I have been using a variety of digital resources for the last 5 years. Mostly online resources, which do a good job to reinforce teaching, provide independent practice that students need and give me some formative assessment on student learning.
Yes, there are a lot of resources out there. But last summer, I found a new one and fell in love. I am obsessed with Boom CardsTM. If you are not familiar with these cards, settle back and I will give you the scoop.
Boom Cards are digital task cards to be “played” on a device—think chrome book, iPad, phone, etc. Anywhere you can connect to the internet, you can use these in the classroom. I teach Math, so obviously I use cards which practice different concepts in Math, but they can be used for any subject. I think vocabulary is one of their better uses actually. I also love a brain break with some trivia cards.
Kids enjoy these as well. I teach High School and all of my students have benefited, and these cards are ideal for differentiation. Students can work at their own pace without worrying about what others are doing. The first time I used them students asked me if they could also play from home for more practice. I thought they were joking. I have never had a student ask me for more work to do at home.
Teachers can either make a set (called decks) or buy a set, depending on your need. The cards are shown one card at a time. Some require an answer to be dragged, some are fill in the blank answers and some are multiple choice. I typically like to use cards where students fill in the correct answer, but I have found success with multiple choice as well.
Once a teacher has a deck they would like to use, they can either set up a class and assign the deck or use an option to have students sign in with a “pin”. If a teacher uses a class, grading is automatic and teachers can see how the students are doing—students can see this as well. With a fast pin, students will see how they performed, but no record of this is available for the teacher. You can assign through Google Classroom as well.
I shared a lot of my decks with colleagues and most were pleased, but some did not have a chrome cart. They complained that borrowing a chrome cart is difficult and so they could not use the cards. I use them for whole class review as well. Students can answer on white boards and still have the practice. No, I don’t have an interactive white board, I don’t even have a screen. This is just projected to my whiteboard and it works great.
No, when you use the fast pin, you don’t have an official grade, but does everything require a grade? Can’t we just practice and get better sometimes?
The cards also work well in stations. Put several chrome books in each station, each station has a different deck and students rotate around for review.
Cost? Forego a Starbucks for a week and you can afford it. I don’t want you to buy something you don’t like or need, so here’s a link to some trivia cards and you will get a free account to try. I know summer is coming and maybe you are out for break—YEAH, SUMMER VACATION!!! Visit Boom Learning to see the variety of decks teachers have created.