1. Whole Group Review
The site offers a great selection of videos that explain and illustrate many different math concepts. My students enjoy the videos and find them very entertaining.
2. Math in the Real-World
To apply skills, I like to have my students complete the activities that are included with each lesson. Many times, I find word problems that incorporate the concepts in a real world setting, such as creating a menu by using estimation skills. The Read More section on BrainPop also offers some real world examples of Math in everyday life. Usually when I show this section, my students have an "aha" moment of how they can apply and see math in their lives.
3. Thinking and Collaborating
Some of the activities provide opportunities for writing and discussion. I especially like the BrainPop Jr. format that provides sections on Write About It, which I use as journal prompts, and Talk About It, which I use for small group discussions. There is also a section called, Read About It that lists several popular children's literature titles to further explore the concepts.
4. Online Quizzes
After each lesson, the site provides the option of printing a quiz or taking it online. I usually opt for the online version and have my students take the quiz as a class. First, I have them read the item and start eliminating a few choices. Next, I have them choose from the ones left, discuss with a partner why they chose that option, and further justify their selection for the class. Sometimes my students are in agreement with their partner, and other times they change their answer after talking to their partner. I feel that this discussion needs to take place to assist in their thinking.
Overall, I am very satisfied with both sites. I highly recommend them to teachers who would like more interactive ways to review and apply skills across grade levels and content areas. I am still in the process of exploring how to integrate other lessons and resources into my gifted curriculum.
How do you use BrainPop or BrainPop Jr. in your classroom or gifted program?