• 03 May
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    There’s a lot of information students need to know in order to answer the questions in the maths SATS papers Year 6 pupils will be sitting in mid-May.

    With so much to revise it can be difficult to isolate where students are struggling and what strategies to use to help.

    (PS: If your children are anxious about sitting tests then have a look at our post on “Take the stress out of SATS preparation“.)

    Sometimes students just need a quick refresher to check their maths understanding or get a more solid grounding in the basics to properly understand a more complex concept.

    DivisionFYIImage1

    To help with this we’ve put together a downloadable poster that identifies our top BrainPOP Maths topics useful  for Key Stage 2 SATS revision.


    SATs arithmetic revision practiceSATs reasoning revision paper

    We recommend:

    1. Taking a SATS sample test and circling ones that proved challenging. Then refer to the poster and search BrainPOP to find the appropriate movie (for the Arithmetic paper we’ve even included some sample questions above the movie).
    2. If after watching the movie and doing the quiz students are still struggling, then you know it’s not just that they haven’t understood the concept, there may be a deeper problem. This helps save teacher time and focus on where students need help the most.
    3. Using it to motivate! Watching the movie then managing to solve the problem is a great memorisation strategy and can help students commit the concept to long-term memory.
    4. Plus, because the PDF includes links on all of the images students can take charge of their revision and use it independently!

    Further help (and fun)

    If you just need help getting extra practice in while keeping students engaged don’t forget to check out our maths games.

    • Games like Addition Blocks are great for practising quick basic mental maths
    • Primary Krypto is fantastic mental maths helper
    • Flower Power is an invaluable tool for building number sense around fractions, decimals, and mixed numbers

    Flower Power Game Screenshot

    And as a bonus it never hurts to inject a little fun into maths revision :-)

    Good luck everyone!

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  • 24 Mar
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    Did you ever think a Frog would be able to teach number lines?

    Treefrog Treasure, in our GameUp section is a maths game for children to explore fractions and match and/or compare fractional amounts. It’s also one of our most popular games.

    BrainPOP - Treefrog Treasure

    What is Treefrog Treasure?

    It’s an educational game that helps children 7-14 learn number line concepts while jumping, bouncing, sliding, and sticking to walls as a frog character. It develops understanding of fractions, estimating, absolute value, and ratios.

    The game has 3 worlds to complete, with 15 levels per world.

    The challenges get increasingly more complex as the student progresses through the game, but students are always reminded what they have learned when they complete a level.

    BrainPOP UK - Treefrog Treasure end of level

    How will this help with number line practice?

    Pupils, individually, as a team, or on an interactive whiteboard, will have fun establishing parts of a whole and their corresponding fractions.

    When certain obstacles are reached, a player must properly identify a target symbol, whole number, or fraction on a number line to collect gems and complete the level. Hints are provided to help the player reach the correct answer when mistakes are made.

    Success showers the player with gems, which must be collected to increase their final score.

    Is it easy to use?

    Pupils will need to be able to have a certain amount of control with a mouse or laptop trackpad, but that’s it. It’s very intuitive, and once the pupil understands the game mechanic they will happily play with little or no supervision.

    The first few levels do not involve fractions and provide time for students to get used to game play with basic maths skills so that they can focus on the more advanced maths skills later on.

    How can I blend this game into a lesson?

    1. Play our Fractions movie to the class, to make sure the concepts are fresh in their minds, and explain that they will be matching fractions to pictures of fractional amounts in a game called Treefrog Treasure.
    2. Instruct students to begin on the first level if you’d like them to have the opportunity to experiment with how the game works prior to having fractional amounts introduced in it.
    3. Allow students to play the game independently or with a partner (most students will not need instructions for game play and will be able to figure it out as they go).
    4. Draw students’ attention to the hints that are provided if needed. You can also show students how to turn the music off (using the icon in the lower right portion of the screen) if they are distracted by it.
    5. After approximately ten minutes, have students pause the game and talk with one another (or with you via a whole-class discussion) about strategies.
      • How can they tell the correct place to aim their frog?
      • What happens if they aim too low or too high?
      • Which maths skills do they need to be proficient at in order to be successful?
      • Provide additional concept reinforcement with other BrainPOP UK movies about fractions as needed.
    6. Provide another 10-20 minutes for students to finish game play. Any children who finish early can re-play their favorite levels. Some children may not be able to advance past all the levels, but encourage them to work as far as they can.
    7. Extend the learning:
      • Allow students to talk about the fractions they encountered during Treefrog Treasure.
      • Have them draw pictures of some of the fractional amounts from the game, then switch papers with a partner and practise writing the corresponding fraction.
      • Let students know they can continue playing Treefrog Treasure at home if they would like to try to advance through all the levels and beat the game!

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  • 17 Jul
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    In Dublox by Hooda Math from our GameUp UK section you must use your spatial and transformation skills to flip the Dublox across a variety of terrains.

    Dublox encourages:

    • Logical thinking
    • Problem solving
    • Spatial awareness
    • Transformation skills

    Students can experiment with rotation and reflection by directing Dublox (the yellow block) across the floating terrain to the goal. The trick is Dublox can only move a certain number of tiles at a time, in only 4 directions. One false move and…over the edge you go!

    As the game increases in difficulty the student gains over time a strong sense of spatial awareness and the effects of rotation and reflection on the object.

    It’s also HUGE fun. We bet you send Dublox hurtling off the edge at least as often as you reach the target :-)

    How does Dublox work?

    You must guide the Dublox, a small and surprisingly athletic block, across the board to the goal without falling off.

    The player must manoeuvre the block to the correct area and position by flipping the block into the right space using the arrow keys on their keyboard. If the block goes outside the board then the block vanishes and the level must be started again. Each level is different and requires the student to approach the puzzle in a slightly different way.

    The game tracks how many steps have been taken in the game, and how many steps have been taken in the level and displays it in the bottom right of the screen.

    Dublox game screenshot

    Rewarding progress

    The player earns bronze, silver, or gold medals based on their performance in the level. The player can also unlock achievements such as “Tasting” for completing the first 7 levels or “Brainy” for unlocking all of the bronze medals.

    The player can restart levels if they get stuck or just roll their Dublox off the ledge to start again. Although the steps used is kept in the player’s total it doesn’t affect their ability to earn medals on individual attempts. The game remembers where you left off so the player won’t lose their place if they stop playing.

    What makes it a good educational game?

    • The game allows students to explore transformation and rotation and apply it to problems giving them a deeper understanding of the topic.
    • The game is replayable and students can compete against each other and themselves to get the medals and least amount of steps.
    • The game encourages experimentation and the player loses nothing by failing. As students can work out themselves what works and what doesn’t they get a firmer grasp of the principles and uses of the concepts.
    • For any students getting frustrated they can watch the related BrainPOP movies under the game without having to navigate away from the game or losing their place.
    • Like all the GameUp games, Dublox has a dedicated quiz that you can use to check students’ comprehension before or after the game.
    • The game works really well used as a class resource on an interactive whiteboard or equally can be used individually or as homework.

    Using the game with a class – hints and tips

    • The controls in this game can perplex initially but kids often get the concept very quickly. Fight the urge to explain and instead let them have a few goes until they get a feel for it. If they master it independently it will boost their confidence.
    • This game is great to use as a front of class resource. Maybe get the whole class working together to solve the puzzles or split them into two competing teams. I pick a student from each team to have a certain number of goes at the controls before it passes to the next student/team (I usually accompany then until they win or up to three attempts). I encourage team members to discuss tactics and work together to solve the problems.
    • I find it useful to discuss with students how transformation and reflection can be useful in day to day life and encourage them to think of examples.

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  • 08 Mar
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    The BBC reported on Monday research that shows kids “would rather struggle alone” with Maths than ask for help and that they are worried they might “look foolish”.

    “A survey of 1,000 10- to 16-year-olds found two-thirds would rather struggle alone or ask friends or family for help…The reasons pupils gave for not asking for help more often were that they were worried about looking foolish, were embarrassed or did not want to draw attention to themselves.”

    BBC News – School maths lessons: Pupils ‘scared to ask for help’

    Hands up who hasn’t felt like this at some point – fear of reaching out in case we stumble and fall. Adult approval and peer judgement at this age can be very powerful (de?)motivators.

    BrainPOP has core qualities that can help kids independently sidestep this issue, to help them build confidence away from the glare of an audience.

    1) Peer vs Authority – BrainPOP uses the power of narrative and engaging characters “posed as peers” rather than “instructing as authorities” to help students grasp complex topics. Tim and Moby create a personal aspect to learning through a conversational tone, the more informal “you” or “I” language, and a familiar voice.

    Kids can turn to BrainPOP to engage with Maths concepts in a comforting child-friendly environment without the need for adult guidance. Tim & Moby are non-threatening and empathetic characters who exist to support learning. Tim & Moby never judge, only help.

    “Peter Lacey, of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, said schools should focus on developing pupils’ confidence in mathematics slowly, rather than racing through concepts with undue haste and leaving some students behind.”

    2) Reinforcement – Kids can watch BrainPOP movies again and again or re-take the POPquizzes until they truly understand the concept.  We address the knowledge and understanding behind the practical application of problem solving.

    For example, our Exponents topic doesn’t provide endless examples showing workings involving exponents; it tells them what an exponent is so they gain the understanding required to work out maths problems in class. In the movie, we follow Tim and Moby as they travel in a microscopic submarine around a human body.

    Exponents explanation

    By using the example of calculating white and red blood cells, these characters show us what a base number is and where an exponent is written in relation to it.

    Exponents

    They  teach us a couple of different ways to talk about exponents, as well as why exponential numbers can get so big so fast. We also find out how to write exponents, and how to expand them into their fuller form.

    A comprehensive explanation, with natural pause points and key vocabulary highlighted throughout, all in under 5 minutes.

    The pedagogical benefits of BrainPOP don’t stop at Maths either.

    3) Learning Outcomes – every movie starts with a letter from a child. The famous BrainPOP letter sets the expectations of the student at their level. Each POPquiz allows students to get instant feedback and retake the quiz multiple times should they wish.

    4) Control – they can pause, rewind, fast forward, and replay movies at their speed and understanding. Having control over their own learning significantly increases understanding of the concepts.

    5) BrainPOP supports various learning styles – Whether kids are visual, logical, social or solitary learners, BrainPOP is a flexible resource that can accommodate them.

    While we think it important to highlight the benefits of BrainPOP for those students afraid to ask for help we would never encourage kids not to ask for help. That’s why we produced a Getting Help topic with the overarching message to ask for help whenever you need it. Please take the time to watch it and show it in class.

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  • 01 Jul
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    Never. Eat. Shredded. Wheat. Learn how to use a compass, know your latitude from your longitude, and find out how GPS works with this collection of Geography and Maths topics and activities. You’ll never get lost again (we hope!)

    Finding Your Way Spotlight

    As well as Jen Deyenberg’s fantastic “Blowing Your Mind” geocaching activities, you’ll also find our Continents of the World Quiz, Flight Activities and an FYI about GPS.

    Topics in this month’s Spotlight include:

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  • 26 Jul
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    It’s essential that the numbers add up in these rough and tumble financial times which is why we’re doing a Managing Your Money Spotlight in September.

    We think it’s time to take stock, invest your interest and give credit where credit’s due as Tim & Moby get clued up on money matters. The Spotlight will feature Maths topics like Basic Probability and Finding Percentages as well as personal finance topics like Stocks and Shares and Credit Cards.

    Here comes the interesting bit…

    Teach Primary magazine are putting together a special Maths focus for September which ties in ever so nicely with our Spotlight. So we’ve booked one page in the magazine to showcase a KS2 teacher’s thoughts and opinions on teaching financial skills and understanding to 7-11 year olds. This is your chance to share what works in your class with over 20,000 Teach Primary readers.

    What do you do in your classroom, or see reflected at home with your kids, to teach them how to save and spend wisely?

    • What resources do you use?
    • Are your kids “money sensible” or total spendaholics?
    • Do they understand credit, interest or saving or the ‘value’ of money?
    • How have you explained the “credit crunch”?
    • What worries your pupils about the current financial crisis? What questions are they asking?
    • How do you use Maths in your financial literacy lessons?

    So, if you think you can help us, please submit your idea(s) and we’ll discuss the next steps. The article is 500 words and will be published in the September issue of Teach Primary magazine. The deadline for submission is 5th August. If more than one teacher submits an idea we withhold the right to approve the final decision as to which author we choose.

    We promise it’ll be fun and a worthwhile thing to do. We’ll also promote your article in POPtalk with the BrainPOP UK community. In return we’ll recompense you accordingly with an economically viable free 6 month subscription to BrainPOP UK and a goody bag too.

    Email info@brainpop.co.uk as soon as you can and we’ll get back to you with more information.

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  • 17 Sep
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    Maths_moby

    Maths has multiplied at BrainPOP UK – we have uploaded 25  brand new maths movies!

    This is our excuse to mention as many of them as possible. So here goes…

    Fractionally, there are almost double the amount of Maths movies  we used to have (I did a bit of Rounding there). Your feedback told us that this Multiplication was necessary to solve your Maths Problems.

    So, Factoring in Distance, Speed and Time to bring these to you has meant that there has been no Division in our attention.

    This Transformation to our list has shows that, from Polyhedrons to Calculus, Proportionally we have XLV of the best Maths concept animations you’ll ever see.

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  • 10 Sep
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    Have a look at this list. They’re all brand new movies coming to BrainPOP UK very soon.

    We’re extremely proud to announce these movies (and their accompanying quizzes, don’t forget) will be added to BrainPOP UK for all free trials and subscribers.

    No extra cost. No hidden charges. No funny business.

    They span all the subjects in BrainPOP UK, both Primary and Secondary, and will automatically appear over the next 8 weeks, in batches, with new Maths and English movies already up. The list below is simply alphabetical, but in BrainPOP UK they will be categorised and tagged to curricula.

    New-english-movies

    Example of some of our new English movies

    If you dearly need one of these movies for a lesson and you can’t find it in BrainPOP UK (yet) then contact us and we’ll see if we can expedite it specially.

    • Active Transport
    • Adding and Subtracting Integers Advanced
    • Adding and Subtracting Fractions Advanced
    • Agatha Christie
    • Aids
    • Algae
    • Allergies
    • Anthrax
    • Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms
    • Ants
    • Appendix
    • Arachnids
    • Asexual Reproduction
    • Associative Property (Order of Calculations)
    • Asthma
    • Atmosphere
    • Autism
    • Autumn Leaves
    • Aztec Civilisation
    • Balance
    • Blood Pressure
    • Body Chemistry
    • Bonfire Night
    • Bogies
    • Braces
    • Brain
    • Brass Instruments
    • Calculus
    • Capitalization
    • Carbon Cycle
    • Carnivorous Plants
    • Cats
    • Cells
    • Cellular respiration
    • Choosing US presidential candidates
    • Classification
    • Clauses
    • Cnidarians
    • Cold War
    • Compounds and Mixtures
    • Computer Mouse
    • Conditioning
    • Conjunctions
    • Conquistadors
    • Decimals
    • Diagramming Sentences
    • Dictionary And Thesaurus
    • Diffusion
    • Distance, Speed, and Time
    • Distributive Property
    • Division
    • Ecosystems
    • Electric Circuits
    • Electromagnetic Spectrum
    • Emergency 999
    • Equations with Variables
    • Etymology
    • Exoplanets
    • Factoring
    • Fall of the Roman Empire
    • Fax Machine
    • Foetal development
    • Food Safety
    • Fossils
    • Frankenstein
    • Frida Kahlo
    • Galaxies
    • Geologic Time
    • Geometry
    • Gills
    • Graphs
    • Ground Water
    • Growth
    • Homer
    • Hormones
    • Humans and The Environment
    • Idioms and Cliches
    • Imagination
    • Immune System
    • Improving Sentences
    • Inca Civilisation
    • Isotopes
    • Joints
    • Latitude and Longitude
    • leap Year
    • Lord of the Flies
    • Mahatma Gandhi
    • Maths Problems
    • Maya Civilisation
    • Measuring matter
    • Metals
    • Metamorphosis
    • Migration
    • Mineral Identification
    • Monotremes
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Multiplication
    • Multiplying and Dividing Fractions
    • Nanotechnology
    • Natural Disasters
    • Nervous System
    • Nutrition
    • Organic Food
    • Outer Solar System
    • Passive Transport
    • Petrol and oil
    • Pirates
    • Poetry
    • Polyhedrons
    • Power
    • Prime Numbers
    • Printers
    • Property Changes
    • Protists
    • Protozoa
    • Punctuation
    • Queen Elizabeth 1
    • Radioactivity
    • Reading Skills
    • Referencing Sources
    • Respiratory System
    • Rise of the Roman Empire
    • Roald Dahl
    • Roman Numerals
    • Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes
    • Rounding
    • Scientific Method
    • Seeding Plants
    • Sentence Fragments
    • September 11th
    • Seven Wonders
    • Six Kingdoms
    • Skeleton
    • Slope and Intercept
    • Soil
    • Solar Energy
    • Stock and Shares
    • Sumerians
    • Sun Protection
    • Symbiosis
    • Terrorism
    • The Order of Calculations
    • The Troubles
    • The Writing Process
    • They’re, Their and There
    • Time Zones
    • Transformation
    • Tsunami
    • Types of Triangles
    • Urinary System
    • Using Proportions
    • Volume of Cylinders
    • Volume of Prisms
    • Waste Management
    • World War I
    • World War II
    • World War II Causes
    • Writing In Sequence

    PS: You can find a huge comprehensive list of all our movies that are live on our site on our “Movies list” page.

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