Although words such as “remote learning” and “distance learning” have been an undeniable part of the national conversation the last couple of years, the heart of every classroom is still the connection between a teacher and their students. With the right tools and resources, that connection can remain infinitely stronger than the wifi networks powering your virtual classroom.
When you’re in a pinch and need remote learning tools to support student learning, we’ve got your back. Over 400 teachers from the DonorsChoose community shared their feedback and tips for the most popular programs enabling their students to learn from home. Here’s what teachers across the country had to say:
Teachers Review BrainPOP
What is it? “BrainPop is a virtual library designed to assist teachers in exposing students to content in all subject areas: science, social studies, mathematics, health, and so much more. BrainPop provides teachers with quizzes and additional activities that engage students and are motivating. BrainPop is a mini movie theatre that your students will constantly ask to visit!” – Ms. Pearson, 1st Grade
Recommended for: Kindergarten - 8th Grade students, though high school teachers note it can be a great review tool and early education teachers recommend BrainPOP Jr.
What DonorsChoose teachers are saying: “I absolutely love using Brainpop as a way to introduce a topic or at the start of a unit. The students get excited when they hear the “Beep Beep” sound that Moby makes when I start a video. The program also comes with many extras such as a short quiz, worksheets, etc. I use it as a whole group tool most of the time, but in this time of distance learning, it also allows you to use BrainPOP as an assignment. ” – Mr. Starken, 9th grade
What is it? “This tool is a platform to access standards based "escape rooms" for all grade levels and content areas - plus some just for team building and seasonal fun! There are games that you can play with a kit - but there are also many digital versions.” – Mrs. Vedros, 8th and 11th Grade
Recommended for: Teachers recommend Breakout EDU for everyone! Breakout EDU includes content appropriate for all grade levels.
What DonorsChoose teachers are saying: “I highly recommend Breakout EDU! The students love the challenges and they're content and standard based. It is serving two or three purposes in one and the students are always engaged in it!” – Mrs. Dragoo, 6th Grade
What is it? “Flocabulary is a platform that creates R&B/Hip-Hop songs that relate to tons of different concepts across all content areas. They are catchy and my students love to hear the songs that go along with each concept we learn.” Mr. French, 2nd and 3rd grade
Recommended for: Flocabulary has content available for all grade levels in a wide variety of subjects, but teachers mostly recommend it for grades two and up. From 3rd grade math to 10th grade English, teachers found creative ways to use Flocabulary in the classroom.
What DonorsChoose teachers are saying: “We were learning multiplication facts using the songs from Flocabulary. We were taking a facts quiz and my student was singing the song to remember the facts. He was so proud when he passed the test!” - Mrs. Knight, 5th grade math and science
What is it? “Nearpod is an interactive presentation tool that allows you to do it all in one place. You can teach using modeling, visuals, written information, 3D models, videos, and virtual trips. Then you have the opportunity to engage students with polls, quizzes, questions, and games. Everyone can participate, every time. You can make your own or choose from a full library of lessons. It's all in one spot.” – Miss DeLisa, 6th Grade
Recommended for: Teachers recommend Nearpod for all grades! For any lesson in which you would use a slideshow presentation, you can swap in Nearpod to get added engagement and real-time feedback.
What DonorsChoose teachers are saying: “Nearpod is a way to make presentations interactive. You can add games, matching, fill in the blank, quizzes, videos with questions, and more. It has taken my classes up a notch as the students are so much more engaged.” – Ms. Sloane, 7th-12th Grades
You know what your students need. The DonorsChoose community is here to help you get it. 3 out of 4 schools in the U.S. have a public school teacher who’s used DonorsChoose - that’s over 1.8 million classroom project requests funded. Yours could be next. Start your project today.