How I Use It
How I use this product in my teaching?
Typically I have used Learnzillion as a supplement to my own humanities units for grades 6 and 7. When I use learnzillion I often select lessons from there "lesson sets" from the ELA section of its website. I have never taught a learnzillion lesson by the script. I usually type in a standard or particular ELA skill that I am targeting in an ongoing unit of study and take away the instructional models, teaching points, and resources that most support my needs. I have used the narrator feature (i.e. "read-aloud video" of a teacher reading through the powerpoint of a lesson) in the classroom in the past and have received mixed reactions from students and colleagues. Therefore, I rarely use the narration feature but use it as a guide for my own narration for lessons. In addition, I often elect to download and alter powerpoint slides and their accompanying resources, which are typically text. Cannot speak for the Math side of Learnzillon as I do not teach math or have ever taking the time to interact with the sites math lessons. My math colleagues that use :Learnzillon think it is great resourceful website for Math, however.
Finding lessons that correspond to specific ELA standards is relatively easy to do with the site search engine. Just type in your standard or a specific skill such as "Finding Author's Point of View" and BAM! You will have a lesson directly related to the standard or skill that you are interested in.
Often times resources such as text and activity sheets are totally unrelated to the content I teach.
My Overall Opinion
User friendly, contains great lessons to model from, but very scripted.
Learnzillion.com is a great website for educators to find whole units or "lesson sets" that target specific common core standards for both Math and ELA. The lessons are designed for students to go deep into each of the common core standards it is aligned with often times having anchor text or activities that are made to be used throughout an entire lesson set. However, the "core lessons" are very scripted and resources (i.e. text, readings) are anchored into lessons, meaning that the lessons themselves are predicated on the specific resource provided. You can't readily swap out a text or activity sheet of you own choice with out significantly altering the "core lesson." Many of the readings on the ELA side are not culturally relevant to minority or multicultural populations and are sometimes challenge to differentiate. But overall it is a great help for teachers that are at ground zero in their unit planning or are just trying to supplement their own lessons and units of study. The ELA section is great for ELL's because of the narration feature and it's easy access online outside of the classroom. The powerpoint slide also have very cool illustrations which catch students' eyes as well.