How to access and use Zearn to support Math learning
Multiple math programs exist to support math learning in the classroom. However, not all programs work the same way. In this post, I discuss what Zearn is and how parents can support from home using Zearn.
In an unprecedented school year, many schools will be using online learning programs to support in-person instruction. There is no doubt that a well-known online program that most schools will use is Zearn. Next, I share how Zearn works and schools plan to use this program to support math learning.
If you visit Zearn’s website, you’ll see that the developers describe Zearn Math as a top-rated online math learning platform built to help all kids love learning math. Zearn is also a non-profit curriculum that gives teachers and parents free access to use at home and in the classroom.
The program is available for Kindergarten to 5th-grade students. It uses an interactive mode of teaching to engage kids in learning math using a hands-on experience. Unfortunately, Zearn is only available for grades K-5th. However, some teachers and schools use Zearn K-5 in middle school to teach foundational skills.
How do teachers use Zearn in the classroom?
Teachers can use Zearn free of charge in the classroom. Some teachers use the program as an additional resource; however, others may use some lessons as a class. Teachers have the ability to project created lessons to teach specific math content. A higher number of schools are using Zearn school-wide as a trusted educational resource.
Teachers can access 800+ lessons that they can use and align to their everyday instruction. Each digital lesson focuses on math fluency, concept development, and independent practice. In addition, the program contains scaffolds that teachers use to address the immediate learning needs of students.
How to access Zearn at home
There are several ways to use Zearn to support math development. First, if your child already has a Zearn account that they use at school, you can access the program by going to https://www.zearn.org/. To sign in, your child will need to enter their given username and password. Second, reach out to your student’s teachers if you don’t have their login credentials.
If your child’s school does not use Zearn Math in school, you can sign up for an individual account. Once you sign up, you will be asked to create a class and add your child to your class.
The articles below link to Zearn’s website and will help you get started:
Unlike many programs, Zearn’s program website contains several resources that parents can use to support their child learning at home. For example, they have a recorded webinar that provides an overview of your child’s digital math learning with Zearn Math, along with commonly asked questions.
Additionally, parent packs provide orientation, offering step-by-step instructions to commonly asked questions about using Zearn. Tip sheets (for kids) are printable tips sheets to help each child independently work through their Zearn Math lessons. Tip sheets (for grown-ups) are printable sheets to help your child with Zearn math activities.
Devices that work with Zearn
- Desktop computers
- Laptop computers
- iPads (Zearn supports iOS devices updated to one of the two most recently released versions)
The following browsers are supported to use Zearn. However, remember to update your browsers regularly for a better experience.
- Microsoft Edge
Note that there is no Zearn math app, and the program does not require the use of Flash.
How it works
Student learning begins by completing digital lessons on their own. The magic starts when they get the answer wrong. Next, short videos explain mathematical ideas in a kid-friendly mode. Next, kids engage in problem-solving by using math manipulatives and visual representations.
Hands-on practice is done when the program regularly pauses to check for understanding. Real-time feedback is given to kids after every problem. Most importantly, it is good to note that feedback is followed with built-in math help.
Students are automatically assigned to the first lesson of the first Mission of their grade and will then continue automatically through the digital sequence. Missions are a set of lessons by topic.
Teachers have the ability to assign specific lessons or assign a sequence depending on the child’s needs. This is a great way to allow kids to practice and master skills they struggle the most in.
How to track usage
One way to track your child’s progress in Zearn is by checking the Lesson Tracker at the top of your child’s Student Feed. This tracker shows the exact lesson your child is assigned to and the specific activity in that lesson that they’re currently working on—it’s also easy to view from over their shoulder. Another way to track progress is to check the “badges” section to see the lesson badges your child has earned.
Benefits of using Zearn
Unlike other programs that come with a placement test, Zearn works a little differently. Kids are assigned to lessons that align with their current math instruction. This allows kids to reinforce the content they are learning or struggling with. For instance, if a child learns about multiplication factors, then a child can be assigned to the multiplication lessons.
Rather than a one-time placement test, students experience an embedded daily diagnostic in every Zearn lesson. This daily diagnostic assesses their understanding and automatically launches a Boost, with support and scaffolding from prior grades or units, the moment that they need it. This approach helps students to work through productive struggles and continue forward in their learning. (zearn.org)
How to use the program as a parent
As a parent, you can support your child by ensuring that they use the program regularly. Tell your child to do their best in every lesson to ensure that the program adapts to your child’s abilities and learning needs. You can also track your child’s progress to encourage regular usage.
If you are looking for math support, this may be a great digital program to use at home. Follow the instructions above to sign up for a parent account and set up a child account. The professional learning sessions and materials show parents how to use the program at no cost.
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