Get to know a CBE

Formative Assessment with CBE of the Month Tracie Gones

Posted by cemignano on

We’d like to introduce you to September’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Tracie Gones! Tracie became a CBE in October 2016 and teaches 5th grade in Branson, MO. With 19 years of teaching experience, she’s taught everything from 1st to 5th grade. Read on to learn more about Tracie’s passion for education!

What inspired you to go into education?
In high school, I enjoyed volunteering as a teacher in my church’s Sunday school program. I also served as a counselor for our school district’s 5th grade camps. I’ve just always had a knack for building relationships with kids and helping them to see their potential.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
I like to see my job as “a provider of learning opportunities,” not as a “giver of answers.” I believe students are naturally curious and want to learn. If I can spark that curiosity and engage that desire to learn through great classroom activities, then all my students will learn. That means I have to find or create learning opportunities that grab students’ attention and keep them engaged in meaningful learning. Hands-on activities, math manipulatives, digital tools, real-life problems, and authentic audiences are some of the ways that I can spark that curiosity and provide real learning.

How does BrainPOP support your educational passions and inspirations?
BrainPOP supports my educational passions and inspirations because it provides opportunities for students to learn more about topics they are interested in or research something for class. The movies are short, but packed full of information. Because my students have individual accounts, they can watch movies multiple times until they have a strong grasp of the content. Then, through the additional activities, students can engage even more with the content in ways that are personal to their needs. As a “provider of learning opportunities,” BrainPOP and all the additional activities is a priceless tool for my classroom.

How has BrainPOP supported you with assessment of student understanding for a particular project? 
My students learn about the organ systems in vertebrates, including humans. I use the Guts and Bolts game as a non-traditional, formative assessment. As students play the game, they use the SnapThought tool at the end of each level. They explain their choices for each tube and what is happening to the different materials as they move through the body. I provide sentence stems, such as “I connected the ________ to the __________. When I did this ____________________ (something happened).” This allows me to see what students understand about how our body uses different materials and how the organs work together.

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
I would love to see a movie (and related activities) about the Engineering Design Process. The Next Generation Science Standards have emphasized the Engineering Design Process as just as important as the Scientific Method. This is the first unit my 5th graders do in science. Then we apply the process in all our units for the year. In our unit on earth’s systems, our students design a solution to protect a farm from a drought. In our solar system unit, students design a clock that uses the night sky instead of the sun. A movie and related activities about the Engineering Design Process would be amazing!