I have been trying to find new ways to incorporate technology into my lessons. I recently discovered Boom Cards™ and fell in love! Seriously, when I visited the Boom Learning℠ platform and found out that I could have NO PREP, INTERACTIVE, & FUN learning activities that are SELF-CHECKING plus have an ASSESSMENT RECORD of students’ work I was instantly attracted and ready to commit! I knew this was perfect!
Setting up my account and class were super simple with the helpful video tutorials on the Boom Learning help site. What I really liked about the classroom set-up was that I could create one easy to remember password for the class as well as an easy password for all students.
Since I teach young students I need easy log-in! I simply click the Student-Login link in the Classes section and we are ready to go (these student names are fictitious for this blog post to protect my students’ identity).
Students simply click their name and enter their password (since I made an easy 3 letter universal password for all students I post it for them which makes log-in very simple!).
I absolutely LOVE how Boom makes it easy for me to differentiate practice and assessment for my students!
I either create different Boom Card decks (a group of interactive task cards is called a deck) or search the vast library of already available decks for task cards that focus on the skills my students need to practice.
I can target just the skills they need, for example some students may still be working on recognizing the alphabet letters while others have moved on to the letter sounds. I can find different decks for each:
I then easily assign the appropriate decks to specific students in the Classes section of the Boom Learning site. I click the plus sign by each student’s name, clicked Assign, and then check off the decks I want them to use. Simple, no hassle differentiation 🙂
Interactive, Self-Checking Practice for Students on any Device
Since the Boom Cards are self-checking they are perfect for independent practice and centers! They work on any device with a modern browser so we were able to use them on our laptops and with the app on our iPads (they can also be used on interactive whiteboards, desktops, or smartphones).
Students receive immediate feedback which is very motivating! They don’t have to wait to see if they chose correctly and for little ones this is a big plus!
In the example below, when an incorrect answer is picked students hear an “oops” sound and the answer is circled in red with a slash. They can then pick again. When the correct answer is chosen they hear a “ding” sound and it is circled in green.
Easy Assessment with Student Reports
One of the best features for me as a teacher are the student reports. I love that I can view detailed class reports as well as reports for each individual student.
I can view the class report to quickly see:
- who has completed their decks (green circles are completed decks, red circles are incomplete decks)
- how many times they played the decks (the numbers inside the circles)
- the overall percentage score for each deck
- the time it took to complete the deck
I can then click on any of the circles or percentages to view detailed student reports. For example, if they played an alphabet deck it tells me with what letters students are struggling and what letters they have mastered.
The green bars along the top show correct answers. The red bars indicate incorrect responses.
If I click on any of the bars I can see the card along with the student’s answers. I can see what letters they may be confusing or with what letters they may be struggling.
The blue bars along the bottom show student response times for each card. The red line through the center is the average time it took the student to get a correct response, therefore anything way above that line is a letter with which the student is struggling. I can click on any of the bars to see the letter card. In the example picture, the student seems to be struggling with recognizing uppercase and lowercase B.
Any blue bar way below the red average line indicates a letter with which the student is not struggling and most likely has mastery. In the example below the student knows uppercase and lowercase F rather well.
Fast Play / Home Practice / Google Classroom Options
If you don’t want to mess with student log-ins and/or just want to set up play quickly, you can use the Fast Play option.
When you use this option you do not get any student reports, therefore I use this when we are using the cards for a party station or when students or parents request to play the cards at home. When it’s a party station I just want the students to enjoy play plus they can be easily distracted and/or excited so I don’t feel it’s a proper assessment of their ability. The same holds true at home, I can’t tell what distractions they may be experiencing or if they are getting any type of assistance so I don’t use the log-in or reporting.
It’s very easy to get a Fast Play link that can be entered into any browser and students are able to play the deck immediately. This URL can be sent home as well.
To get the Fast Play link, go to the Library section, click the blue action button pull down menu under the deck and choose Fast Pin.
Click the Generate New Pin button.
Copy and paste or enter the generated URL into any browser and instantly play the Boom Card deck.
You can also use the Fast Play links in Google Classroom!
Try it FREE!
New to Boom Cards? Purchase the Boom Card decks through Teachers Pay Teachers and receive a free account (yes, I said FREE) for 90 days that lets you track student progress for up to 80 students. At the end of the 90 days, you may renew or choose not to renew. If you do not renew, you and your students will be still be able to continue using the Boom Cards with the Fast Play feature. Win-win!