Michelle Greene was looking over post-assessments from her tenth grade Algebra II class when she noticed something surprising: 82 percent of her class didn’t know how to factor quadratic expressions. Her students were finding it difficult to connect the concept of finding factor pairs of whole numbers to the work of factoring quadratic expressions. They were missing a foundational skill.
After looking through LearnZillion’s content library, Michelle found a fourth grade lesson on factors that she thought would be helpful for her students who were struggling, and worked through the lesson with her class. After Michelle gave a second set of post-assessments, she found that 96 percent of her students were now proficient in factoring quadratic expressions.
“The material was really what I wanted them to learn and be able to use. And by going through that lesson, they were able to use it and now they’re doing factoring really well,” said Greene.
Michelle’s story is just one example of how teachers often need to access materials outside of the grade levels they teach in order to meet the needs of their students.
Educators who work with traditional types of curricula are often restricted to one grade level. When they need to support students performing at different grade levels, they may end up creating new materials from scratch or scouring the web for content. But there are more efficient ways for teachers to support their students.
Teachers can better differentiate when they have easy access to content from other grades
District administrators want to promote engaging teaching, and to do so need to provide high-quality materials that support every student in the classroom. With access to curated materials from a variety of grade levels, LearnZillion’s curriculum-as-a-service offering allows teachers to quickly and easily adjust their lesson plans based on their classrooms’ specific needs.
“I can pick one lesson to look at and see what's on the horizon. And I can see what led up to [a grade level]. LearnZillion has got that down pat, because of the included prior knowledge materials and the units on the horizon,” said Greene.
Teachers who move to new grade levels don’t need to start from scratch
When teachers move into grade levels they’ve never taught before, the transition can be difficult. It can take a lot of time to build classroom materials and pedagogical content knowledge from scratch. But if teachers can easily access full high-quality lessons, accompanied by teaching notes, from across grade levels, then the transition to a new grade level is smoother.
“If you have a new grade level you’re going to teach, start watching the [LearnZillion] videos from the start and watch the whole series of them … to truly understand the topic before you have to teach it,” said high school teacher Jennifer Rising.
Accumulating high-quality resources to successfully teach a classroom of students with diverse needs can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Districts can support their students at any grade level with LearnZillion’s standards-aligned instructional materials.
“I think you have to be cognizant that you may have to go down more [grade levels] than you expect,” Michelle says. “And don’t be afraid to, because the lessons from LearnZillion are so good. They’re so to the point … and they teach the concept in five to ten minutes. And that might be all the kids need … You have to do what helps the kids.”
Emily Priborkin is the Marketing Communications Associate at LearnZillion. A musical theatre nerd at heart, she'll gladly recite and perform all of the music from Les Misérables on command.