Guest Blog – BrainPOP… More Than Just a 3-minute Video

Ashley Nottis is a 5th grade teacher at Williamstown Middle School, in Williamstown, NJ.  She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Educational Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University.  Connect with her on twitter: @ashleynottis, and check out her lesson plan on Food Chains and Food Webs here!

I have been using BrainPOP in my classroom for about three years, and like any method of teaching, it has evolved over time.  In the beginning, I used BrainPOP as a jumping off point, or closing activity, quickly showing the short video at the beginning or end of a class or unit.  However, this past year I decided to try something new. I began using BrainPOP as a foundation for my lessons, integrating them more into the curriculum and really diving into the information provided in the videos. I have come to realize that anyone who is only spending three minutes watching a BrainPOP is truly missing out on a valuable tool in the classroom.

For example, now I might show a BrainPOP video as a closing one day, and then as an opening activity the following day. I’ve found tons of possibilities to incorporate the features that accompany each BrainPOP video as well. In my classroom we use our interactive whiteboard to complete the typeable activity sheets as a group.  Or, we use our student response devices to take the quiz as a quick pre-assessment at the beginning of a unit, or at the end of the unit for post-assessment.

My students began asking me to show them the video multiple times while they completed the Vocabulary Activity Page. (Students come up with great ideas to improve your teaching everyday; they know how they want to learn.) I now make the printable/typeable Activity pages available to my students to use for note-taking before and during the videos, and discussing and revising after watching the video. I love that my students ask to watch the same video multiple times, knowing that’s how they learn best! Since I began doing this, my students have improved on their quiz scores and have an easier time understanding the concepts they have learned.

There are so many ways to incorporate BrainPOP into your everyday lessons or create lessons around BrainPOP.

How are you getting the most out of BrainPOP? Please share tips below!



4 comments
  1. allisyn said:

    Thanks for adding on those great ideas, Kathy! It’s fantastic that your students are active participants with all the opportunities you create for them. Hilia – we understand! Here are some funding resources:
    http://www.brainpop.com/educators/blog/2010/08/donorschoose-fund-brainpop/

    http://www.brainpop.com/educators/blog/2008/11/guest-blogger-grant-writing-tips/

    http://www.brainpop.com/educators/blog/2008/10/great-story/

    Anyone else have tips to share for funding?

  2. Kari Stubbs said:

    Ashley, it is such fun to read how your BrainPOP strategies have evolved! It is so exciting that you are using BrainPOP with student response devices. Love your idea to incorporate note taking strategies via the activity pages.

  3. Hilia De Galvez said:

    I really like this program, I’m trying to get my department to buy it but because of nowdays bugets it is not to easy, may be soon.
    Thank you! Hilia de Galvez

  4. Kathy said:

    I will often stop the video at a nice breaking point to have students do a think, write, pair, share. I find their discussions are a vital part of their understanding a concept. Students will ask each other questions to enhance their comprehension. We then continue the video sometimes stopping again.