Guest Blogger: Student Laptops + BrainPOP

Two of our classrooms at Thibodaux Elementary have been transformed into 21st Century Classrooms thanks to our Superintendent and stimulus funds. We have a new ActivBoard, ActivExpressions, an ActiView, a new teacher laptop and 30 student laptops in a cart! Any techie teachers dream!

Part of our commitment to being a 21st Century Classroom is to integrate all of these new tools into our daily teaching. I’ve always been a fan of BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr., but the student laptops have revolutionized the way that my students interact with the BrainPOP resources.

Many times we will use the movie quiz as a pre-test. In the past we did this whole group but now my students are completing this on their own using the laptops. They print out their results to use as a study guide throughout the lesson. We watch the movie as a whole group, pausing to discuss points to ponder. Then I allow students time on their own to view the movie again and/or complete the activities that go along with the featured movie on their laptops. Allowing them to view on their own has done wonders for my students that need to hear things more than once or for the other end where my kids can hear once and ‘get it.’ It has so been a help with differentiating instruction. The activities also give me some opportunities to differentiate. It’s been impressive to see and hear their ingenuity while accomplishing these tasks- ‘Mrs. Guidry, can I have the movie in one window and my graphic organizer in another window to make it easier to fill out the information? Can I pause the movie to go back into my activity to complete it? Can I watch it more than once?’ They absolutely LOVE printing out their completed graphic organizers, puzzles, Write About Its, etc. Even though we are a fourth grade class, we use BrainPOP Jr. movies just as much as the regular BrainPOP movies. The activities with the BrainPOP Jr. movies are a huge hit with my students!

Nicky Guidry

Teacher, Thibodaux Elementary, Thibodaux, LA