Guest blogger, Felecia Young, is a 9th grade math teacher at Salisbury High School, in Salisbury NC. She is a passionate educator committed to creating an educational environment where all students can be successful through the use of integrating fun digital tools.
One of the best digital lessons I’ve ever done was with the use of BrainPOP and ActivExpressions. BrainPOP and ActivExpressions gave me the opportunity to create lessons that are engaging and interactive.
One day while in class, I came across BrainPOP and watched the video. I clicked on Quizzes and I saw shining lights around ActivExpressions and ActiVotes. Were my eyes deceiving me? Can my students use ActivExpressions to take a BrainPOP quiz? Yes, it was true! What a perfect combination! But, will it work with my high school students?
I was very skeptical about showing a BrainPOP video to a group of high school students, but to my surprise they were very excited to see Tim and Moby appear on the screen. We went through the video and students took notes on one of the printable activity sheets on BrainPOP’s site. After the video, I wanted to see how much the students retained, so I told them we were taking a test. Of course, this got me a lot of moans and groans. I provided each student with an ActivExpression and their eyes lit up. Thus began the use of a new, engaging, fun assessment strategy tool of BrainPOP and ActivExpressions.
Students were so engaged and excited about the assessment that we used it as a review. If they got the answer correct they shouted and cheered. Was this motivation? For the first question, I allowed the students to see the many ways I could review the results. They loved to see their class percent of correct answers. To my surprise, this was motivation to other students to get the correct answer the next time. We continued all 10 questions and the results were amazing. As we continued the quiz, the percent of students getting the correct answer increased.
BrainPOP and ActivExpressions was a success! Students were engaged in their quiz. I could look at the report and if more than 40% of the students got the question incorrect, I knew I needed to re-teach. I use the spreadsheet results as the students’ participation grade. To assure students’ privacy, I assigned each ActivExpression a number and randomly assigned each student a number to use.
As a passionate teacher who prides herself on creating the most engaging and interactive classroom environment, BrainPOP and ActivExpressions provided me with both. Students were motivated and inspired to learn and be successful! Learning should not be restricted to just paper and pencil, but redefined to engage students through tools that motivate and inspire them to learn.