There’s a hot new tool that’s making its way across the teaching world, and it’s a great resource during distance learning! Teaching with Boom Cards during distance learning is the newest way to provide meaningful tasks in a digital world.
What are Boom Cards?
Boom cards are essentially digital task cards. Each set of cards is called a “deck,” just like actual playing cards. Students click, drag or type to input answers, which are then checked either automatically or by hitting a “submit” button. You have to sign up for an account on the Boom Learning website. Your students will also log in to “play” the Boom cards on this website.
You can make, buy, and sell decks depending upon the type of account you create. There are four different subscription options, based on your needs and wants:
FastPlay is unlimited with all account types. The other options are just personal choice such as number of students and sections, the number of decks you can make for yourself, and whether or not you want to sell Boom decks. You can only sell if you have the Ultimate subscription.
Where do I get them?
You can buy them on the Boom website marketplace or on Teachers Pay Teachers. The cards are created and sold by sellers, just like items on Teachers Pay Teachers. A majority of the authors are also TPT sellers. If you choose to buy directly through the Boom website, however, it’s a little more confusing than purchasing on TPT.
Boom requires buyers to purchase “points,” and you use your points to buy decks of cards. The conversion of dollars to points can be confusing, because it differs based on how many points you buy. The more you buy, the cheaper they are. I find that buying through Boom is frustrating because it complicates the process of knowing how much money you’re spending on a deck of cards.
Sellers (myself included) also list their Boom decks for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers, where buyers download a PDF with a link that allows the buyer to add the Boom deck to their Boom account. My personal opinion is that this is the better option because I have more important things to do than calculate points conversions. On TPT, I know the dollar amount from the start so there’s no additional work.
Teaching with Boom Cards
Once you’ve created an account, you need to create your classes. You can choose “New Classroom” or “Import a Google Classroom.” For this visual, I chose “New Classroom.”
Once you create the classroom, Boom generates a username and password specific to that class, along with a login URL. Below that you have buttons to add students. However since I teach kindergarten, my students won’t be creating their own accounts, so this I won’t need to use this information. Instead I’ll use the buttons to add my students to the class.
Once I added students to the class, I clicked on the Library button at the top of the screen. This screen shows you all of your decks. It’s also where you’ll add them to students to work on. Above, I have one deck in my library. When I click on the Action button, I get several choices regarding what to do with the deck:
The first three options are for different ways to play. The additional options allow you to customize how students play or even print the deck. With View Report, you can see the results of the students who have played the deck.
Why use Boom cards?
I was slow to buy in when I first started seeing posts about teaching with Boom cards pop up over the past few months. However, after doing my own research and learning, I can see the definite usefulness of using them for distance learning.
For starters, we ALL use task cards in the classroom in some manner. They are great for stations, small groups, review, and targeting standards. They are engaging and often really cute! We can continue this practice digitally by using Boom cards. I think of using them as giving my students a little bit of familiarity in a very unfamiliar digital workplace.
I also think that they’re a great way to assess from a distance. By viewing reports and seeing how your students are doing, you can attempt to target instruction a little better from a distance. We all know that this is probably the hardest task while distance learning, so Boom cards can help us out a little with it.
I hope this post helped you learn a little more about Boom cards! Now you’re ready to click here and open your own account!