How I Use It
I use BrainPOP Jr. in a variety of ways. Usually I will use it to either introduce new topics or to reinforce previously taught content. The videos are short and to the point yet highly engaging and effective at teaching the objective. I often have my classes watch the videos as a whole group and then they can pick an activity for independent practice.
I found that it works best to view the videos as a whole group so that I can stop the video periodically and check for understanding. Following the video it is best to discuss the content to ensure understanding or ask follow-up questions for deeper understanding. It isn't as effective to have the students watch independently because sometimes they miss some key understandings that are important for meeting the objective.
Fabulous teaching tool as I found that ALL students, both high and low level learners, can connect to the characters and the content. They remain highly engaged and excited about learning. I especially like that following each video there are activities for various types of learners including a drawing activity, writing activity, word wall, additional reading suggestions, games and quizzes. I like to let my students choose which activity they would like to complete to show their understanding.
It serves the students well because it makes learning fun and it is available as digital content or paper and pencil content. I never had a problem with the content loading or not working properly. The website also includes terrific educator resources as a teacher. You can search for lesson ideas, related content standards, assessments, materials, and more. A nice wide variety of content is free but to have full access to the site the school district will have to subscribe and pay an annual fee but it is definitely well worth it!