Get to know a CBE

Differentiation with CBE of the Month Melissa Murray

Posted by cemignano on

We’d like to welcome March’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Melissa Murray, to the blog! Melissa joins us for Northern California and has utilized the CBE community to connect with other educators across the globe. Read on to learn more about her experience as a CBE and how the program has impacted her career.

What grade(s) do you teach? Subject area?
I teach 2nd grade in Northern California for Marysville Joint Unified School District.

How long have you been teaching?
This is my 5th year teaching 2nd grade. The year before that I was a Reading Intervention teacher.

What inspired you to go into education?
I have always loved working with children and knew that one day I would be in a career working with children in one form or another. I am the oldest of all my siblings and all my first cousins, so I did a ton of babysitting growing up, too. In my early college years, I worked for after school programs and summer camps and my joy for learning grew even more. In addition and maybe one of the biggest reasons why I got into education was my 7th grade teacher, Miss Falcone. She was awesome. She made learning fun and memorable. To this day, I still remember how safe I felt in her classroom and the way she showed that she cared for each of us. She was patient, taught me how to be confident in my skills, and to always believe in myself. As an educator now, I try my best to instill these traits with every student that walks into my classroom.

Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE?
I was part of the online course in the fall of 2016. I love being a CBE because it gives me  the opportunity to learn from other fantastic CBEs across the globe. I am able to bounce off ideas with people and share what I am doing with my students. It is a true blessing to be part of a professional learning network that wants to help you succeed as an educator and your students become better learners.

What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done with your class using BrainPOP resources?
One project that stands out is when we were learning about forces. I assigned the video, Pushes and Pulls, to them and used the video to open up our unit and start our group discussion. Throughout our unit we read about different forces from our textbook and also viewed other media files. Towards the end of our unit, I divided them into groups. Each group worked on a specific activity ranging from observing students at recess to see if they saw any forces in action to comparing different objects being rolled down a ramp, and another group worked on BrainPOP. This group of students showed what they learned throughout the unit by creating their own version of “Belly Up.” Each student had a blank comic strip similar to the one of the site. Their creativity blew me away and I loved that it gave them a different option of sharing what they learned with not only myself, but with their peers too.  

How has BrainPOP impacted a specific student (or group of students)?
I think BrainPOP has impacted all of my students learning in a variety of ways. I love that using BrainPOP can look different in every classroom you learn about, yet the outcome is the same. Students are engaged, learning new tools, exposed to a variety of resources, and having fun while they learn.

How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Becoming a Certificated BrainPOP Educator has always been important to me since completing the course back in 2016. I have always been proud of my accomplishment and the honor of being chosen for the online course. However, I didn’t realize how much I needed it. Being part of this community has helped me expand my professional learning network across many other states, countries and even continents. It has enabled me to learn from other professionals, collaborate with them on different projects, and to also push myself outside my comfort zone. Being a CBE is an amazing honor and I am so blessed to be amongst some of the smartest and creative educators out there.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
I am extremely passionate about teaching my students that they can accomplish things even if it’s hard or challenging for them the first time around. Failing at something the first time (or second or even third time) is a-okay as long you’re learning from those challenges and pushing forward. Giving up is not an option in my classroom. Working hard towards our goal is always an option. Another passion of mine is sharing my love of learning with my colleagues and trying to engage them into trying new strategies, techniques, and opportunities with technology. I feel that our students deserve the best education they can get and we are here to provide that. Technology is such a great tool to reach all of our learners and being able to share that passion with my students and colleagues is extremely important for me.

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
It would be awesome to have a library of templates (i.e. graphic organizers) to use as my students are watching videos. It would be awesome if Moby and his crew could visit our school and possibly host an assembly on a specific topic.