Tuesday, September 11, 2018

BrainPOP in BVSD: Molly Kirk

Our series of spotlighting teachers who use BrainPOP concludes with Molly Kirk, a 5th grade teacher at Foothill Elementary. To get started, visit the BrainPOP in BVSD webpage, and for more ideas about how to use it in the classroom, check out Part 1 & Part 2 of this blog series!

Molly Kirk, 5th Grade Teacher | Foothill Elementary
21st Century Cohort 3.0
Class Website
Molly is currently in her 9th year of teaching 5th grade at Foothill Elementary. She has worked in BVSD as an elementary teacher, a secondary Language Arts teacher and in the GT and Literacy programs. Molly has a Masters in Education from University of Colorado and is endorsed K-12. She is a member of the BVSD 21st Century Cohort 3.0 and thinks the IT department is awesome!

How do you use BrainPOP in your classroom?

One of the things I love about BrainPOP is the versatility. I am able to find a BrainPOP video for almost any topic I teach. Along with the variety of topics, there are also so many different ways to use BrainPOP beyond the videos with Moby.

Recently, we watched two videos about the American Revolution as an introduction to the important events leading up to the Revolution. The kids did a scavenger hunt of sorts using the American Revolution Timeline in GameUp. They had a list of six events and needed to put them in chronological order using the Timeline as a resource. Then they could choose three battles of the Revolutionary War to read more about. The additional links in the game were informative and we found the students engaged and seeking additional information on topics that they found interesting.

What do you see as the benefits of using BrainPOP?

BrainPOP allows me to apply the 4 Cs easily. My students can be creative as they design their own Make-A-Map which also taps into their critical thinking skills. I love seeing their thinking as they share Snapthoughts with me which also allows them to communicate their thinking. We frequently use BrainPOP with partners or in small groups to allow students to collaborate. I can differentiate by using the FYI and Activities and I love having access to BrainPOP EspaƱol for my Spanish speakers. They can watch the videos in both English and Spanish to reinforce content specific language. One of my favorite things is that from time to time I will log on and see that my students are using BrainPOP at home to learn about topics they are individually interested in.
Editor’s note: For more information on how to use the educator dashboard, go to the BrainPOP Help Center.

If you had one piece of advice to give about BrainPOP, what would it be?

Go beyond the movies and the quizzes. BrainPOP has so much more to offer that allows you to tap into higher-level thinking skills. So much technology just entertains; the full spectrum of BrainPOP allows students to truly engage in the learning process.