WASHINGTON, May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, LearnZillion announced its partnership with the New Mexico Department of Education to support teachers across the state with a focus on reading comprehension. Over the past year, the partnership has brought together nearly 40 educators selected from districts throughout the state to work together, sharpen their skills for teaching English Language Arts (ELA) by building their own reading lessons, using LearnZillion's Curriculum-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform, and then share their expertise with their schools and communities.
"I'm incredibly proud and appreciative of the inaugural cohort of New Mexico's Dream Team of teacher-leaders. Their work goes above-and-beyond their classroom teaching to build instructional resources for all our state's educators to use with their students," said New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera. "We should applaud our best literacy teachers for coming together to further develop their craft because improving student literacy is essential for New Mexican students and families."
The educators who make up the New Mexico Dream Team completed extensive training on close reading techniques and engaging with complex texts, and then built their own lessons for grades K-6 based on these desired outcomes. This professional development led 100 percent of the New Mexico Dream Team teachers to feel confident in their ability to write text-dependent questions as a result of the experience. And, 97 percent reported feeling prepared to share what they learned with colleagues.
"Being part of the Dream Team has given me confidence and a deeper understanding of creating and answering text-dependent questions," said Sandra Fusco, Title I reading coach at Apache Elementary School in Farmington, New Mexico. "With the training, practice, and feedback from my peers, I have been able to confidently create my own lessons while also coaching my peers. This experience is opening doors for me to share my knowledge and to help other teachers not only in my school, but also with other teachers in our district."
Throughout the year, New Mexico's Dream Team used LearnZillion's CaaS cloud-based platform to house, create, personalize and collaborate in ways that adapt the resources to the needs of their students. All of the Dream Team-created reading lessons became available online to teachers throughout the state beginning April 7.
"Our goal is to ensure teachers have the tools to create engaging classrooms for students. We also wanted to give teachers the opportunity to collaborate while building and refining these resources," said Eric Westendorf, CEO and co-founder of LearnZillion. "Together, the New Mexico Dream Team created the lessons while learning how to support colleagues to ensure students throughout the state benefit from this investment."
LearnZillion combines the expertise of teachers with the power of technology to provide the curriculum and support needed to engage every student. As the first K-12 Curriculum-as-a-Service (CaaS) company, LearnZillion is changing the paradigm of curriculum from a static product to an adaptable, cloud-based service. LearnZillion's model equips school districts and their teachers with dynamic, easy-to-use content and software that support high-quality instruction. To learn more, visit www.learnzillion.com.