In the mind of a CBE

Hacking Assessment: My BrainPOP Style with Rayna Freedman

Posted by cemignano on

We’d like to welcome back May’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Rayna Freedman, as she shares how she uses BrainPOP’s suite of features to assess her students’ understanding. Don’t forget to check out Rayna’s first post to learn more about our CBE of the Month!

How can you show me what you have learned? That is the question I often ask elementary students in order to determine what they know and understand about a topic. Many students inform me they will use BrainPOP’s Make-a-Movie or Make-a-Map, creating short videos or organizational webs with images and texts to show me their knowledge. I get to see how their digital literacy skills have grown in the process. Thus begins our journey into using BrainPOP as not just a learning and creation tool but also an assessment tool.

Wait a minute! BrainPOP tools can be used for assessment? Students don’t have to take a test where they fill in a bubble or write an open response? Did I suck the air out of the room?

In our class My BrainPOP tools are used at various points throughout the lesson, but in different ways. A quiz following a video can be used before watching as a pre-assessment to see what students understand before starting a topic. Students love playing Meaning of the Beep as a finished work choice, and I get to observe how students understand words using context clues.  

Utilizing games as a form of assessment engages and motivates students, and BrainPOP has a plethora of them organized by subject and collection. Using the snapshot tool allows students to share their thinking during game play directly with their teacher reflecting and communicating ideas about concepts using a prompt that could be created by the students or the teacher.

One of the best features is the ability to provide students with direct feedback on their work. I use this feature when students submit movies and concepts maps! Recently students had the opportunity to learn about 3D printing. Once we completed the lesson we watched the BrainPOP 3D printing movie. Students were asked to create a movie that explained what they learned about 3D printing using Make-A-Movie.

One direction, and I received 23 vastly different movies with varying messages that clearly depicted what students were able to understand about 3D printing. Students submitted their work to me, and then I had the ability to write a comment directly back to the student.


Assessment and feedback are integral parts of a lesson and build positive student-teacher relationships. Using My BrainPOP tools for assessment allows students to be creative and voice their knowledge in empowering ways!