Becoming A BrainPop Certified Educator

Today’s Contributor: Tracy Machu

Tracy is in her 12th year as a Special Education Resource/Inclusion teacher at St. Elmo Elementary.

This past February, I went to a training to learn more about the BrainPOP certification process. As a special ed inclusion/resource teacher, I’ve seen other teachers use BrainPop videos a lot in their classrooms, and I knew there was a way to assign quizzes to students, but my knowledge ended there. At the training, and throughout the certification process, I discovered that there is a lot more to BrainPOP than just videos and quizzes!

I really appreciated the fact that, in addition to the quizzes and other printable activities, there are a couple of ways students can make digital artifacts to reflect on their learning after watching a video. The Make-a-Map feature allows students to create a concept map illustrating their learning and incorporating images and clips from the videos. Make-a-Movie allows students to go even further and record their own thinking to go along with the images they’ve chosen. At the time, my 5th graders were learning about weathering and erosion, so I made a concept map and a movie to test them out.



Another feature of BrainPOP I really loved learning about is SnapThought. BrainPOP includes lots of different games students can play to expand their knowledge of or practice with a particular topic. With the SnapThought feature, they can take screen shots of different points within the game and write notes to submit to the teacher explaining their thinking to the teacher. For instance, students might make note of a point in the game that was really easy or challenging for them, or they could explain how they worked through a particularly challenging point.

One of my new favorite games to use with my students is Area Builder. In this game, students have to use the blocks at the bottom of the screen to build figures that match the given area, perimeter, (or both as the levels become more difficult). My students have really enjoyed challenging themselves as they progress through the levels of this game.



I’ve also recommended some of the Sortify games to our 4th and 5th grade teachers. I especially like the Nouns and Parts of Speech Sortify games to help our 4th graders with their writing. Our 5th graders used Sortify Natural Resources when they were studying renewable and nonrenewable resources. These games are a little more challenging and require some higher level thinking for the students to see how many different ways the tiles are related and can be grouped or regrouped.



I’m excited to continue to explore all the features BrainPOP has to offer!



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