What is Zearn and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks (2024)

By Luke Edwards

published

Zearn is on online video and interaction based math learning system designed for student individuals and groups

What is Zearn and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks (1)

Zearn is an online resource designed to teach math to students directly, one-on-one, as well as in groups. As such this is a platform that can be used by teachers in the classroom and for setting at-home work.

This is quite a stand-alone system if you need it to be. As such, teachers can set work to students and have them guided by a video teacher through tasks -- a useful way to free up more time for planning or one-on-one assistance in the classroom.

During the pandemic, the use of Zearn went up and it claims students who used it increased progress by 2.7 years in that relatively short time. This is thanks to curriculum-based learning that is designed for a variety of ages and abilities.

So is Zearn a useful tool for your school?

What is Zearn?

Zearn is an online-based math tuition tool for teaching students of varying ages about math. This is made by teachers and designed to be used by teachers.

What is Zearn and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks (2)

Everything is helpfully arranged by grade level and is curriculum-based, allowing teachers to give students learning stages with effective practice to ensure mastery.

Zearn is task-based but is also adaptive, so students can work their way through skills. It must be used in conjunction with teaching as this is more about working through tasks rather than being taught the concepts themselves.

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Thanks to a teacher dashboard it is possible to track student progress and see which areas are causing struggle to help guide future teaching.

How does Zearn work?

Zearn can be setup for free by a teacher in order to get started right away. Students can then get invovled too, using this across a host of devices via the website.

What is Zearn and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks (3)

Teachers should first teach the student or group the new mathematical technique which they wish for them to learn. Once they have this, it is then time to get onto Zearn to start practicing the process of that math skill.

When working on Zearn, students will be guided to help them progress independently of the teacher. Get something wrong and they can be given assistance or have choices lessened so as to help them toward the right answer -- while also understanding how they got to it.

What are the best Zearn features?

Zearn is very easy to use since it is a follow-up to class-based teaching, making it useful for a range of ages and abilities. Since it's online it is also easy to access from many devices.

What is Zearn and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks (4)

Everything is video led, so students can feel supported by the digital teacher as well as the "Zearn Squad" of students in the videos. They are then able to carry out tasks, feeling guided rather than this simply being an assessment tool.

Teachers are given a report that allows them to monitor and track student progress, specifically showing any areas which they may have got stuck on and need assistance with to progress. Everything is well scaffolded, allowing students to stay in their zones of proximal development.

The video teachers can help students complete paper-based worksheets as well as exit tickets as needed. Usefully, there is an independent practice that doubles as a formative assessment, ideal for measuring progress and subject mastery.

How much does Zearn cost?

Zearn is a not-for-profit organization. It is built by teachers for teachers and is totally free with no tracking or advertising. The website clearly states this is free and will always be available for free to teachers.

However, there are various accounts that can be paid for to add extra features. These are aimed at school and district use, while the teacher account offers all you could need to teach with, remains free.

School and district packages, charged at $2,500 per school, offer full access to Middle School pilot, the ability to create two student assignments, primary and bookmarked lessons, tailored foundational bookmark recommendations, access to detailed reports for each student, school-wide reports and district-wide reports, unit level assessments with rubrics, Clever and Classlink integrations, sharing between teachers, roster setup, extra support, training, and more.

What is Zearn and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks (5)

Zearn best tips and tricks

Group teach
Have students who have mastered a concept teach that to those still learning, before they take on the Zearn challenges to cement that learning.

Go large
Use the whiteboard or screen to showcase the video materials to the class as a group, pausing to check understanding as you work through.

Assess early
Use the assessment tools to see how students are understanding new concepts before either moving on or focusing on trouble spots more clearly.

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Luke Edwards

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.

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