Helping primary students take charge of their own learning can be difficult. But now there are Boom Cards. Boom Cards are self-checking digital task cards that provide immediate feedback to young students. Teachers have access to the data through Boom’s reports feature, giving them a powerful tool to use to make decisions about instruction.
Top Tips for Using Boom Cards in Your Early Childhood Classroom
So what’s the best way to use digital task cards in your kindergarten (or younger) class? Here are some strategies for incorporating digital learning with our young learners.
Listen to Boom Learning‘s (@BoomLearning) Della Larsen (@larsenclass) and Melissa Bucher (@iheart4th) (shown right) share at the 2019 TCEA Elementary Technology Conference on how to make instructional decisions based off data. They discuss Boom Cards and share stories from their classrooms.
Strategy #1: Morning Work
In my classroom, my students trickle in and I need some quality activities for them to complete while they wait for everyone to arrive and get settled. I put out a few Chromebooks and iPads in a work center. My kids can easily sign in and complete a deck independently before we start our day.
Strategy #2: An Extension of Reading Groups
One of the most challenging tasks for me when I started teaching was trying to figure out what the rest of my class should be doing while I was meeting with reading groups. My go-to answer? Boom Cards. Whether I am reviewing beginning sounds, reading and blending cvc words, or identifying letters, I can extend the lesson easily with Boom Cards. As soon as my kids are done with me, they head to the tech table and get a little extended practice. I can go back and see their work and check for understanding with the reports feature. It’s easy to determine if I need to move students to a different group, reteach a concept, or provide targeted intervention.
Strategy #3: Learning Centers
I give my kids 60 minutes of centers every day. I want them at the art center, the block area, and dramatic play. However, I also have a word work and math center. I don’t have to worry if my kids are actually completing the task I set for them. Boom keeps them accountable. I can feel confident because I can check the reports to see exactly what mistakes they might be making.
Strategy #4: Whole Group Instruction
Do you have an interactive white board? Boom Cards work great for whole group instruction. I can have great discussions about math or numbers and begin to really understand student thinking as we work through a problem together. No white board? No problem. Just project the Boom Cards on the board and let the discussion begin.
Strategy #5: Homework
With Boom Cards, you can stop copying homework packets and actually sit down and eat your lunch during your lunch break. Parents can access Boom Cards from home. All they need is their child’s login information and some type of screen. Your kids can actually access decks on their parents’ phones. No more lost papers, or missing folders. I can then check their reports to keep them accountable for completing the work.
The applications for using Boom Cards in your classroom are limited only by your imagination. The Starter membership plan is free and includes one section with five students and five self-made decks. The Basic plan includes three sections with up to 50 students and five self-made decks for just $15/year. There are two other membership levels, Power and Ultimate, with the most expensive only costing $35/year. Give Boom Cards a try and see how they can work in your classroom.
This is a guest blog by Della Larsen. Della is a primary teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She is passionate about reaching every child regardless of their skills. She has spent much of her time supporting teachers just starting on their digital journey. You can follow Della on Twitter @Larsenclass or feel free to reach out to Della with any questions at [email protected].