Get to know a CBE

Voice and Choice with CBE of the Month Zee Poerio

Posted by cemignano on

Please welcome July’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Zee Poerio! Zee has been a CBE for three years and we’re excited to share her experience with BrainPOP. Read on to learn more about Zee’s passion for education and how being a CBE has impacted her teaching.

What grade(s) do you teach? Subject area?
I am the K- 8 Computer/Technology Teacher at St. Louise de Marillac Catholic School in Pittsburgh, PA. I also teach an exploratory Latin/Classics Course for 7th and 8th graders as part of Computer/Technology.

How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching at St. Louise de Marillac for all of my 21 years as an educator. I taught 5th grade for 2 years, 3rd grade for 11 years, and Computer/Technology for the last 8 years. This is the school where my own children attended and is located only 2 miles from my home.

What inspired you to go into education?
I have always wanted to be a teacher. Growing up, education was very important in my family. My paternal grandparents were Italian immigrants and my father was the first in his family to earn a college degree. My parents instilled the desire for education in all of us. As one of six children, we played “school” in the basement of our childhood home. The “school” was complete with chalkboard, hand operated pencil sharpener mounted to the stairs, and student desks lined up that my father bought when the local school was being remodeled. I loved being the teacher to my younger siblings and throughout my own education, I always enjoyed helping others learn.

Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE?
I was part of the CBE Classes in 2015 at ISTE in Philadelphia. Being a CBE has expanded my Personal Learning Network. Through the Facebook group, webinars, Twitter Chats, and meeting at conferences, I have had the opportunity to connect and learn from a large group of talented educators and establish friendships with like-minded educators from across the country.

What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done with your class using BrainPOP resources?
The most memorable project was an APP SMASH inspired by BrainPOP where were used TouchCast to create our own BrainPOP movie. One of the students in our first grade came to class one day with her hair in pigtails and someone said she looked like Annie from BrainPOP. Another student suggested we make our own movie and ask a question that would tell others something about our school. I learned from some other BrainPOP teachers that you could download the MOBY sounds and try to make your own movie. We used a BrainPOP tote bag that I received at a conference to represent Moby. A student held the bag with Moby’s image on it in front of his face to play the part of Moby. We downloaded an image of the notebook page and used the TouchCast App to annotate the question part for the introduction to the movie. We added a QUIZ type question and even a link to learn more. While filming, the entire segment, we used Reflector App to mirror what we were doing to the the big screen in the classroom, so the entire class could follow along and be involved in the process. The students had such a great time watching, learning, and contributing to our own BrainPOP Movie. We’ve shown the clip on our morning announcements each year on the feast day of our school’s patron saint. Everyone looks forward to it, especially the class that made it since they have the “bragging rights” for creating the video. Here’s the link.

How has BrainPOP impacted a specific student (or group of students)?
BrainPOP has impacted the learning of students in every class. When I first started using BrainPOP in the computer lab, the students would go back to their homeroom teachers and tell them about the adventures of Tim and Moby and all the “cool stuff” that they could do. BrainPOP has so many options with activities to extend the learning and the students enjoyed all of it. As new areas of BrainPOP were introduced, the students wanted to dig deeper and continue the learning outside the classroom. Students asked if they could check out BrainPOP movies in other subject areas and explore at HOME. I was so surprised to see how many students were choosing to view and work on other BrainPOP movies outside of school. They were hooked at the first “BEEP.”

How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Becoming a CBE has helped me to be a better teacher because I have amazing support from BrainPOP, plus an entire network of CBE teachers to offer strategies, ideas, and suggestions. I am able to meet the unique needs of all the students in my classes. I can show students how to adjust the speed on a BrainPOP movie. I can customize quizzes, and I can even assign activities based on the interests and strengths of my students. AND, I love getting early notice of new features, so that I can try everything out ahead of everyone else!

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
I tell everyone that with all of the new technology available today, that this is an exciting time to be a student and a teacher. I love finding tools that engage students, develop curiosity, and inspire creativity. BrainPOP does ALL of that. I also tell teachers that the job of technology is to make your life easier. As teachers we should use technology for that reason, not just for technology’s sake. The best use of technology in the classroom is when it serves the purpose of making the learning or teaching easier. With the outstanding content, delivery and format of the BrainPOP movies, along with the interactive quizzes and opportunities for creativity, BrainPOP really is the ideal technology tool for any classroom and it keeps getting better and better!

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
I would love to see some Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality components for BrainPOP. That would really take BrainPOP to the next level!