Guest Blogger: Jaclyn McLaren’s Year End Review

Jaclyn1

Jaclyn McLaren is a 6th grade Earth Science teacher at Webb Bridge Middle School in Alpharetta, GA.

I have been teaching 6th Grade Earth Science for six years and we have been able to use BrainPOP, thanks to a PTA grant, for the past five years at my school.   The teachers at my school use the resources on a daily basis.  BrainPOP brings an innovative educational experience to our classrooms where the students look forward to learning in this creative way.  They enthusiastically focus on the fresh new ideas offered during these movies and continue on to the final questions with much anticipation.

This year though I wanted to do something different as a test review.  I was thinking how I could incorporate BrainPOP into my classroom.  Then it came to me, I would have students create their own videos on topics taught in class.  The students would get in groups and I would assign them each a different topic discussed over the school year.  I decided to incorporate this idea for use as a year end review.  The students overwhelmingly agreed how exciting it would be to create their own videos on topics taught in the class.  They formed groups of three to four classmates in which I assigned a different topic discussed over the course of the year.

Each group created a 3-5 minute skit BrainPOP style.  The video began with an introduction letter reading the question, the actors wearing their specifically designed t-shirts, and the rest of the video consisted of detailed information regarding their topic.  They then followed up with a 10 question quiz and answer key to give to students.  Each group member was required to do research on the topic and act in the video.  Then each group member was assigned a task.  One member was the writer of the script, one was the quiz maker, and one was the t-shirt designer.  They were then given a timeline for each task at which time I approved and returned them. Finally, they had 2-3 weeks to film the video.

It was so amazing to see the students’ creativity come alive with the videos, added background music and even bloopers.  We then took a few days in class to watch the BrainPOP videos, the quiz makers displaying their questions on the activeboard, and the students answering questions at their desk.  My 6th grade students will definitely remember this project and all had a great time proudly viewing their finished products.  As a teacher it was nice to see them take on tasks as editors, actors, writers, and designers.  They all did a great job.