You Oughta Know About...Learn Zillion

For this month's "You Oughta Know" blog hop, I want to share one of my favorite websites for teachers. It's called Learn Zillion. If you saw September's hop, you might be thinking, "Hey, didn't you already recommend your favorite teacher site?" Well yes... EngageNY is my favorite for detailed, standards-based lesson plans. But Learn Zillion is where you can go for interactive, student-oriented lesson support.

  • Lessons - Learn Zillion provides a lesson for every math and ELA standard. They are not the in-depth, scripted type you will find on EngageNY. These lessons use visuals that you can project for the students to see. Each one 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 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...

  • Videos - 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 the video from this series called "Make a Brave Statement" 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 opinion on the TFK article. 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!

So that's a little overview of Learn Zillion. Go check it out!


  1. Yes! I love Learn Zillion. Great idea for this blog hop. Thanks for the wonderful description of this awesome tool!

  2. Thanks for such a great description of this website, love it!

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

  3. I love Learn Zillion also! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I keep hearing about Learn Zillion but have not explored it yet..eeek! I obviously need to get on it, right! Thank you for sharing the ins and outs about it. Glad to have you in this month's blog hop.

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain


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