Save time, reduce stress. Streamline planning and supercharge your professional growth with LearnZillion.

Learn how to integrate LearnZillion into your lesson planning process.

In this webinar we talked with Nick Pyzik, elementary school teacher and coach at Tuscarora Elementary School in Ballenger Creek, Maryland. Watch this recording to get Nick’s tips for using LearnZillion to streamline planning and developing classroom practice.

Here are some highlights:

(3:29) – Using one LearnZillion video as a basis for an entire class period of instruction.

(7:41) – Using the “Common Misunderstanding” part of the video lessons to engage student discussion.

(10:32) – Using guided practice and extension activities as a basis for in-class practice.

(12:00) – Personalizing and customizing LearnZillion’d downloadable powerpoint slides to create practice worksheets. Learn how you can do the same in this post: 5 ways to leverage LearnZillion’s Downloadable Slides 

(17:40) How planning and curriculum development can be imbedded in one’s own professional development.

(20:30) Using LearnZillion as a k-5 coach to help teachers transition to the Common Core.

(22:38) Using the LearnZillion math Lesson Plan resources to help teachers do all the planning components mentioned above and differentiate instruction. To learn more about lesson plans, check out this description, and this webinar recording about practical tips for using Lesson Plans.

(26:30) An invitation to viewers to share additional ideas about how they are using LearnZillion. Please email your ideas to feedback@learnzillion.com!

Practical tips for using LearnZillion Lesson Plans in the classroom

Learn how to use LearnZillion Lesson Plans in your classroom.

Teachers across the country are using our lesson plans to streamline their planning process.

In this recording Shana Lindeman, a 7th grade math teacher and 2013 Dream Teamer from North Dakota, shares how she uses LearnZillion Lesson plans for anchoring/structuring whole class instruction, providing students with opportunities for practice, and supporting differentiation for students who struggle with lesson content.

Give our lesson plans a try, and realize the benefits that one administrator articulated so beautifully,

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4 Tips for Aligning Your ELA Lessons to the Common Core

Four impressive 2013 Dream Team teachers and coaches shared their best tips for updating ELA curriculum to fit the Common Core in a recent webinar. The result?  This handy guide for aligning your ELA lessons to the new standards.

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Idea 1. Leverage Text-Dependent Questions

Use text-dependent questions to chunk a text into more manageable pieces. Build a series of text-dependent questions to scaffold over the course of the text, allowing struggling readers to focus on just one section of the text in the beginning and work their way up toward a more holistic view. Rather than prepare many texts for different level readers, use text dependent questions to make one grade-level, model text approachable for all students.

How this helps: Deepen student exploration of text, relieve anxiety around reading, and increase classroom preparation efficiency by leveraging scaffolded text dependent questions.

Idea 2. Show the purpose behind a strategy

Actually show kids the purpose behind the strategies that you teach. Model how a strategy can be applied when approaching questions similar in nature. Watch a LearnZillion writing or close reading lesson to see how the teacher has divided the skill up into manageable steps.

How this helps: Thinking aloud and drawing connections encourages kids to own their strategies.

Idea 3. When evaluating resources, look for authentic and worthwhile texts and topics 

Select worthwhile texts that will help contribute to students’ college and career readiness. Create text sets around a common theme or topic, integrating fiction and non-fiction. This provides your students with opportunities to make connections across texts. Reading standard 7 also calls for students to interact with and evaluate different mediums (e.g. illustrations, video, and multimedia), so look for anchor and ancillary resources that together can create a cohesive set.

How this helps: Spend class time on worthwhile resources and materials that students can really “sink their teeth into.”

Idea 4. Collaborate across subject areas

Make interdisciplinary connections. The writing and reading expectations and language should be consistent for students whether they are in science, history, social studies, or English 1. Work with your colleagues to hold students responsible for applying the same lines of questioning and deep thinking whenever they’re interacting with text.  The reinforcement of close-reading and literacy standards across the curriculum provides continuity for students and an opportunity for teachers to come together and evaluate students’ strengths and areas for growth.

How this helps: Coordinating with colleagues in other disciplines establishes continuity of reading and writing expectations.

For more on aligning your ELA lessons to the Common Core check out some of our other posts on crafting text-dependent questions and tips for close reading.

If you have additional strategies you find helpful, please let us know by posting a comment below.