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January 30, 2011

What is Twitter and Why is it Becoming So Popular? Part 1

Hope you are having a great weekend. The big question of the week was, what is twitter and why is it becoming so popular?  Recently in the Dallas/Fort Worth area there were two Pre-Super Bowl 45 parties with Dallas Cowboy Wide Receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant for about 400 lucky fans. Remember these two events were free to the public!

These events included free food and refreshments while watching the NFC Football Championship game and a chance to win Super Bowl 45 tickets valued at $1,200 or more. If you were paying attention to their tweets or messages on their twitter page, they listed where and when these events took place. Listed below was Dez Bryant’s messages or tweets, telling fans the time and location of his event.

Twitter is a web site that allows you to communicate and connect with others in real time.  Twitter is also becoming a popular social networking site. When a person goes on the twitter home page, they can look for others who have twitter pages and read their tweets.  A tweet is a message that is limited by 140 characters and you can send  messages to almost anyone that has a twitter account. 

If you sign up for a free account, then you too can tweet on other people's twitter pages. You can also add your own videos and picture links to your twitter page. To learn more about twitter please click on the picture below and it will take you to a video that will go into greater detail on twitter.

I hope you enjoyed the blog on twitter.  One thing you want to remember is people tweet almost about anything.  No one is regulating or making sure that appropriate information is being posted.  You want to make sure you stay safe if you create a twitter account, and never tweet out any personal information about you or your school, your address or phone number.  For more information on twitter, please visit:  We will see you next Week.  Take care.

January 23, 2011

What is BrainPOP Español?


Today I will be blogging about the Spanish version of BrainPOP.  BrainPOP has become so popular, they now have a Spanish site.  That's right Spanish videos!  BrainPOP also has gone international with the following: BrainPOP UK,  BrainPOP Latinoamérica and BrainPOP Français

So if you are an international speaker, go ahead and click on the blue links above, and it will take you to their international sites.  They also feature free videos as well.  If you click the picture above, it will take you to their Spanish site.

Listed below is their help menu in Spanish.  You will see the various help topics that will assist you in working around the Spanish site.  Simply click the picture below and it will take you to their help site.

I hope you enjoyed all the BrainPOP tutorials.  The one thing I really enjoy about BrainPOP, is that they keep adding more videos to their sites.  I have a feeling they are working on a BrainPOP Jr in Spanish.  Well, we will just have to wait and see.  Take care and see you next week.

January 16, 2011

What is BrainPOP ESL?

Good day,

Hope you are doing well.  Today I will be blogging about BrainPOP ESL.  For those of you who have not heard of BrainPOP ESL, it is a web based program for English Second Language (ESL) learners or English Language Leaners (ELL).  This program can also assist anyone who wants to improve their English language skills.  This program improves listening, speaking, reading and writing skills for second language learners.  The ESL curriculum instructions on the site can be used with the following:

1. Whole class teaching or discussion

2. Used in a computer lab setting

3. Small groups or center activities

4. Used on a one to one basis as an intervention

To learn more about brain pop, simply click on the picture below.

As you learned in the video, the lessons continue to scaffold the learning process by building on previous lessons.  This program assists students who have difficulty with their English skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing.  BrainPOP ESL has two levels and four to six units of instructions, which are broken down into mini lessons.  The exciting part of the program is BranPOP continues to work on adding more content.  They are currently working on building a third level.

Brain POP ESL offers lesson overviews that outline important curriculum objectives.  BrainPOP ESL also provides different engaging activities, resources, quizzes and fun games.  You also can make the movie bigger on your screen and use the close caption feature for students who are learning how to read.  If you have questions about this program, they have answers.  Simply click below and you will be taken to the About Us Page.

BrainPOP has many additional activities to increase student learning such as the following:

1. Know More - This feature explains the lesson in greater detail.

2. Words, Words, Words - This feature is used for vocabulary enhancement with interactive flash cards.

3. Read It – This feature will teach your students alphabet letters to building words, sentences and increase reading comprehension.

4. Write It – This allows students to continue working with the alphabet to progress into writing paragraphs in a composition.

5. Hear It, Say It – This is an interactive language lab where an animated character will ask the student to repeat words.

6. Play It – This is an animated game, which allows students to review the lessons taught.

7. Warm Up – This is an activity that allows students to test what they have learned.

8. You Can Do It – This activity allows students to take a graded quiz, which they can review their results after they are done.

9. At A Glance – This allows you to pick a topic in an organized manner by level, unit or alphabetically. This feature is great for teachers who are looking for the perfect ESL lesson.

10. BrainPOP for Educators – This is where teachers submit ideas on how they are using the program in their classrooms.

11. Word Lists – This feature allows the user to view all important vocabulary words used in each lesson.

12. Help – This is a question and answer information page. If you do not see your question, then you can contact BrainPOP either by phone, email or through their mailing address.

If you have not tried any of the BrainPOP programs, click on the picture below and fill out the information to get a free trial.

Hope you enjoyed this blog article on BrainPOP ESL.  Next week, I will be sharing with you the final program in BrainPOP, BrainPOP Español.  See you next week.

January 9, 2011

What is BrainPOP Jr.?


Hope you are doing all well.  I know you have all been waiting for this topic.  So let's get started.  BrainPOP Jr. is a web site similar to BrainPOP, except it is related to grades K - 3. 

The exciting thing about BrainPOP Jr. is every week they are continuing to add more animated videos.  If you look at the picture above, this is what you will see when you go to  Simply click on the picture above, and it will take you to there.

BrainPOP Jr. also has free videos you can preview.  Each video is on average 4 - 8 minutes long. If you look at the picture below, this is what the interface looks like when you click on the free video Science Projects.  I have labeled the video controls underneath the video screen.  Click on the picture below, and it will take you to the video.

As you can see in the picture above they have games, activities, jokes, vocabulary word walls, quizzes, drawing activities, writing samples, and more.  They also have close captioning which means the words will appear on the screen as the video plays.  You can even print a personal notebook on the video you are playing. 

Here is a list of science units that BrainPOP Jr. has to offer.  Click on the picture below and it will take you to the particular page on the BrainPOP Jr. site.   If you scroll down on that page you will see a list of the videos for science.  When you get to the web site, scroll down and click on the pictures that have a FREE Tag in the upper left hand corner and you can play the video.

To subscribe to BrainPOP Jr. click here.  Hope you enjoyed the article on BrainPOP Jr.  Next week I will be sharing with you BrainPOP ESL.  We will see you next week.

January 2, 2011

What is BrainPOP?

Happy New Year!

Today I am sharing with you a wonderful web site that will enhance learning for your students.  BrainPOP is an animated, curriculum-based program that enhances student learning by engaging the student through video tutorials.  BrainPOP uses animated characters, robots, diagrams and more to motivate and engage the learner.  BrainPOP also offers free lesson plans, activities and sample video tutorials to try out. 

Currently BrainPOP has a teacher community of more than 125,000 people.  They have even completed a research study on the effect of BrainPOP on studentsTo download this PDF click on the picture below:

They have hundreds and hundreds of videos to view. To see how many videos they have just alone in Science, simply click on the picture below.  If you see a pink oval shape that says FREE, then you can view the video without a subscription. To see all the videos yourself, click on the picture below and it will take you to their site.

They have over 50 free videos you can view on their entire web site. If you want to see their Science Units, simply click on the picture below.

If you have never tried out brain pop, you can vist them by clicking on the blue link:  BrainPOP is for grades 4 - 8.  It is also a subscription based web site.  If you want to get it for your home use, it will be a $99 investment per year.  Well worth the investment if you use the videos to enhance learning.

Once you arrive at the site simply click on the academic area you are interested in. You can view free videos in Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Art & Music, Health and Engineering and Technology.  Once you click on the Subject area, you can narrow down your search by clicking in the content area, or you can click on the link on the left side that says See All ______ Movies.  Once all the videos pull up, look for the words free next to the small pictures and clickon it.  Once you click on it, the video will begin to load and follow the instructions on the screen.

After you click on the "Click Here To Play The Movie" you can see the video.  Most videos are anywhere from 3 minutes to 5 minutes long.  After the video you can give your students an assessment or a quiz by clicking on the following picture:

After you click on the Quiz picture, you will see the following options to choose from:

According to BrainPOP, the video tutorials are Ideal for both group and one-on-one settings, BrainPOP is used in numerous ways, from introducing a new lesson or topic to illustrating complex subject matter to reviewing before a test. Content is aligned to academic standards and easily searchable with online Standards Tool. Uniquely suited for 21st-century learning, all products are fully compatible with interactive whiteboards, learner response systems, projectors, Macs, and PCs. No downloading, installation, or special hardware is required.

BrainPOP also has BrainPOP Jr. for grades K - 3.  I will be blogging about BrainPOP Jr. next week.  Hope you have a great week.  Take care.