New Reviews: LearnZillion’s (OER) Mathematics [Grades 2-12]

[Source: LearnZillion]
[Source: LearnZillion]
LearnZillion is an online, open educational resource that provides supplementary mathematics teaching materials for grades 2-12. Resources are free and address the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). At each grade level, instruction is presented in short Video Lessons and detailed lesson plans (i.e., Full Lessons) that focus on a particular standard or set of standards. Learning List has recently completed reviews of LearnZillion’s OER math materials.

Click the image for YouTube video [source: LearnZillion]
Click the image for YouTube video [source: LearnZillion]
Video Lessons are narrated slide shows that focus on particular mathematics concepts and skills (e.g., “Find the volume of 3-dimensional objects”). Lessons begin with a review of what students already know and then provide step-by-step guidance in solving problems, including the use of mathematical tools (e.g., unit cubes) in finding solutions. Some Video Lessons include a “Commentary” video that provides background information about the topic and the approach to instruction for teachers.

Full Lessons are detailed lesson plans centered on slide shows with teaching notes. Slide shows focus on problem-solving and include activities that foster “productive struggle” with concepts. Academic vocabulary is highlighted and instruction encourages students to consider multiple solution paths and share their solution strategies with the class. Full Lessons reference the Mathematical Practice Standards (MPS) addressed in each lesson and lesson plans provide teachers with detailed guidance in incorporating the MPS in instruction.

About LearnZillion*

LearnZillion is dedicated to championing teachers and supporting their ongoing professional development. Teachers develop expertise and insights while working with students, and have exceptional ideas for how to improve classroom learning. However, they have never been able to integrate that expertise into a curriculum that keeps getting better. LearnZillion believes that empowering teachers to collaborate and share best practices creates new possibilities for students, and the profession. offers a free and growing set of Math and English Language resources for grades 2-12 that have been developed by expert teachers directly from the Common Core State Standards. LearnZillion’s premium participatory curriculum platform enables schools and districts to accelerate the successful implementation of the Common Core, augment the efficacy of their coaches, create class time capacity to address differentiation needs, and build teacher leaders.

The idea for LearnZillion began at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. where co-founder Eric Westendorf, was principal. After watching 6th grade teacher Andrea Smith teach her students what it meant to divide by fractions, Eric wondered, “could powerful learning experiences be captured so that teachers didn’t have to re-invent the wheel every time they taught a standard?” He decided to find out. Working with Andrea and a few other E.L. Haynes teachers, he created a homemade website that featured screencasts of high quality, Common Core lessons. The website worked. Not only could teachers find examples of high quality lessons, but parents and students also benefited from the explanations. Thanks to a Next Generation Learning Challenge Grant, Eric was able to grow the idea. He teamed up with former classmate and teacher, Alix Guerrier, and together they recruited an initial corps of 20 Dream Team teachers from across the country. The Dream Team grew to 123 the following year. In 2013, 200 teachers from 42 states worked on high quality Common Core lessons. There are now over 10,000 high quality resources on the site, covering grades 2-12 in math and ELA. LearnZillion also launched it’s premium offering to enable states, districts, and schools to provide powerful and invigorating professional development experiences for their own teachers. For more about the founding story, check out this post on their blog, The LearnZillion Insider.

* The content in this section is provided by or adapted from LearnZillion.

© 2015 Learning List

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