How I Use It
I start each science unit with the short video to introduce the topic. Students enjoy listening to Mobie and Annie so they always look forward to it. The videos are informative and less than 5 minutes. From that point we do experiments in our FOSS kits as well as complete activities from BrainPop Jr Science. I mix the 2 together as appropriate depending on the unit. The FOSS kits have several hands-on experiments and sometimes I add additional hands-on activities from the lesson plan section of BrainPop Jr Science. I appreciate the games, word wall, draw about it, write about it and talk about it sections of the website. They provide my students with different ways of showing and organizing their knowledge. For some units we do all of them and for some units I have students choose a couple. Having the draw, talk and read sections are a helpful way to differentiate for students who prefer one form of communication over another. My students take the quiz right after watching the movie and then again before our summative unit assessment. I appreciate that there's an easy and a hard level and I usually let students choose their own level. By combining all these forms of information input and output, it is easy for my students to be successful.
BrainPop Jr. Science is an excellent resource for my classroom and definitely worth the money. I do with the draw about it section had an email option. We usually don't print digital work so instead I have students take a screenshot and email the screenshot. Avoiding this extra step would help. I like the different genres of writing that come up as we move through the topics, so students are not always writing a poem or always writing a letter, it's varied. This supports our ELA curriculum and also retains student interest. In addition, it provides real world typing practice. The website is very easy to navigate. At some point it would be excellent to have the site aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.