Get to know a CBE

Formative Assessment with CBE of the Month Lauren Johnson

Posted by cemignano on

Please welcome December’s CBE of the Month, Lauren Johnson, to the blog! Lauren is the Technology Coordinator at St. Peter Catholic School in Covington, LA and has a passion for teaching not only her students, but her colleagues, as well. Read on to learn about Lauren’s experience as a CBE and how she’s connected with our community.

What grade(s) do you teach? Subject area?
I teach 3rd – 7th grade Computer, and 6th – 7th grade Coding and Robotics.

How long have you been teaching?
I am currently in my 11th year of teaching!

What inspired you to go into education?
I always knew I was going to be a teacher because of my mom. She was a teacher for over 30 years, and many of my childhood memories involve helping her set up her classroom to prepare for the school year. I especially loved the creativity involved in designing student activities and bulletin boards to display work. While many of my childhood friends were taking late summer trips to the beach, I could be found labeling school supplies and putting up bulletin boards. I also loved the moments when I was able to be in her classroom while she was teaching. It was obvious how much she loved teaching her students, and I always hoped to become a great teacher like her.

Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE?
I am a part of the ISTE 2017 CBE class. I love being a CBE because the process taught me not only how to effectively utilize BrainPOP’s tools and resources within my classes, but also how to create fun engaging lessons for my students. One of my favorite things about being a CBE is the online community BrainPOP has built for its CBEs. It is an amazing feeling knowing I have colleagues and friends online in the same profession using the same amazing tools should I have questions or need advice. It is evident how hard the BrainPOPers work to ensure we have everything we need to succeed in our classrooms, and they make themselves easily accessible for advice and questions. I am truly grateful to BrainPOP for creating the CBE community.

What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done with your class using BrainPOP resources?
My personal favorite BrainPOP tool is Make-a-Movie! I had my students use Make-a-Movie to review their lessons from the previous year. However, instead of simply giving my students questions to answer, I recorded their other teachers asking an essential question, similar to a BrainPOP letter, and turned it into my own Make-a-Movie! The students then worked in pairs to create their movie answering their teacher’s question. My students worked hard knowing their project had a true audience. After completing their movies, I showed the teachers their students’ products. It was awesome to see a dialogue begin between the students and their teachers as the students taught their teachers about computer programming!

How has BrainPOP impacted a specific student (or group of students)?
BrainPOP has impacted my students because the creativity tools have allowed my students to take ownership of their knowledge and show what they know. While many student assessments involve tests with right and wrong answers, BrainPOP has taught my students that knowledge can be presented in many different ways yet still be correct. It is amazing to see my students be the directors of their own learning! I love when my students walk into class and ask if we are going to play on BrainPOP. I especially love it when my students come to school telling me they played on BrainPOP at home!

How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Becoming a CBE has impacted me because the process taught me how to efficiently implement innovation and creativity into my lessons. After becoming a CBE, I began to look at my lessons differently and worked hard to ensure my students were creating and learning while having fun. Becoming a CBE has also introduced me to an incredible community of BrainPOP-loving educators who are not only encouraging and supportive, but have also become good friends.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
I am passionate about learning both for myself and my students. That passion comes from witnessing the students succeed. When a student or a fellow teacher’s face lights up after an “Ah ha!” moment, I can’t help but smile. Those are the instances that drive my passion to continue not only teaching, but to continue learning to be a better teacher for my students and fellow teachers. It’s a good day when you learn something new!

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
I would love to have a Moby robot to use for coding and robotics! I know my students would love to not only build Moby, but they would also love to code him to do various things just as Tim, Annie, and Nat do in the computer programming videos! function funkyChicken(); anyone?