• 11 Jul
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    Jude recently had the pleasure of meeting Miss Donacien and the KS2 pupils at Wix Primary School. Here’s how she got on…

    At Wix, I was lucky enough to have a whole assembly to find out what the kids in Years 3 to 6 thought of BrainPOP.

    We started by talking about how BrainPOP movies are made and watched the Digital Animation movie where Tim tells us about this.

    Digital Animation explained

    Once the movie finished, this prompted a discussion about how long movies take to make and how long BrainPOP had been around. I could tell from talking to these young BrainPOPpers they had already watched lots of movies but then I posed quite a hard question…

    “What is the difference between someone who just watches BrainPOP movies and a BrainPOPper?”

    Everyone thought hard and had excellent suggestions:

    • Using BrainPOP at home
    • Using BrainPOP to learn

    Although both statements are true I thought I’d better explain the difference.

    Everyone was surprised to learn I was a BrainPOPper before I even met Tim and Moby.

    But how can that be?

    “I am so very old,” I explained, “that when I was at school we didn’t have computers. But I used to love going to the library and using books to find out lots of interesting facts, just like BrainPOPpers do.”

    However, there’s another important BrainPOP characteristic: I explained that one of the features of a great BrainPOPper is that they don’t just watch a movie and think, “That was interesting.” They watch a BrainPOP movie and think, “I’m going to do something with that information.”

    Examples we discussed were watching the Filmmaking movie and then scripting and recording your own movie; watching the Roald Dahl movie before reading his books; or watching the Blogs movie before setting up your own blog.

    I had already seen Miss Donacien’s class blog and it made me think what turned out to be true – Wix Primary school is full of BrainPOPpers!

    Wix Primary's BrainPOP blog badge

    Once I had explained what being a BrainPOPper meant the ideas flowed thick and fast:

    • Use BrainPOP at home to research a topic you’re interested in
    • Use BrainPOP to help younger or older siblings with their homework (everyone was surprised to hear that BrainPOP is used in secondary schools as much as primary schools!)
    • Use BrainPOP with Mum and Dad so they can learn too

    Assembly was soon over and there was just time for a quick recap on what makes a great BrainPOPper:

    1. They love finding out information about lots of different things
    2. They use the information they have found to go and do other interesting stuff

    A couple of days later I saw that Miss Donacien’s class had been blogging again…this time about my visit.

    BrainPOP visit by Year 3

    As I suspected, Year 5 proved themselves to be amazing BrainPOPpers, not just finding out information, they used Purple Mash to make their own illustrations about what they had learned.

    Will keep an eye on their blog to keep up to date with their adventures.

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  • 02 Feb
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    We like to send our school subscribers little challenges every now and then as a little reminder that learning is always fun with BrainPOP. And when subscribers submit completed treasure hunts, word searches, and other challenges, we like to reward them with BrainPOP goodies because we’re just nice like that 🙂

    So when Jennifer Finlayson’s Primary 6 class sent us their completed word searches we made sure to send them a selection of the very best BrainPOP badges (modelled below) as a reward for doing such a good job.

    Currie Primary kids and their badges

    Of course there are other things just as important to us as making learning fun!

    For one, we value customer feedback. And another, we love hearing your tales of good classroom practice. We simply can’t maintain our high standards if we don’t listen and learn from you.

    To this aim, and because Currie Primary School are such long term BrainPOP customers, we asked Jennifer if she could give us a run down of a typical BrainPOP lesson and she happily obliged.

    My favourite movie is: all of them!

    Because: there is such a wide range of movies I always find one to suit my needs!

    My class like: Tim and Moby

    Because: they think they are funny and they like that the movies always follow the same format

    Brief description of a typical BrainPOP lesson

    Introduction/background:

    A lesson about synonyms and antonyms. These are new concepts to the children and, although they might understand the concepts, they are unfamiliar with the terms.

    Getting Started/Preparation:

    • Ask the children to discuss in pairs what they think a synonym (then antonym) is.
    • Give clues i.e. syno means same, nym means name.

    What we did:

    • Once the pupils had generated definitions for each and we had discussed these, they worked in pairs to come up with as many examples as they could, and recorded these on mini whiteboards.
    • We then discussed these as a class to produce a class bank of synonyms and antonyms.
    • Then we watched the BrainPOP clip to reinforce what we had learnt, and this also went beyond our learning to touch on homonyms – which was useful as, although we hadn’t discussed it, this was planned for a later lesson.

    Outcomes:

    Pupils had a good understanding of synonyms and antonyms and were able to provide examples.

    What’s the best thing about being a BrainPOP school?

    • A wide selection of resources easily available and easy to search for on the site.
    • The clips really appeal to upper primary children and often provide a great ‘hook’ into learning at the beginning of a lesson.
    • We also enjoy your seasonal/topical clips, for example Halloween, and use these as stand alone stimulus for discussion.

    Thank you BrainPOP!

    If you’ve got any teaching and learning tales you’d like to share with other schools, please send them to info@brainpop.co.uk or post a comment below.

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  • 30 Aug
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    We think there are 4 different types of BrainPOP users.

    1. “I know exactly what I’m looking for and I know how to get there”
    2. “I’ll just browse until I see something interesting”
    3. “What’s new, Moby?”
    4. “I’m really interested in this, I wonder if they’ve got anything on it?”

    If you fall into the last category we’ve got some news for you! We’ve totally overhauled our Search tool. Yay!

    1. Explore and discover topics and resources

    • Can’t quite remember what your Maths teacher was saying about Fractions today? The search tool should get you there and help you discover related topics too. A quick search for fractions and you’ll master fractions (or at least get 2/3 of the way there) in no time.
    • You’ll also find Spotlight suggestions appear when you search. For example, a search for “Stars” reveals our star-related topics AND our “Starship BrainPOP” space-themed spotlight.

    Improved search

    2. Predictive search

    The new auto-complete feature means you don’t have to be a spelling whiz. If spelling isn’t your strong point, have a play with the search – you’ll see a number of options appear in the auto-complete without having to type many letters at all. As a teacher this will really boost support for any low level literacy students.

    Auto-complete example

    3. Search everything

    The search doesn’t only return topics and spotlights – you can now search across the whole site.

    We hope the improved search function makes life just that little bit easier for you and your kids.

    So what are you waiting for? We’ve got what you’re looking for, just search.


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