Get to know a CBE

Creative Coding with CBE of the Month Nicole Choiniere-Kroeker

Posted by cemignano on

We’d like to introduce you to January’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Nicole Choiniere-Kroeker! Nicole became a CBE in the fall of 2017 and is school librarian that works with Kindergarten  – 5th grade. With nearly 25 years of experience, Nicole’s curriculum has 4 main components (Literature Appreciation, Practical Library Skills, Reading & Research/Information Literacy and Technology Literacy) and she supports classroom instruction in the areas of science, social studies and language arts.

What inspired you to go into education?
My dad was a middle school social studies teacher. One of my earliest memories is going to his classroom with my mom, we had to drop something off to him, I may have been 3 or 4 years old. He introduced me by standing me up on this desk. I was a shy child and I remember feeling overwhelmed by all the “big kids.” I remember him chaperoning school dances – my sister and I went with him a few times. School was always part of our family life and conversation. My sister and I played school, even making tests for our dolls and exchanging papers with each other to correct. Teaching was the path that felt right. This may sound like a cliche but I wanted to make a difference in the world, to have a true purpose. When I started my first practicum for my BA in elementary education there were teachers from my past that I tried to emulate. My experiences as a student in their classes shaped the educator I am today.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
As a librarian I am passionate about reading being fun, something that students see as recreational. When a student is excited for the next book in a series or is recommending a book to a friend as a “must read,” that makes my day. As a teacher, I’m passionate about finding the technology that engages students that have removed themselves from the learning process. Handing them a tool that flips the interest switch, brings me joy. I learn more about my students while also giving them a voice. My students will tell you that I am passionate about reading and learning new ways to use technology with them. I want ALL of my students to experience the excitement of discovering a fabulous read and the joy of learning new skills and information. Students at my school know that the library is a place to explore, to create and to enhance their learning.

How does BrainPOP support your educational passions and inspirations?
BrainPOP provides information that I know has been vetted and is presented in a format that makes sense to my students Many students thrive when information is presented visually. BrainPOP’s learning environment is even better with the opportunities for students to express their learning through the creative tools. I used Make-a-Map with my 2nd graders last year. One of my students started using Make-a-Map for fun with topics he just wanted to learn about. Everything he needed was in one place – reliable information with reliable resources. 

How has BrainPOP supported the introduction of coding in your school?
I can’t thank you enough for adding Creative Coding to the BrainPOP features. Because of this feature, I’ve been able to extend coding instruction beyond our Hour of Code celebration in December AND to connect coding with content curriculum. The Creative Coding projects are true examples of the power of collaboration. The classroom teachers focus on the content shared through the projects and I focus on the coding component. Last school year, students created projects related to the American Revolution and Westward Expansion. I’m looking forward to rolling out Creative Coding in November this school year so we can use it all year long. 

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
Hmm.. A goal of mine this year is that I will be able to show more staff members all the opportunities available with BrainPOP. My 3rd – 5th grader teachers co-teach with me, they see all that BP offers. The K – 2nd grade teachers are getting a prep period when I work with their students, so I’m hoping to find opportunities for us to work together. For what do I wish I could do with BrainPOP…In the future, will there be a way to export projects (ex. Creative Coding) out of BP so students could save projects to a digital portfolio on Google Drive?