Reading Experiences, which are also auto-leveled and choice-based, and each article's paired vocabulary.

      • These assignments will also populate your class reports and your students’ own reports, allowing for standards-based goal setting.

      • This path is less time-intensive for teachers and allows for easy differentiation.

      • You may assign Lift Off as often as you like.

  • Option B: Curriculum-Aligned Assignments

    • The second path is to search for a series of assignments that align with your curriculum. You’ll find your curriculum in a drop down menu on the Articles page and Vocabulary page, or find relevant texts in Close Reading.

      • As students complete each of these assignments, data will populate on your class reports, as well as on students’ own reports. Their quiz scores will be broken down by standard, which is a great opportunity for setting reading goals.

      • This path is more time intensive for teachers, who need to select the assignments, but it will tie into your existing curriculum.

3. Assign Ignition Again in the Spring as Test Prep

Once spring rolls around, we recommend assigning Ignition again to give students another push toward reading growth before testing starts. Test Prep skills are embedded into the Ignition experience and into our test-prep focused Close Readings, but we’ve also created some great teacher resources to support your test prep efforts.

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