Guest Blogger: BrainPOP Jr. for Students With Special Needs

Posted by allisyn on

Longtime BrainPOP fan & super star teacher of students with Autism, Andrea Keller, will be joining us this Wednesday for our free webinar, START: Special Tactics for Adapting Resourceful Tools. You can check out the incredible, inspiring work her students have produced here. Please let your colleagues who work with students with special needs (autism, PDD, low & non-verbal) know to RSVP and join us!

I have used BrainPOP Jr. in my classroom many times.  My current teaching position is in a PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) unit.  I am a huge advocate for using technology in my classroom.  Often time’s students with special needs do not get the same opportunities and chances to use web 2.0 tools and other technology devices as a regular education student would get. Irving, however, provides many different opportunities to help all students to engage in the same web 2.0 tools as their non-disabled peers.  My students are very low verbal or non-verbal, but we still have opportunities to podcast, vodcast, and video conference. BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP offer one more way for students of all abilities to be involved in technology and exciting learning.  I have used BrainPOP Jr. in many different ways.  At the first of the year we mostly focus on sitting and attending.  The BrainPOP Jr. movies are great for this skill.  These past months I have been correlating the BrainPOP Jr. movies and lessons to go with my own lesson plans.  Currently we are working on plants and their life cycle.  Last week we focused on the plant life cycle and watched the BrainPOP Jr. movie, Plant Life Cycle and did the online game.  I was so impressed with how well my students picked up the plant life cycle by using these tools.  This week our class is doing the parts of the plants.  To go along with this we are going to video conference with another classroom in Irving.  While video conferencing we are going to watch the BrainPOP Jr. movie on Parts of a Plant.  I have also modified the tests that are on the site to include shorter answers and pictures as needed so all my students will have the opportunity to participate.

I am excited about my continued use of this program!  My students love Annie and Moby and enjoy our BrainPOP Jr. time!