Boom cards? They’re not just fun, they’re also great teaching and review tools! Learn more about using Boom cards for ELA!
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The Versatility of Boom Cards
In a previous post, I introduced an amazing new teaching tool, Boom Cards. If you’re not familiar with them, Boom Cards are essentially self-grading, interactive digital task cards that you can create yourself or purchase from the Boom Store from other sellers.
What I love about Boom Cards is how easily they can be integrated into any subject area for almost any grade. Teachers and homeschooling parents can also use existing content to create Boom decks with very little effort, and there is no copying, printing, or scanning required.
In this post, I’d like to focus more specifically on Using Boom Cards for the English Language Arts (ELA) Classroom. Whether you’re homeschooling or teaching virtually, in-person, or a combination of both, Boom Cards are a low-prep, effective tool to engage your students in any learning environment.
5 Ways to Use Boom Cards in the ELA Classroom
Use Boom Cards to Assess Existing Knowledge
As a result of the pandemic last spring, students are entering our classrooms with varying degrees of knowledge and skills they may or may not have retained over the summer months. Using Boom Cards to informally assess where students are in their learning journey provides teachers with valuable data to inform their teaching practices.
What This Can Look Like: Let’s say you’re a secondary ELA teacher who wants to know whether or not your upcoming students have acquired the essential skills and knowledge from their previous year. Ask the teacher/s from the previous year in your building for an end-of-year test or assessment and create Boom Cards for each of the questions on the test.
Use Boom Cards to Preview New Information
Boom Cards can be an engaging way to preview new concepts you’ll be teaching in class that day. Instead of using a Google Slides presentation, create a small Boom deck that gamifies this information.
What This Can Look Like: You’re a middle school ELA teacher who has prepared a lesson on teaching your students how to differentiate between fact and opinion. You could use a Boom deck to grab students’ interest and give them a preview of what they’ll be learning in class that day.
Use Boom Cards to Amplify Vocabulary Practice
Boom cards lend themselves very nicely as an avenue for students to show their knowledge of using vocabulary words in different contexts. Rather than simply requiring them to type in the definition, you can create different ways students can apply their understanding of the words.
What This Can Look Like: Students have just been introduced to 10 new vocabulary words for the week. Some ideas for Boom Cards could be:
- Show 4 images and ask which image the provided vocabulary word fits best
- Ask which set of synonyms/antonyms fits the vocabulary word
- Have students write an original sentence with the provided vocabulary word
Target Common Struggles with boom cards
Use Boom cards to target common issues regarding grammar, punctuation, and spelling. By creating Boom decks that focus on one specific skill, they can help students build competency and confidence.
What This Can Look Like: Many students struggle with letter reversals, whether it’s due to a learning disability or simply because they need more practice. A Letter Reversals Boom deck like this one can target this specific issue in a fun and visually engaging way.
Boom Cards can Gamify Reviews of Key Concepts
Instead of a worksheet or Google Form as a way to review previously taught concepts, try using a Boom deck instead in the form of a mystery or puzzle that students need to solve. They’ll be instantly drawn in and invested in the outcome.
What This Can Look Like: You have been teaching your students about subjects and verbs and want them to review this skill. Presenting them with a mystery they’ll have to solve by showing their comprehension of subjects and verbs both piques their interest and removes the negative connotation of the usual worksheet.
Boom Cards for ELA
These strategies are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how you can start using Boom Cards in the ELA classroom, but I hope you can directly apply some of the techniques in your own classroom environment today. They’re an excellent way to get EVERYONE excited and engaged in the learning process!