Today, I want to share one of my favorite websites for teachers. It's called Learn Zillion. This is a site where you can go for interactive, student-oriented lesson support.
Learn Zillion has lessons for every math and ELA standard. They are not the in-depth, scripted type you will find on sites like EngageNY. These lessons use visuals that you can project for the students to see.
Each lesson begins with a short opening question called a "Launch" to get students thinking. You can solve this together whole-group or model it. I like to show the launch, have partners talk about strategies they could use to solve it, and then model it myself.
Here is an example of a math Launch question for teaching perimeter in third grade:
The Launch problem is then followed a "Task" and "Task Debrief" which gives students the opportunity to apply the skill that you're working on and see the steps for solving.
One of my favorite parts of the Learn Zillion presentations are the "Common Misunderstanding" slides. They show students why a certain strategy or idea won't work:
The rest of the presentation shows the Big Ideas students will take away from the lesson, a formative assessment (great for exit tickets!), and then problem sets that can be printed out. At the very end is a video that goes with the lesson, which leads to the BEST part of the website...
This is the part of Learn Zillion that you absolutely MUST try! There are so many possible uses for the videos. First, you can use them for direct instruction. The videos are well-paced, clear and easy to understand, and they really break the steps down into manageable pieces. You could also use them for doing flipped classroom by having students view them prior to your own lesson. If you have above or below-level students, you can use the videos for other grade levels to meet their instructional needs.
There are also teacher-created video "Lesson Sets". These are short series of videos around a particular topic. For example, this week I used the 3rd Grade Opinion Writing video set during my guided reading groups.
In one group, I have a student who had gotten far ahead of the others. She needed something to work on while I caught the rest of them up. So, I pulled out the iPad and selected a video from this series to help her develop stronger openings for her writing. We had just read an article in Time For Kids called "Should Soda Be Taxed?" After watching the video, the student used what she learned to write an opening paragraph for her TFK writing project. It allowed her to independently extend her learning and practice an important skill with very little involvement from me. Next week, my reading groups will all be watching video lessons during their computer time. I set up a "class" so each student has a username and password and assigned specific videos for them to view before we meet at reading table. I can't wait to see how it jump starts their learning!