HOW AND WHY YOU SHOULD USE BOOM CARDS IN YOUR CLASSROOM

Why I think BOOM Cards will become your go-to resource for distance learning and how to use them in your Early Years classroom to best effect.

Many of us use task cards in class, clip cards in our math and literacy centers and multiple choice questions in quizzes. They're all useful tools in the classroom but this pandemic sees us all searching for easy to use digital formats for our children to use at home with little 'teaching' required by parents who are likely trying to work from home themselves during this time. 

Digital resources need to be easy for teachers to find and manage; simple enough for young children to be able to access; self-directed enough for children to be able to use them mostly independently and accessible across different platforms.

I hadn't heard of many Australian teachers using BOOM Cards but I took a better look wanting to find the best format to create digital versions of resources we were using in class successfully and I think I found it in BOOM Learning.


How and Why I Recommend Using BOOM Cards in Class | you clever monkey

WHAT ARE BOOM CARDS?

Basically BOOM Cards are a digital version of task cards. With different formats to choose from, BOOM Cards range from simple fill in the blank type activities, answering single or multiple questions, to drag and drop type tasks.

You do need a computer, tablet, mobile device or interactive whiteboard to access your BOOM Cards but this then means they can be accessed in class or for learning at home. You do need internet access along with either a free or paid BOOM Learning account.

WHY USE BOOM CARDS?

Apart from how easy they are to access from anywhere, BOOM Cards also provide your children with automatic, immediate feedback. Perfect for distance learning or when a teacher might be working with another group of children.

They make differentiation simple as you can assign different students different tasks easily. All you have to do it provide your children with a FastPlay link which is a 4-letter code - easy enough for our youngest children to enter.

BOOM Cards will save you on planning and preparation time - no printing, laminating and cutting of tasks required. All the marking is done for you, leaving you more time to interpret the data collected as children complete the tasks set.

Your children will learn they are accountable, that their work is seen even when the teacher isn't standing right next to them. Being a digital gamified version, your children will likely be more engaged by this medium.


How and Why I Recommend Using BOOM Cards in Class | you clever monkey

HOW TO USE BOOM CARDS IN YOUR CLASSROOM

There are plenty of different ways you can use BOOM Cards with your class. And with more and more teachers creating decks to use, there's not too many topics that aren't available for you to use right now. 

In an Early Years classroom, I see BOOM Cards being useful several different ways.

AS A WHOLE CLASS ACTIVITY

BOOM Cards are a great tool for whole group instruction. If you have access to an interactive whiteboard you can use BOOM Cards for initial instruction to work through some problems together or used as a warm-up activity to help refocus your class after a break or transitioning from another lesson.

AS A LITERACY OR MATH CENTER

If you have access to a pod of devices (iPads/tablets/laptops or computers) the most obvious way to start utilising BOOM cards is as a center activity. Once starting your groups, BOOM keeps the children accountable as data is being collected as they work meaning they're more likely to remain on task with minimal supervision and you, as the teacher, get to see what mistakes they're making while you're working with another group.

And being digital, no cards to print, cut and laminate! No more storing those centers not in use as they're all available in your library on the BOOM Learning site.


How and Why I Recommend Using BOOM Cards in Class | you clever monkey

AS HOMEWORK

Being cloud based, BOOM cards can be access at school and at home making them perfect for some revision at home. Activities and concepts taught in class can be reinforced as homework.

By setting up your own BOOM Learning Classroom account, you can assign different tasks easily to each child making differentiation easier than ever.

No more copying pages and pages to send home. No more lost homework! And the best part is all that BOOM Cards are self-correcting, self-marking saving you valuable planning time as you can head straight to the data collected as your students complete each task to see where the gaps are in their learning.



How and Why I Recommend Using BOOM Cards in Class | you clever monkey

You do need to subscribe to BOOM Learning to use the site. A Starter Plan is free and allows you to make 5 decks as does their first paid level. 

All levels allow for FastPlay pins to be created for any decks in your library. Decks can be purchased via the BOOM Learning site or places like TpT.

The reporting is only available on the Power or Ultimate subscriptions but at USD35 as their most expensive option, I thought that worth the extra money to have access to that data.



 BOOM Learning Subscription Levels as of March 2020

You can also utilise BOOM Cards via Seesaw (by sharing FastPlay pins with your students) or you can import your Google Classroom into BOOM Learning. You can find out how to do that by watching this video

BOOM Learning has plenty of helpful videos to get you started using BOOM Cards in your classroom and even creating your own decks if you want. You can find their support page here.

HOW DO I USE BOOM CARDS IF I ONLY USE THE FREE VERSION?

When you log in to your free account, go to 'Library', locate the deck you want your class or child to use then click on 'FastPin' to generate a new pin.

You can then either copy and paste the link to whatever platform you're using to communicate with your class - email, Seesaw, Class Dojo, Google Classroom.

Or use the FastPin code on the Boom Learing site 👉🏼 www.wowboomlearning.com then click on the 'FastPlay' button to enter the 4-letter pin and click play.

Just remember that pins are only valid for 5 days. You will always have access to the library but may have to regenerate a new pin to use again after the 5 days.


BOOM Cards Spelling CVC Words Pack | you clever monkey

Still not sure how to set up your BOOM account 👉🏼 watch this helpful video made by Tiny Teaching Tube which takes you through everything from logging in, adding your students, organising your BOOM library and adding your new resources. 




Why not give BOOM Cards a try and see how easy they are to use. 



YOU CAN FIND ALL OF OUR BOOM CARDS HERE