Guest Series: BrainPOP in Berlin! Week 7

Chris Carter’s saga with BrainPOP ESL in Germany continues with week 7…

Day Thirty

The exercises in BrainPOP ESL Level 2 require more reading and more fill in the blank activities.  We have to help Moby accomplish a goal by choosing the correct word to complete a sentence.  Since not all my first graders can read English with fluency quite yet, so I find myself reading for them.  First, I read the main sentence then the four to ten possible answers.  I think three is more than enough.

So much for me being able to sneak into the background for a little covert observation!  I had been drifting to the back of the room to watch my class while they watched Ben and Moby.  A teacher sure can learn a lot about their class from the back of the room!  Student P was not very happy about the last time I did that.  She ended up with a time-out for not being able to keep her hands to herself.

Day Thirty Two

A visitor from BrainPOP ESL came to our school today.  I gave him a tour of the school.  It must have looked like we do nothing but BrainPOP!  (I warned all of my colleagues ahead of time that he was visiting)  Ms. G’s fifth grade was doing an unscramble exercise about changes in matter.  Ms. K’s second grade was watching a math video.  Mr. D’s class was doing a grammar quiz. He must have been impressed!

He taught me a few new tricks too. One I would like to pass on is to press the CC button under the movies. This turns on the closed captioning application. It can help students see the direct connection between the written and spoken words.

Day Thirty Three

I solved the reading issue from earlier in the week with BrainPOP ESL.  I simply did what I do with most of the other teaching material I use; I repeated.  I have gone all the way back to Level 1, Unit 1.  We are now doing a version of what I like to call, Ben and Moby’s greatest hits.  We review two or three movies from each unit.  Sometimes I choose, often I let the students choose.  Today we watched 1.2 It Isn’t a Flower.  They loved it (again)!

Day Thirty Four

Great news, many of my students are using BrainPOP at home.  I suspect that in addition to improving their English, some parents let them use it as an alternative to television.  We have always used BrainPOP as a whole class activity. I love that many of them now get to pursue it individually at home.  One of BrainPOP’s greatest strengths must be the ability to cater to the individual learner.

Day Thirty Five

I watched a BrainPOP Educators webinar last night.  It was entitled, BrainPOP ESL Basics and Beyond.  I was happy to learn that I already have most of the basics down.  I got a few beyond tips on some of the icons I don’t use enough.  What impressed me most was how difficult it must be to teach teachers; including me.  “Any questions?” the moderator asked several times.  Nope.  No questions…

Are you using BrainPOP internationally? Do you have tips for Chris? We’d love to hear about it! Please post comments below.