Today I wanted to share with you my latest classroom obsession – Boom Cards! Boom Cards are interactive digital resources that your students can use on any internet connected device. In this day and age, classrooms are being flooded with technological tools with a push towards one-to-one accessibility. While this is wonderful and engaging for the students, sometimes as teachers, it’s hard to know where to begin.
A couple of years ago, I started making digital resources for my classroom within Google Drive. The process was laborious and lacked the ability to add sound or self-check. Students still needed too much assistance through the process. I needed more of an independent activity for them as I worked with small groups.
After learning about, using, and creating Boom Cards I finally feel like I found the tool that I need to make digital learning accessible for my students! In this blog post, I want to tell you a little bit more about Boom Cards, how they work and give you an easy how-to guide on setting it up in your classroom.
Creating an account
The first step is to create a free account. There is a lot that you can do with a free account, just follow the link below:
After you create your free account, you need to decide on the type of membership you would like.
Choosing a Membership
Before you chose which membership you would like, you need to know some basic vocabulary that the site uses:
Section – The number of classes that you can create. If you are in a self-contained classroom you might only want one section, while middle school and high school teachers would obviously have more. Sections can also be a great way to differentiate. Group your students by academic need, and you can push different assignments to different leveled groups.
Decks – Each product that you get from the website is called a deck of cards. They contain a group of task cards that usually focus on a particular skill. Private decks are decks that you create yourself, that live in your library. Creating your own deck is easy and a whole lot of fun once you get the hang of it. If you want to make decks and sell them to other teachers, then you would pick the Ultimate membership to make a public deck.
Points – When you wish to purchase a deck of cards you look to see how many points it costs, and how many points are in your bank. Depending on the membership you choose, you will start out with some points and can spend those as you see fit. Once those points are used up, you can purchase more points within the store. Think about it like reloading your Starbucks card : )
Okay, you’ve got your account and you’ve got your membership squared away, so now its time to start adding in some students under the classes tab.
Setting up a Classroom
You can add students individually or as a group under this tab. Boom Learning gives every student a little avatar that they can change once they log-in. You can change the usernames and passwords as you see fit. Try and keep as many usernames and passwords the same across all digital learning platforms to make it easier for the students.
Under this tab, you can assign work to students individually or as a group. I will show you another location that you can do that as well in just a little bit.
Now it’s time to spend your points, you can head on over to the store.
Downloading Boom Cards
There are a ton of cards to choose from, and more are being added every day. Cards can be used for whole class instruction, intervention work, guided reading, centers, early finishers, and as homework. Truly, the possibilities are endless.
Want to try out a sight word freebie that I made just for you? Click on the link below and it will take you to a free deck of cards that you can start with!
Once you make a purchase or download a free product, you will find it in your library.
Assigning Boom Cards
You can click on each individual assignment and decide what you would like to do with it.
Assign – You can assign it to any class you have set-up. To assign it to an individual student, you need to go to the class tab and click on that student individually.
Fast Pin – This allows your students’ quick access to the cards where they don’t have to log-in. Doing this can make things faster, but you won’t get the reports on how the student did with the cards.
HyperLink – If you want to attach this deck of cards to another document, you can get the link here.
Print – prints out PDF versions of the cards.
Custom play settings – you can choose different options for your students, like showing the answer when they get it wrong or allowing for multiple plays of the same deck.
View reports – you can check out your students’ statistics on this particular deck.
Once you have assigned a deck, you can have your students log-in to their accounts:
On the Boom Learning main page, you will find a green button for student sign-in. When the students’ click that, they will be prompted for their username and password. Try to keep this information in an easy to access location.
I made some editable Boom Learning sign-in cards to make it easier to keep track of your students’ usernames and passwords. I like to keep these on a metal ring by my computers. Cards can also be kept in students’ personal folders. If you would like a free copy, click on the link below:
Students’ will log-in, and they will see the cards that have been assigned to them and click on the correct one.
My nephew tested out the cards for me, and he was very engaged!
After the students complete the assignment, you can check out how they did in the reports tab.
The reports tab tells you how many times they have done the deck of cards, their accuracy level, and the amount of time it took them to complete the deck. I love that this reporting tab gives you a quick snapshot of who is struggling with a concept, and who is ready for more challenging material.
Alright, I know that this was a bit of a long-winded post, but I wanted to offer support to teachers or parents who are looking into starting a Boom Learning account. I truly believe that this resource has the ability to personalize the learning for your students. Teachers know what their kids need, and to be able to pick and choose the skills to present to them while differentiating their learning is priceless.
Please let me know if you have any further questions that I can answer for you!
All the best,