Distance learning definitely has its benefits and drawbacks. However, we can be grateful that we are navigating through this during such a digital age. Technology, as frustrating and time consuming as it can be, has proved to be a savior when it came time for us educators to shift our teaching methods. Personally, I have learned way more about Seesaw than I ever thought I would’ve known, as well as several amazing features Google Suite has. Technology has always had it’s part in our classrooms but now has been the time to really delve in to what these platforms have to offer. Hands down, my absolute favorite platform by far is Boom Learning. It is an extremely incredible program and I HAVE to share with you why it is now a must have in my classroom, whether digital or in person. I’m excited to share the ins and outs of Boom and hopefully convey how COOL it really is! Here you’ll learn about what it is, how to use it, and a lot of the engaging features it has for you and your students.
Boom! What is it?
If you needed to define the Boom Learning platform, the simplest definition is that it houses digital task cards. Now you may be thinking… that’s it? What’s all the hype about a simple old task card? But you know we all love a great task card activity. And with Boom, don’t sleep on the digital part! What you can do with these particular task cards is simply AMAZING. Educators use task cards in so many different ways. They can be used in math and literacy centers. They can be used during whole group instruction to get more practice with a skill. Now with distance learning at the forefront of education, using task cards virtually can be an awesome way to engage students and allow them opportunities to practice skills in a fun way.
How Do I Set Up An Account?
It is super quick and easy to set up an account with Boom! There are paid and free memberships you can sign up for and at the bottom of this PAGE you can see all the different membership options. The basic membership costs 15 dollars per year and you get a 90 day free trial so it’s a pretty good deal. HERE you’ll find an easy to use guide to help you set up your account. This helpful guide also includes some tips and tricks for you. You can even set up a classroom through Boom. HERE you’ll find a quick and easy to use video walkthrough of how to set up your classroom.
How Do Students Log In?
As the teacher, you are able to create usernames and passwords for students. This is nice because if students already have a username and password they are familiar with, you can use that! One super cool feature Boom offers is a QR Code that can be created for students to log in for even easier access. Take a look below at some quick steps of how to create QR Code Sign Ins for your students. HERE is also a helpful how-to as well from Boom!
Assigning Decks to Students
There are a few different ways you can assign decks. You’ll see some different options that include: Fast Pin, Assign, or Hyperlink Play. What’s really nice about Fast Pin is that you can use the FREE Boom Learning account and students DO NOT need to log in! However, you aren’t provided with the data from what your students completed. Assign and Hyperlink Play are options for if you want to track your students’ progress and get compiled data. In this case, you will need to have a paid account and each student will need their own account. When looking for decks, you can search for them on the Boom Learning website or through Teachers Pay Teachers. On both websites you can play a preview of the deck so you know exactly what your students will see and interact with. Boom Cards can be linked into ALL platforms! Whether you use Seesaw, Google, Schoology, Canvas, or some other digital platform, you can link the decks right there for students to access! Here are some visuals to get a better understanding of how to assign decks through Boom. To learn more about assigning decks through Seesaw and Google Classroom, make sure to subscribe and have access to the continuously GROWING How-To video library!
Types of Questions for Engagement
Below you’ll find TONS of different question types to engage students in multiple ways. Again, these are just SOME of the many different types of questions that can be used with students to cover different skills in an exciting way!
There are drag and drop features, matching, and sorting!
There are typing, labeling, and finding!
There are building, listening, and spelling!
That’s the wonderful thing about Boom Cards, the question types are ENDLESS!
One of the beautiful things about Boom is that they can be used in so many different ways for various types of skills. I’ve created Boom cards for an array of skills such as SEL, Math, Sight Words, Phonics, and more. When you find Boom Cards that you want to assign to your students, they are set up in a deck. Typically decks range between 10-30 cards; sometimes more, sometimes less.
Decks might be set up in adventure style like this set:
Or they might be randomly distributed for students to work through like this set:
My FAVORITE feature is that they are SELF GRADING! Google and Seesaw activities are interactive and engaging, but you still have to take the time to go through and grade everything. So naturally, this is a GAME CHANGER! Boom does all the hard work for you and breaks it down by student so that you can see exactly how long a student spent on a deck and the specifics on what they got wrong. Students also get IMMEDIATE feedback so they can see exactly how they are doing and fix their mistakes!
Here are a few more awesome features Boom has to offer:
- They are easy to use for students so it’s absolutely perfect for little learners
- Decks typically come with both visual AND audio instructions for students (not all decks have audio but I make sure all of my decks include audio)
- They are completely digital so students can access them anywhere on ANY device
- They can be differentiated by assigning different decks to different students depending on their individual needs
- They are ENGAGING and students love “playing” them
Take a look at how to analyze the student data!
Read below some of the wonderful things teachers have to say about Boom Cards!
“BOOM Cards are fabulous! I am super excited to purchase more. I really appreciate the immediate feedback that my students receive.”
“We LOVE Boom Cards! So colorful, engaging, AND helpful! Thank you for sharing.”
“This is an awesome resource. My kids loved using it.”
“It’s a great way to include social skills into distance learning for my special learners!”
“My students absolutely love boom cards – they will be so happy to use this! I loved playing around with it! Thank you!”
“My student is getting great practice in a multisensory way…thank you!”
“Great way to get kiddos to practice sight words on a digital platform.”
“Great resource to engage student learning. – thank you!”
“These are perfect for my center activities. My students really need this practice, but they love the format of boom cards. Thanks for sharing!”
“I love this!! The self-checking aspect of Boom Cards is amazing. Thank you for sharing.”
If you loved the decks you saw, you can check them out by clicking the pictures or learn more about fun and engaging Boom Cards HERE! There is also a YouTube Channel FULL of helpful videos ranging from ‘Boom Cards 101’ to ‘Using Boom Cards with Google Classroom’. HERE you can access that FREE library full of helpful videos!
I hope you enjoyed learning about Boom Cards and why they are such a wonderful resource for students! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including the Subtraction Adventure Boom Cards FREEBIE! But you will also have exclusive access to tons of digital how to videos! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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