Browsing Tag

Back to School

Why I Love Using Boom Cards in the Classroom

Boom Cards are interactive, self-checking, digital cards that are highly engaging. Find out the many reasons why I love using these cards in the classroom here!

In recent years, digital learning tools have gained immense popularity in classrooms around the world. While there are many different options to choose from, one of my absolute favorites has become Boom Cards. Hosted on the Boom™ Learning Platform, these cards are interactive, self-paced activities that can be accessed on various devices, providing a range of benefits for teachers and learners. While I could go on and on about the various reasons I love using these digital cards, I’m going to highlight a few of my main reasons here:

1. Interactive Learning Experience:

One of the primary advantages of Boom Cards is their interactive nature. They offer a dynamic and hands-on learning experience that actively engages students. With features like drag-and-drop, clickable elements, audio features and instant feedback, Boom Cards encourage active participation and enable learners to grasp concepts more effectively. Furthermore, the game-like nature of many of the cards makes the learning experience fun and engaging for students. They often don’t realize just how much they are learning.

2. Immediate Feedback and Assessment:

Timely feedback is crucial for student growth and improvement. However, in classes with 25-30+ students, it can be challenging for teachers to provide immediate feedback on a consistent basis. This is especially true for elementary school teachers who are teaching a variety of subjects throughout the day. Boom Cards provide instant feedback, allowing students to receive reinforcement or corrective guidance immediately after completing an activity. This prompt feedback helps students identify and rectify errors, fostering a self-directed learning approach.

3. Teacher Data and Insights

The Boom™ Learning platform offers data tracking features. While Boom Cards can be assigned using a free account, the features offered with the very reasonably priced Premium account is well worth the cost. Educators can access detailed reports and analytics, gaining valuable insights into student performance, progress, and areas that require further attention. As a teacher, you can monitor student progress, track their performance, and identify areas where they may need additional support. One of the features I love about Boom Cards is that not only can I see what questions student got incorrect, but I can actually see what their response was. This data can inform your instructional decisions and help you provide targeted interventions. The page below gives just a small snapshot of some of the data you can access.

4. Personalized and Differentiated Instruction:

Every student has unique learning needs and abilities. Boom Cards allow you to easily differentiate instruction based on the needs of your students. You can create or find decks that target specific skills or concepts, enabling you to provide personalized learning experiences for each student or group of students. Teachers can assign Boom Cards based on student progress, ensuring that each learner receives appropriate content and support. This can be especially helpful if you are already breaking students into groups for centers or learning rotations. Boom Cards allow teachers to differentiate instruction without having to copy, cut, and laminate all the time!

5. Engaging and Motivating

Boom Cards are designed to be visually appealing and captivating, incorporating interactive elements, colorful graphics, and gamified features. By leveraging these elements, educators can create a vibrant learning environment that motivates students to actively participate and stay focused. Since I often use these as a rotation in centers or for independent practice, it’s important to utilize activities that keep students engaged – and Boom Cards do just that!

6. Accessibility and Flexibility

Digital Boom Cards can be accessed from various devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones. This accessibility allows students to engage with the content both in the classroom and at home, promoting continuity in their learning experiences. Additionally, the digital nature of Boom Cards allows to students to repeat activities if needed or move ahead if they grasp the content quickly, enabling students to learn at their own pace. This flexibility empowers educators to create seamless learning experiences and accommodate diverse instructional needs.

7. Time-Saving Resource for Educators

While there’s certainly still a need for paper and pencil activities, these digital cards are a huge time-saver for teachers! Teacher prep is quick and easy! Just download the deck, assign it to your class or individual student, and you’re ready for a fun, engaging activity! There’s zero copying, cutting, laminating, or grading! These cards can be played over and over again, won’t get lost, and your students get instant-feedback! The BoomTM Learning platform provides a user-friendly interface for creating your own decks as well. You can customize content, add images, and embed audio to create engaging activities tailored to your classroom needs. Educators can also share decks they’ve created with colleagues, fostering collaboration and resource-sharing within the teaching community.

As you can see, the benefits of Boom Cards in education are evident. From their interactive nature and personalized instruction to their flexibility and immediate feedback, these are a must-try for any classroom.

If you’re interested in giving Boom Cards a try, click on the link below to grab your FREE set of multiply by 5 Boom Cards!

If you’re further interested in Boom Card TM resources, check out some of my activities below:

Multiplication Rockstars Self-Checking Cards

Division Rockstars Self-Checking Cards

Apple CVC Words Digital Cards

States and Capitals Digital Cards

Back to School, Freebies, Teaching, Technology, Upper Elementary

Teacher Amazon Favorites – Back to School Edition

Peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, macaroni and cheese, teachers and…..AMAZON! There are some things that just go together.

The back to school season is rapidly approaching, and if you’re anything like me, that means you’re filling your Amazon cart (and wish list) with all the things for your classroom.

Teachers’ plates are already full with plenty of items on their back to school checklist, so I wanted to make things a little easier for you and share my absolute favorite Amazon must-haves for the back to school season!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links which means that at no extra cost to you I will earn a small commission from affiliate link sales to help offset the cost of running this site. You can read my full disclosure HERE.

1. Fadeless Bulletin Board Paper

One of the things I most enjoy about putting together a classroom, especially when moving into a new room, is making it feel like home – both for myself and the students. So, creating bulletin boards that are inviting is important to me as we head back to school. This fadeless bulletin board paper is easy to use and lasts ALL YEAR!! I love how it instantly changes the look of your room right away! I’ve used the white shiplap (but it was out of stock while I was writing this) as well as the weathered wood and I love them both! Find it HERE.

2. Magnetic Bulletin Board Borders

As more classrooms are adding magnetic whiteboards to their rooms (more than half of the wall space in my room is magnetic whiteboards), it’s nice to have something to add a little extra to that space. Whether you’re putting it on the whiteboard itself or using it as a border around paper, these magnetic strips are super easy to use – AND they can be used year after year, which is a big win! Linked HERE

3. Magnetic Clips

Speaking of magnetic white boards, if you’ve got them in your classroom, you’re definitely going to need plenty of these clips! I use these all of the time to display student work, anchor charts, newsletters, and more! The clip makes is super easy to change out work, and the magnet piece makes is easy to move from place to place. Find them on Amazon HERE.

4. X-ACTO Pencil Sharpener

Now, when it comes to pencil sharpeners, not all are created equal! My first year of teaching I tried to save money and went with the cheaper pencil sharpeners, and boy, did I regret that decision! Your pencil sharpeners are going to be used all day, every day, so be sure to get one that really does the job well. This X-ACTO pencil sharpener does just that! It’s my favorite sharpener and I won’t be going back to the cheaper ones (I don’t really need to because this one holds up great as well 😊). Grab it HERE.

5. Chart Paper

As much as I love incorporating technology into the classroom, sometimes you just need paper. This is especially true when you’re building anchor charts, setting classroom expectations, brainstorming ideas with your class, or creating anything that you want to display on your wall. I love these charts because they are ruled, which means I don’t end up writing diagonally across the page. These charts are the perfect size and tear away easily from the pad. Find the set HERE

6. Mr. Sketch Markers

Well, now that we have the chart paper, we’ve got to have something to use to write. I absolutely loooove these markers for writing on chart paper or checking student work. The thicker tip makes my writing bold and easy to see on the chart paper. And who doesn’t love a marker that smells great?? My students just love trying to guess the scent when I use these for quick checks. Linked HERE.

7. Flair Pens

While I use my Mr. Sketch for chart paper and quick checks, when I’m giving more specific feedback, my flair pens are my go-to. These write incredibly smooth, are easy for students to read, and I love the variety of colors! Find them HERE.

8. Paper Cutter

I know most schools have a nice paper cutter in the office, but there’s nothing like waiting in line to get things cut or trimmed when you’re trying to get everything ready for Back to School. I love that this paper cutter is compact enough to lock away in my cupboards (got to keep those little hands safe), and yet effective enough to get through all of my cutting jobs! This was a little bit of a splurge when I bought it, but I’m so thankful I did! I end up using it all of the time. Check it out HERE.

9. Back to School Book

I always love reading a picture book on the first day of school (no matter what grade I’m teaching). My top pick, especially for upper elementary, is Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. This heart-warming and inspiring story tells about a teacher who simply would not give up on one student, and my students are always surprised when they find out who that character is. Almost every year it leaves me in tears, but my hope is that it also shows my students that I want to be that teacher for them. It’s a must-read in my opinion. Grab it HERE.

10. Lunch Pail

Since we’re on the topic of teachers, I want to be sure to include a couple of must-have items just for you. Lunch breaks always seem to fly by, so it’s important to have your lunch ready to go. I love this insulated lunch bag because it has plenty of space inside, zips closed, and has extra pockets for storing little items. Plus, it’s super cute! Linked HERE.

11. Stanley Tumbler

One thing that I’m absolutely horrible at during the school year is drinking water! I know, it’s a horrible habit, but there have been days when I’ve dismissed the students for the day and realized I never touched my water. However, one thing that has seriously helped is this tumbler! I love that it has the straw option, is dishwasher safe, and actually keeps my water COLD!! Maybe I’m an “ice snob,” but I have an even harder time drinking water if it’s lukewarm. The fact that this tumbler keeps my water ice cold makes it a must-have for me! Find it HERE.

12. Backpack

I absolutely LOVE this backpack for taking things to and from school. I can easily fit my laptop in it, and it has so many pockets, I don’t end up losing things at the bottom. BONUS: It makes the perfect travel backpack in the summer! Grab it HERE.

13. Wireless Doorbell

While I didn’t come up with the idea for using this, these wireless doorbells are excellent for classroom management! It is super easy to use, and I’m able to get the students’ attention easily. After just a couple of days of training, the kids have it down. If you haven’t use one before, check it out HERE.

14. Handheld Chimes

I adore my wireless doorbell, but sometimes I want a different sound to cue a different response for my students. This is where the chimes come in! While I use the wireless doorbell to get their attention, when I ring the chimes, I don’t even need to say a word and they know their noise level needs to come down. I often keep it by me during reading groups, so I can signal them when it’s getting too noisy. Simple tool, awesome results! Find it HERE.

15. Student Dry Erase Boards

It’s so important to evaluate student learning throughout the day, and one of my favorite ways to do that is through the use of dry erase boards. I can clearly see students’ thinking, yet we’re not wasting a ton of paper and they’re still getting in the writing fine motor skills. I love that this set comes in a pack of 25 – and they are double sided, which comes in really handy when the math problems start getting long and they need more space. Find the boards HERE.

16. Glue Sticks

No matter what grade you teach, if you’re in elementary school, you WILL be going through glue sticks. I always stock up at the beginning of the year because it’s often when I can find them at the cheapest price. So, even if you think you don’t need them now, go ahead and grab some HERE.

17. Parent Communication Folders

One thing that I find to be critically important in teaching is parent communication – and I think most teachers (and parents) would agree with me!! I love to get this started right away with setting up parent communication folders. These go home every week with returned assignments, information from the office, our weekly class newsletter, and other materials. Since they’re going to and from class every week, they need to be sturdy, and these do the trick. I love that these folders have a front clear pocket so I can customize it for the students, as well as two pockets inside for papers. I find them to be an essential tool in keeping parents informed. Grab them HERE.

18. Cardstock

As you’re prepping all things back to school, you definitely want to have some cardstock on hand. This cardstock is a nice bright white and has a great thickness to it. I love using it for bulletin boards, labels, and items that I plan to use year after year. Even if you’re planning to laminate, if you don’t want your page to be a bit translucent, use cardstock! Find it HERE.

19. Elderberry Syrup

This one probably comes as a surprise to you, but it seems when the back to school season hits, there’s always a little cold or bug of some sort that is making its way around the campus. So, when I head back to the classroom (and pretty much anytime there’s a bunch of yucky stuff going around), I try to give my immune system a bit of a boost with this elderberry syrup. I usually give a dose to my kids (my own, not my students 😉) as well. Especially if you’re a new teacher and building up that teacher immune system, check it out HERE.

20. Cricut

Yes, I know, this is definitely an expensive item, so don’t feel like you have to go out an buy one to get through your teaching year. However, if you’ve collected some gift cards, have saved up some fun spending money, or have a person or group of people that really want to splurge on you, I highly recommend getting a Cricut. I’m not an expert on these machines by any means, but I find myself using mine ALL THE TIME! Whether it’s cutting out circles (I mean, who can do that perfectly?) or creating cute bulletin board letters, or helping me create really awesome craft materials to use with my students, this machine can do so much!! Check out more HERE.

I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out some of my favorite Back to School supplies on Amazon! If you’ve got any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below or send me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Wishing you an amazing Back to School Season!!!

If you’re interested in ALL of my Amazon Teacher Favorites, be sure to check them out HERE.

Getting ready to head back to your classroom and set up for the new year? Check out this list of 20 of my favorite Amazon products for this season! Whether you can grab 1 or all 20, these teacher must-haves will help you get everything ready for Back to School! #backtoschool #amazonfaves
Amazon Faves, Back to School, Fall, Teaching

Back to School Teacher Favorites Survey

Know exactly what to get your child’s teacher with this easy to use, editable My Teacher’s Favorite Things Questionnaire!

Know exactly what to get your child's teacher with this easy to use Teacher Favorite Questionnaire. This FREE survey will help you know all about their favorite thing so you know just what to get them for teacher gifts. It especially comes in handy with Back to School, holidays, and Teacher Appreciation week. AND, it's editable, so you can customize it just for your child's teacher! #teacherappreciation #teachergifts #teacherfavorites

For the first time since becoming a parent, both of my kids will be going to school this year! Since I understand how much time, energy, effort, and money go into teaching, I was eager to bless these teachers who were now spending 6 hours of the day with my babies.

While I love all of the mugs that students have lovingly given me over the years, I was eager to get these wonderful teachers something they really wanted. And selfishly, I didn’t want to buy something that was just going to end up going to waste or sitting around never being used.

So, I created this Teacher Favorites Survey.

Know exactly what to get your child's teacher with this easy to use Teacher Favorite Questionnaire. This FREE survey will help you know all about their favorite thing so you know just what to get them for teacher gifts. It especially comes in handy with Back to School, holidays, and Teacher Appreciation week. AND, it's editable, so you can customize it just for your child's teacher! #teacherappreciation #teachergifts #teacherfavorites

It asks about their favorite drinks, foods, shops, and general preferences, so I’d know just what to get them if I happened to be running by Starbucks in the morning and wanted to grab one for my kids’ teachers as well.

I created a pre-filled template if you simply want to print and go (just be sure you write your child’s name at the beginning of the paragraph so the teacher knows where to return it.

I also created an editable version so that you can include local restaurants, shops, etc. The editable version also comes in handy if you have a male teacher and want to ask them about things that tend to be more popular with guys.

Know exactly what to get your child's teacher with this easy to use Teacher Favorite Questionnaire. This FREE survey will help you know all about their favorite thing so you know just what to get them for teacher gifts. It especially comes in handy with Back to School, holidays, and Teacher Appreciation week. AND, it's editable, so you can customize it just for your child's teacher! #teacherappreciation #teachergifts #teacherfavorites

My boys’ teachers were shocked and absolutely thrilled to receive this wish list. One of them even said she felt like it was Christmas!

I’m eager to use these to know exactly how to bless these amazing teachers, and I hope you grab a copy too!

Just click on the button below to access this freebie!

Back to School, Family, Parenting, Teaching