How I Use It
Now, I did not use BrainPop Jr. as a substitute for teaching, but more so, as a tool to introduce a new topic of study. I used it during my "technology" rotation of reading groups. This way, students minds were already starting to get acquainted with an aspect of a new unit. BrainPop did not work as well for me as BrainPop Jr., which was geared more towards my grade level (3rd). Also, if you have iPads, log your students in beforehand and it keeps you logged in--much more time efficient! My advice, if using computers, is to go ahead and have the site pulled up and logged in, because you don't want to be working with other students and keep getting called over to get them on the site (wasting learning time--learned from experience).
I found BrainPop Jr. very valuable to introducing new topics. I discovered BrainPop Jr. late in this year. I was using BrainPop, which was wonderful, but at times, too advanced for my 3rd graders. Then, I discovered BrainPop Jr. and I loved it! This site explains the material in-depthly, but what I love the most is that it offers a variety of ways to respond to the video! This was great because I could reach every level in my room in some way. The more advanced could write a response, the on-level could take notes and respond, and my lower-level (who had difficulty writing) could illustrate what they watched. There was also a notepad available where students could take notes. I really loved the availability of a variety of responses (sometimes I would even let my students choose which way they wanted to respond to the video because that would peak their interest even more). BrainPop did not offer as much of a variety of responses as BrainPop Jr. Which, you could always develop your own response, I know, but I really enjoyed BrainPop Jr.'s ideas on how to reach a multitude of abilities.