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A Reflection from Your Co-Founder


My son “recently started sharing his location with me via iPhone. I didn’t have to ask. It’s a sad state of affairs when even the grown kids want you to know where they are at all times.”


These words were written by the mother of two incredibly talented young men who have ebony skin. It breaks my heart every time I read them. 

Over the last several days, when I’ve stepped away from Boom Learning, I’ve stepped into a world filled with the the exhausted, heartbroken, worn-down voices of mothers of sons of color, whose every day and every hour is filled with the stress of living black in America.

This is not the first time I’ve heard their voices of grief and frustration. This time the grief is deeper, more soul-crushing. Their hurt is palpable. The confluence of Amy Cooper’s casual endangerment of a man’s life and the murder of George Floyd have given us a glimpse into the everyday experience of living black in America. The pain of that experience right now has become palpable to all of us.

This world I step into is a diverse, caring and blunt-speaking community. We share a commitment to the law. I have learned much from them. In the aftermath of recent events, the drive to do something is strong.

Today, I am sharing with this community the recommendations from that community for how to begin.

  • First, become comfortable with being uncomfortable. We all have hidden biases. Assessing our hidden biases is the first step to awareness.
  • Second, let go of fears you may have about explicit conversations about race. People of color do not live in a color-blind world. Here is a reading list of 31 Children’s Books to support conversations on race and racism for your classrooms.
  • Third, confront our past. My mother drilled into me from a young age: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana) In Germany, confronting their Nazi past to prevent a recurrence is so core to the curriculum that it is taught in multiple years. We must confront not only slavery, but the residual acts of the last century.
Here are a few suggestions for summer reading to understand modern racism –
·      The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America – by Richard Rothstein
·      They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott
·      Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
·      Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

At Boom Learning, we are committed to providing quality, ethical, inclusive materials. Please report any materials of concern to help@boomlearning.com (choose Inappropriate/Infringing as the issue type).

Featured

Mathematics without Restrictions

I teach mathematics to students who have learning difficulties such as Autism and Dyslexia. For them, writing and answering worksheet questions can be difficult. Boom Learning is a great tool for them to have a go at showing their mathematical abilities without being restricted by the difficulties of using a pen.

Rebekah Bullen, LittleStreams

We frequently remind our older children that they once struggled during the early days of reading. Now, reading is a breeze and they have amazing worlds to explore.

Likewise there is an amazing world that will be theirs in mathematics. We share with our children, as much as they can understand, the worlds of statistics and combinatorics, proofs and probability, geometry and logic. And then we remind them that to get there they must put in the work of learning their math ABCs (or 123s).

Sound Fundamentals

Rebekah Bullen is a private tutor who teaches mathematics to students with learning differences. Her LittleStreams store is full of elementary through middle school resources for teaching sound fundamentals. We like how she has made innovative use of the text box element to make her products touch focused for her students.

Find the factors for a given number task cards.
Students use touch or click to identify all the factors of a number.

Addition and Multiplication Facts

Love them or hate them, math facts are the foundation for success in higher mathematics courses. Mastery of facts can be tedious, progress slow, and repetition is essential. Our experience with digital natives is that variety matters. Thank goodness for the variety available on Boom Learning.

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Boom Cards Reading and Literacy Resources

With Boom Learning, users only need only have access to a smartphone to begin their learning journey. There are over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide and 1.5 billion English language learners worldwide. That’s a lot of literacy waiting to happen.

With literacy education, we most commonly think of young children learning to read. But literacy education is also for

  • ELL learners of all ages;
  • Those who missed lessons due to developmental or health reasons; and
  • Those who must relearn after a brain injury.

One of our inspirations for building Boom Learning was to make it easier for teachers to assign “just right” materials to students. Learners do not always neatly line up with institutional assumptions about educational needs. Lucky for us, Boom Learning teacher authors share our passion for “just right education” and mini-app solutions.

First Steps in English Language Literacy

Matching rhyming images and first sound images are common and useful activities for pre-readers. Rebecca Reid, of Line Upon Learning, combines these activities with letter recognition.

The alphabet is self-evident to most who grow up in a country that uses a Latin alphabet. It is easy to forget that the alphabet is the first critical step to decoding for many students. Boom Cards authors provide a variety of resources, whether for young children, or older students with special needs.

Maturing English language learners, and students with decoding disabilities, such as dyslexia, need help tackling the challenges of English spelling: multiple sounds for common phonograms and multiple spellings for one sound.

Emerging Readers and Language Users

For students in the 3rd to 6th grades, Rachel Lynette and Deb Hanson bring you a plethora of ELA materials (search on “ELA” in the store). All the value you’ve come to expect from these ladies, except now they are colorful, self-grading mini-apps (no cutting required).

It figures that the buyer favorites from Deb Hanson would be her Figurative Language 1 and 2 series. Who would have predicted that buyer favorites from Rachel Lynette would be

rachel-drawing-conclusions

Hot Tip This Week

Did you find an oops on a card? Click on the “Feedback” button in the lower left hand corner to send anonymous feedback about a card or deck to an author. Only the author sees it. Corrections are instantly added to your Library.

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High-Engagement Social Studies

Teaching Resources for an Election Year

“There are so many things that I love about Boom Cards, but I especially love the high student-engagement factor and self-checking cards. Once monotonous flashcards suddenly turn into a fun activity when morphed into Boom Cards. They enjoy the instant feedback they get and know right away if they are “getting it.”

Becky Clark, Teacher Features

This election is an opportunity and a challenge. An opportunity to make government and geography lessons relevant. Augment your lessons with Boom Cards United States Presidential Election resources.

Government Teaching Resources

Presidents

Presidential Fun Facts Snip

Learning about past POTUSi can be dry and dull. Presidential Trivia Fun Facts mixes it up with a walk on the lighter side of history. Jamie likes to use this deck during small group rotation time. Skills + standards + Boom Cards = fun. Or try a different resource about the Presidents.

The Three Branches of Government

Jamie will also be teaching her students about our three-part system of government this year. After they complete the lesson, she assigns the Three Branches of Government.  It doesn’t feel like an assessment to the students; it is more like a game. In her dashboard, she can see at a glance which standards the students understood and what they missed. Since feedback is immediate, students learn while they self-assess. You can try government teaching resources from a variety of authors.

Geography for Younger Students

Quality Learning, No Time Wasters Required

Map SKills

In her 16 years as a third grade teacher, Becky Clark has met more than a few students who didn’t share her love for social studies. This year she has Boom Learning to help transform reluctant learners into Social Studies geeks like herself. She has her students practice Geography Map Skills: U.S. Regions, Continents & Oceans using Boom Cards.

“My students can easily complete deck after deck, at their own learning pace and not need me to set it up, make copies, replenish materials and waste precious learning time.”

Suggested pairings:

#Elections2020 #Presidents #Government #Geography

Enjoy Election season!
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Boom Learning

Interactive Teaching Resources

Teachers have always shared resources, now more than ever. Sharing provides teachers with unprecedented access to lessons they can download and print for classroom use. Schools that have invested are asking teachers to print less and use devices more. Boom Learning bridges the gap between school and teacher needs.

“Boom allows teachers to access a growing and varied collection of teacher-created content for those devices, or to create their own” says Boom advisor and former teacher Rachel Lynette. Like familiar printables markets, Teachers can sell what they make, augmenting their pay.

Boom Learning’s tools allow teachers to create and deploy classroom-ready resource in less than an hour. For students with unique needs, “It provides a tool to make customized decks,” says Della Larsen.

“Boom Learning is really a win-win for everyone. Teachers save time, paper, ink, and other resources. Students interact with educational content in a meaningful and motivating way,” says Lynette.

Boom Learning has exceeded Lynette’s expectations: “Boom allows teachers to unleash their design talent. I love how teachers are finding new ways to use the tools, and how the platform is evolving with their suggestions.”

Boom Learning makes a teacher’s job easier. According to Secondary Science Teacher-Author Kristin Lee, “Boom Learning provides a level of reporting, differentiating, and self-grading that has the potential to save a teacher hours of data organizing.”

About Boom Learning

Founded in 2012, Boom Learning develops educational apps and games, including Mathtopia+, which regularly ranks among the top 50 downloaded game in the United States for kids ages 9-11, one of less than 50 apps to receive a 5-star rating on Smart Apps for Kids, and winner of the Children’s Technology Review’s Editor’s Choice Award for 2013. Boom Learning was formerly known as Omega Labs Inc. Boom Learning is launching its latest contribution to the education market this fall with its Boom Cards apps and Boom Learning platform and marketplace, which give teachers the tools they need to share interactive teacher resources in schools with 1:1 devices.

The Boom Learning product was born from the serendipitous meeting of three people on a mission. Senator Eric Oemig, a master coder with a passion for education technology, wanted to build a mobile platform that would become an integral part of the classroom. Mary Heuett Oemig, an attorney and educator, wanted to build something that would meet each student where he or she was. Rachel Lynette, founder of Minds in Bloom and author of more than 120 non-fiction children’s books, wanted to turn the task cards she created for Teachers Pay Teachers® into apps.

#‎boomlearning‪#‎backtoschool‪#‎teachermade,‪#‎interactivelearning‪#‎paperless

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