So you are curious about Boom Cards. You hear that they are highly engaging, and perfect for distance learning in the primary classrooms. But what exactly are Boom Cards? How do they work? And are they the right fit for your classroom or child? This tutorial will bring you all of the answers you’ve been searching for!
I am compiling everything that you need to make Boom Card learning a success. Whether you are a teacher, administrator, or parent, this blog post will walk you step by step, through:
- understanding what Boom Cards are
- the 3 different ways to use Boom Cards
- how to set up a classroom on Boom Learning
- How to assign Boom Cards on Google Classroom, Seesaw, or right on Boom Learning
- and how to communicate with parents on how to easily implement Boom Card learning using pretty much any device
What are Boom Cards:
Boom cards are digital, self-checking, interactive activities that can be accessed using any digital device. Students are given questions on the screen and receive instant feedback on their responses.
Watch this fantastic video by Della Larsen (who by the way is a Boom Card Creating Goddess) to get the 411 on Boom Cards.
There are 3 Different Ways to Use Boom Cards:
- Set up a classroom on Boom Learning – You can set up a class roster on Boom Learning and pick and choose boom card activities (referred to as Boom Decks), to assign to your students. The bonus to doing things this way, is that Boom Learning corrects each activity instantly and this information is available to teachers at the click of a button. So, if you are needing to assign marks for distance learning, but don’t want to hassle of having to mark assignments daily, this will take care all of your marking…and that… puts a whole lotta time back into your day!
- Fast Pins – When you use Boom Card decks, you can get a quick access pin (we call these fast pins). You can use these links without signing your students up with a class roster. This makes it extremely easy. You simply send this link out to your students, they plug it in to a browser or click on it, and they get instant access to the activity. The plus side to this is that there is no sign-in or passwords needed. The downside is that the teacher does not have the ability to see how each student did. If, however, you only want to be using the activities as practice, and not for assessment, this is an easy way to go!
- Assigning Boom Cards on Platforms like Seesaw, Google Classroom, etc. – You can easily use Boom cards as an assigned activity on the platform you are using to teach. Scroll down and I will show you exactly how this is done! You can do this with fast pins or by linking students to an assigned activity that sends student results right to your Boom Learning class roster.
How Do I Set Up a Classroom on Boom Learning?
First, Boom Learning is offering free 90 day trials and you can get that by clicking here. After the trial you can continue to use the boom cards for free (without student results), or with the paid version (with student results).
To set up a Boom Learning classroom, start by going to Boom Learning and click to sign up as a teacher. Once you have selected “I’m a Teacher”, it will take you to a screen that tells you that your account has been created.
It is here that it will give you the option to set up a class roster and collect activity results for each student, or use the fast pin option (which just allows for drill and practice and no classroom set up).
If you click on “classroom” in the top left corner, it will take you to a screen that looks like this.
Here, you can create a new classroom, or import a Google Classroom. I suggest starting a new classroom, and loading your students into the roster. From here, you simply click on the “add a new student” button, and load your students into the roster.
Next, you can add your students. Load each student name into the box and assign a generic password for everyone, or individual passwords (it will need to be 4 digits long), depending on what you prefer.
When you press “Add Students” it will assign students an avatar and bring them into a classroom.
From here, you can click on the little blue arrow under the student names in order to add assignments.
There are lots of options here, but for simplicity sake, click assign and begin adding activities that you have purchased or selected for free. These assignments will go directly to your students allowing them to get right to work on their activities when they log in. If you have already purchased your decks, they will appear for you here ready to assign. Simply click the button beside the assignments that you want students to access, and they are instantly included in the activities they can work on.
How to assign Boom Cards on Google Classroom or Seesaw
Assigning Boom Cards on Seesaw, Google Classroom and other platforms is manageable. I am including these clear videos by Della Larson to help you navigate how to do this if you happen to be using one of these platforms! .
Getting Parents Set Up and Started
Alright, now you have your classroom set up and ready to do Boom Card activities. Next up is helping parents to hop onboard. I suggest sending them a free explanation letter (link here), that was created by the Tiny Teaching Shack. This will help parents to get their children hooked up and accessing Boom Cards anywhere, in no time at all!
Now, for a few of my favourite Boom Cards that I’ve seen out there lately.
Looking for a Boom Card Deck on Covid-19 safety? This deck by Teach Big Teacher, is perfect for teaching students how to stay safe during this world pandemic. Click on the picture to access this resource on Teacher’sPayTeachers.
Looking for Boom Cards to do with Life Cycles (butterflies, plants, chickens, frogs)? Click on the picture below!
This one is a fantastic Phonics bundle by Della Larsen’s classroom. It focuses on blending and segmenting CVC words!
Looking for other top Boom Card Creators? Here are my favourite creative authors: Della Larsen’s Class, The Tiny Teaching Shack, Teach Big Teacher, and Shanon Juneau! Click on their names and check out their stores!
If you enjoyed this topic, and would like any areas further explained, drop me a comment in the section below! I’m happy to dive into any areas of this that are important to you! Last but not least, don’t be afraid of Boom Cards! I avoided learning about them for so long because they were just “one more thing”. But, now that I’ve started using them, I am so glad that I did, and that I have an amazing digital option that is easy to use for the littles. Your students will love this new way of learning and showing what they know!
Thanks for stopping by to take this all in! See you next time!