WOW! March has been CRAZY! I am actually headed out tomorrow for Follett's New Leaf in Learning Conference where I will get to catch up with some Sisterhood of the Traveling Macs. I get back late Friday evening. Saturday morning I will be spending my day hanging out with some awesome people at PadCampDallas (it is not to late to sign up!)
I couldn't go another post, however, without mentioning one of my FAVORITE sites, apps, and connections! BrainPOP- You know the awesome Robot.. the fantastic cartoons.. the amazing lessons.. you know that one!
There are different versions of BrainPOP. In my classroom we are Annie and Moby fans of BrainPOP Jr. Although BrainPOP is a paid site, there is a TON OF FREE stuff! In BrainPOP Jr. Annie and Moby are the main characters of mini movies over topics in science, social studies, health, reading and writing, math, and arts and technology.
When you first enter the site students and teachers can scroll over the different topics and it reads it for you. That's right... it READS it for you! I am a pretty good reader I have to admit, but what a great resource for my students! Thank you BrainPOP for helping increase language in my classroom! Choose the section that you want and it takes into a categorized area of ideas. If you have a subscription you can watch any of these movies, but if you don't there are still a TON of free movies too. Of course the Movie of the Week is free (okay.. I LOVE free things.. but love them even more when they make a difference in my classroom!)
Watching the BrainPOPJr movies as a class are a great way to introduce ideas and review ideas, but BrainPOP is SO much more than movies! In the movies you can add closed captioning. This is another great way of increasing vocabulary in my classroom. With each movie is also a game, a joke, activity, belly up, draw about it, write about it, lesson ideas, read about , talk about it, word wall.... and quizzes!
There is a TON of stuff that you can do with BranPOP, so much that I learn a little something new every day. That is okay, because I just head over to BrainPOP Educators! Yep.. that is free too! This is the place that you can get lesson ideas, find out what is going on in the BrainPOP community, check out the state standards, and join in on free webinars on Wednesdays. My favorite part of BrainPOP Educators is Featured Movies and Events which is the calendar and has ideas for each day of the week.
So.. I know there is just so much info in this blog, but there are so many cool things going on! A new feature is GAMEUP. BrainPOP is already a great way for higher order thinking, but the free games that GAMEUP promotes are super creative, educational, and fun. The GAMEUP section is a great place for my students to generalize ideas that I am teaching.
You want it on your iPad... guess what, there is an App for that too! It is FREE too!
There is so much to do with BrainPOP Jr.(I didn't even talk about BrainPOP or BrainPOP ESL) that a blog can't even sum it up.
I should get to bed (as I leave tomorrow... and I still have a little packing to do!) Check out BrainPop, find them on twitter, and sign up for the FREE BrainPOP Educators. Do you use BrainPOP? How do you use it? I LOVE connecting with people and seeing how others are using the same materials I am.