Civics with CBE of the Month Cathie Gillner

Posted by cemignano on

We’re always so impressed by our Certified BrainPOP Educators and we’re thrilled to share our new monthly feature where readers can learn a bit more about some of the exciting things CBEs are doing in their classrooms. This month, we’d like to introduce you to Cathie Gillner who was part of the PETE & C 2015 CBE cohort. Read on to learn about Cathie’s teaching and CBE experience, and we’ll share some of her BrainPOP tips and tricks later this month!

What grade(s) do you teach? Subject area?
I teach a newly created class called Mobile Device to all sixth-grade students at Dorseyville Middle School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am a former ELA and Reading teacher for 6th and 7th grade as well as a Gifted Education teacher for grades 1,2, and 5.

How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for 20 years.

What inspired you to go into education?
When I was in elementary school, my mom was extremely ill and hospitalized for a very long time and my teacher, Mrs. Cook, kept me after every day to help me with homework because I struggled with reading and math. Mrs. Cook never gave up on me and inspired me to be a teacher.

Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE?
I was part of the February 2015 PETE&C class in Hershey, PA.

I like being able to share and learn from other Certified BrainPOP Educators in the Google+ community. The posts and chats give me a pulse on how BrainPOP is used in a variety of classrooms. Being a middle school teacher, I enjoy hearing how elementary teachers are using BrainPOP. The conversations help me gauge how media, assessments, games, concept mapping, and primary sources are impacting my future students.

What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done with your class using BrainPOP resources?
My most memorable project so far was using The Law movies, primary sources, and iCivics GameUp games to teach my students about the court system and then taking my students to the courthouse to put a character on trial from a novel we were reading.

How has BrainPOP impacted a specific student (or group of students)?
Introducing the Make-A-Map tool and Concept Mapping movie last years was a very humbling experience.  I sometimes forget that my students don’t have skills I assume they have.  I never really explained the logic and process of organizing how to brainstorm. When I had kids watch the Concept Mapping movie, it was like watching 15 lightbulbs turn on at once.  A student came up to me three weeks later and said, “Thanks so much for the Make-A-Map tool I use it for everything, and it has made me a better writer.”

How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Being a Certified BrainPOP Educator has connected me to amazing educators that push me daily to want to be a better teacher.  It is nice to feel part of something outside of my classroom and being a CBE makes me part of the BrainPOP family.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
I’m a firm believer in sticking to 3-5 constants in technology.  Establishing a routine with your technology ‘constants’ and teaching your students how to use those tools takes repetition and patience.  Then, introduce additional technology for projects and other activities. Yes, BrainPOP is one of my constants.

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
Since I’m a Mobile Device teacher in an iPad school, I’m going to wish for more mobile GameUP games.  I’d also love to individually assign movies, games, quizzes, and primary sources to students based on their need. And maybe dinner with Moby.