Thursday, November 14, 2013

Practicing Comprehension Skills Through BrainPop

BrainPop has been one of my son’s favorite apps from the time he first got an iPad. We like it because the short animated movies teach a variety of subjects including math, science, social studies and more. Kai likes it because the character of the orange robot, Moby, is very funny as he antagonizes his buddy, Tim.

Lately I’ve noticed that as Kai has seen just about all of the different movies the app has to offer, he watches only the funny parts, skipping all of the educational content. I was wondering if he remembered at all what the movies are attempting to teach.

The cost to subscribe is over $7 a month, so it’s not terribly expensive, but it does add up. And for nearly $90 a year, I wanted to make sure Kai was actually learning something.

So, I’ve started making him take the test that is given at the end of each featured movie of the day. He had been skipping that part, but we are now tying in taking the test with earning points from our Point Store. If he answers 80% or 90% of the questions correctly, he earns 50 points. If he gets 100% correct, he earns 100 points. And if he scores less than 80%, he loses points.

The first day he struggled and got only 70% correct. I could see that while he can answer most questions about facts that were given, he struggled when he had to make inferences. It is the same issues he has with reading comprehension.

The next day, he still struggled with the same types of questions, but improved his score to 80%. I saw that he was paying much closer attention to the main content of the movie.

So, I’m thinking that this will be good practice for him. He can still laugh at all the funny parts. But, I’m hoping it helps to condition his brain for listening and thinking through what he hears, too.


  1. It sounds as if this will be a good way for Kai to improve his reading comprehension. I think he will improve greatly by daily practice with this.

    1. I really don't know how much this will help with his reading, but he can use all the practice he can get at thinking through what he reads/hears.

  2. I think we should try this too
    R loves the iSequences


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