Common Sense Review
Updated June 2014

LearnZillion

Quality Common Core-aligned lessons with great modeling for teachers
Visit Website
Common Sense Rating 4
  • Lessons align to, and are organized by, specific Common Core standards.
  • Math lesson on part to part ratios using clear drawings to demonstrate the concept.
  • The math lesson search page with various search options and example lessons.
  • A lesson on writing persuasively uses an example letter to show the importance of paragraph order.
  • Keep track of assignments: learning topic, associated Common Core standard code, due date, and how many students have completed them.
Pros
It's super customizable, which means you can assign kids the exact lessons they need to work on most.
Cons
Lacks an element of fun, which could make using the site feel like work for some kids.
Bottom Line
It's an innovative way to enhance lessons and tailor learning for individual needs.
Mieke VanderBorght
Common Sense Reviewer
Researcher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

It's easy to use, and visuals are appealing. While it may lack obvious hooks for engagement, kids should be drawn in by the desire to learn in an innovative and personalized way.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 5

Developed by experienced teachers, the lessons are clear and concise. The practice exercises and prompts encourage kids to learn independently. With a teacher's help, personalized assignments can meet students right at their problem areas.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 5

Many of the how-to videos are helpful and demonstrate the site’s potential and utility in the classroom. Teachers can keep track of students’ progress, as well.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Use LearnZillion to give your students an extra learning boost, to give them review on topics you've covered in class, or even to give them a springboard for new exploration. You can also find new lessons, give yourself inspiration, or learn how to explain a concept a different way.

You and your students can do these lessons as a whole class, or students can do them in small groups or on their own. For example, hold a “math lab” where kids work on slightly different sets of problems that are specifically tailored to their needs. Assign "just right" practice exercises to each student based on their level of understanding. As students work, move around the classroom to check in, guide, and assist where needed. Afterward, use the videos as a follow-up for homework or classwork. As needed, you can assign extra practice as an extension or for intervention.

Read More Read Less
What's It Like?

LearnZillion is an online database of short video lessons that address learning topics aligned to individual Common Core standards. The lessons cover math, close reading, and some writing standards. Experienced teachers create the 3- to 5-minute videos and lesson plans, complete with leveled practice problems, anchor texts, and writing prompts.

For kids, the videos feature commentary, extra hints, tricks, and a “try it yourself” segment to help them practice on their own, using pencil and paper to follow the video’s guidance. Multiple-choice quizzes help assess students' learning. When both kids and teachers create accounts, teachers can assign lessons to individual students or to the whole class, see who's completed a lesson, and view students' scores.

Read More Read Less
Is It Good For Learning?

At its best, the site acts as a mix of a teacher’s assistant and mentor. Not sure how to explain a new or difficult concept? You can get helpful guidance from another teacher who's found a successful method. Teachers who are spread thin, or those whose students may need extra help, can use LearnZillion to provide targeted attention to help students right where they need it most. Before students try any particular math lesson, a series of links help teachers identify the necessary skills students will need to know. This is very useful in helping teachers identify any gaps in students' knowledge before they begin. Lessons also offer teachers a variety of extension and intervention ideas.

Teachers should know LearnZillion isn't a game; it's better as a teacher’s tool than as super-exciting activity for kids. However, what it may lack in fun factor, it make up for in clear, instructive content. Don't think of LearnZillion as a teacher replacement; there's no replacement for hands-on, face-to-face interaction. It's more like teacher enhancement. Live teachers are essential for choosing assignments wisely, tracking progress, and filling in the gaps when kids struggle. While the multiple-choice quizzes may not align perfectly with each lesson's content, they're serviceable. Teachers may still choose to do their own learning assessments offline. While the site provides answer keys, the inclusion of authentic student work samples and assessment criteria would offer a stronger picture of what quality work looks like.

Read More Read Less

See how teachers are using LearnZillion

Teacher Reviews

Write Your Own Review

Lesson Plans