It goes without saying, we’re all in this new boat together. It takes a trip out to sea and then back to shore. Back out again, then closer to the shore. You know what I mean. Our next school year is up in the air. (Did you read day 3 of #31daysofkindergarten?) One thing I do know is that the use of digital activities is going to be necessary, whether you are fully distance learning or a hybrid model. I learned really quickly during our 1st distance learning period that there are tons of digital online platforms available. But of the ones I tried, none of them checked off all of my teacher boxes. That was until I found Boom Cards. After reading about it and watching a few videos, I was convinced to try it out with my class. And I LOVED it. And my students LOVED it!! My love for Boom Cards is growing and I can’t wait to share all that I have learned and how your students are going to love and learn from them!
What Are Boom Cards?
Simply put, Boom Cards are self-checking, digital learning games for kids. These can be used in the classroom or with distance learning. They can be assigned as practice work, homework, remediation or extension.
Boom Cards are learning exercises put into game form for students, but track the data that teachers need. (One of my favorite parts!!)
Some key words that you may need to know:
Deck: This is the specific game. When you purchase and share a Boom Card set, it is called a deck.
Card: Each Boom Card deck is made up of cards. Each card is basically a different ‘problem’ to solve, or needs a response.
Self Checking: Boom Learning will notify students when they get an answer wrong. You will also be given the data that you need for each child’s progress. (You can view your entire class as a whole and/or each student individually. You can see what decks have been played, how many questions they answered, how many they got right or wrong, and if they completed and mastered the deck. This helped me to quickly see who was working and who was not. It also helped me to see what skills students were struggling with.)
My favorite benefits of using Boom Cards with my students:
No more running to the copy machine just to find a line. No more stacks of paper to keep organized. No more laminating. There is a time and place for paper in the classroom, but this is a fabulous alternative, especially during this time.
- Student Engagement = Continued Learning
Kids love playing games. These learning activities have recognizable themes, bright colors and fun fonts that students will be attracted to which will help them see these exercises as games. Yet, they will be introduced to and continue practicing important skills. PLUS, students can earn badges for their hard work. (These are given at the end of a completed deck.)
- Time Saver
Each Boom Card deck is self-checking. You will receive all of the data that you need to know. This includes knowing which card the students each got wrong, so you will know what each student needs extra help on. You can record the grade and move onto help your students grow, instead of spending so much time grading!
PLUS! You can assign Boom Learning decks to the whole classroom with ONE CLICK!!
- No Expiration
Once you have your Boom Card membership, which is very inexpensive, you can purchase Boom Card Decks. Once you make these purchases, you have them for life.
- Use On Multiple Platforms
There are now so many options for us teachers to use when it comes to digital learning. One of my favorite things about Boom Cards is the vast number of options. (More on this down further)
- Finding Boom Cards Is Easy
You can search by grade level, topic, free or paid, or by your favorite creator.
- Differentiating Your Instruction
You can assign Boom Cards to the whole classroom or just certain students. This is helpful to keep children on track with what THEY need practice on, individually or collectively!
Boom Cards can be used on computer, tablet or smart board. There is an app, but a web browser that is 3 years old or newer works as well. Students will need internet access to use the boom cards.
Setting Up Boom Cards:
This is super simple!
Start by going to the Boom Learning website.
Create a ‘TEACHER’ account.
Next, you will set up your classroom. Assigning each student a username and password. This log in information can be shared with students so they can start as soon as you are ready for them!
Using Boom Cards
As I mentioned above there are multiple platforms that work well with Boom Learning. Once you have the link from the Boom Learning Deck, you can share it almost anywhere. We have listed some of them below.
- Directly On Boom Learning
As I mentioned above, you can assign Boom Cards to students directly on the Boom Learning platform.
You can send the link to specific Boom Card decks through programs such as: Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Microsoft Teams, etc.
You can screen share Boom Cards on Zoom.
Using Boom Cards with other Learning Management Systems
There are two ways that you can use Boom Cards in other Learning Management Systems such as Google Classroom and SeeSaw.
1. Fast Pin Link: This route does not generate student reports or other benefits of the having a membership, but students would not need a log-in. The links would expire after 5-14 days.
2. Hyperplay Link: With a student log in, this version will provide a link and includes all the benefits I addressed above.
When using the Hyperplay version, you will assign the classroom, or a student, a specific deck. Once it is assigned, a link will be provided. Copy this link into your LMN (Google Classroom, SeeSaw, etc), where you would normally assign work. It is THAT easy!
As you can see, Boom Cards are a game changer. Both in the classroom and distance learning. Not only do they make our lives as teachers easier and less stressful, but kids LOVE to ‘play’ them!
If you have any more questions about Boom Cards, leave it in the comments and I will try and answer them!
That is a wrap for day 5 of #31daysofkindergarten here on my blog! In case you missed the previous posts in this series…
- Kindergarten Daily Academic Schedule
- Best Assessments for Kindergarten
- Preparing for the 2020 School Year
- Super Ideas for Teaching Rules & Procedures in a Kindergarten Classroom
Abigail is a Kindergarten Teacher, Curriculum Writer, National Speaker and author of the website, Kindergarten Chaos, LLC. She lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband and 3 kids. She provides professional development to schools and districts all over the country. If your school or district is in need of professional development for everything Kindergarten, please email her at email@example.com