Mastery for Monsters

“In kindergarten, our kids need a variety of practice with learning math skills. It may take multiple months for kids to become secure in their understanding of counting and cardinality. By using seasonal resources we can keep the lessons exciting and engaging. Although the skills remain the same, by using seasonal themes the lessons feel different. ” Della Larsen.

When a child is at standard a teacher’s work is done. Correct?

Nope.

The work is done when a student is proficient, you know, able to respond correctly, quickly and without hesitation. At that point, the concept has been so deeply ingrained that only a wee bit of brainpower is needed to retrieve the knowledge. That means more oomph to learn new things!

Proficiency training is for everyone. Seniors maintain or build connections. Career changers revive atrophied proficiencies or develop them for the first time. Middle school and high school students remove barriers to tackling advanced materials. Upper elementary students solidify math facts and word attack skills. Primary students need to learn, learn, learn!

Proficiency for the Win

Proficient learners have several advantages over non-proficient learners.

  1. Higher endurance.
  2. Less easily distracted.
  3. More brainpower to apply to new tasks.
  4. Improved retention.

These advantages are particularly apparent when students tackle tasks for which the proficient skill or knowledge is a component.

What are some examples of proficiency?

  • The ability to read aloud without conscious attention to adding expression.
  • The ability to recall and apply a math fact when performing advanced operations without hesitation.
  • The ability to drive from home to school without having to think about each turn and stop.

Overtraining without Injury

How do you get to proficiency? Overtraining.

What is the downside of overtraining? Boredom.

Sustained, ongoing practice of materials can get dull. Learners need to practice a skill when it is taught, and at regular intervals. Research shows that materials must be studied for three to four years to get 50 years of retention. Otherwise, the skill is lost within three to four years. Yipes!

Variation for the Win

Offering the same lesson in novel variations, ranging from theme to answer types, builds proficiency without turning students away from learning. With Boom Cards decks, you can find resources ranging in skill level from simple single answer multiple choice, to drag and drop, to multiple response, to fill in, allowing you to gradually increase the challenge and vary the presentation.

At this time of year, there are an abundance of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and fall-themed Boom Cards resources available. “My students always get so excited when October comes in anticipation of Halloween!  I like to direct that enthusiasm by creating Halloween themed activities for them,” says Boom Cards author and teacher Linda Post.

Sheila Cantonwine finds that students can be excited and distracted during the holiday season. She uses themed resources to keep them on track academically while spiraling math topics and providing more practice where needed. With Boom Learning’s reporting tools, teachers can see if the students are gaining proficiency.


Shop our store for current seasonal items. 

FIND FREE FOR PRIMARY


References

Kathleen M. Doughterty and James M. Johnston, Overlearning, Fluency, and Automaticity, The Behavior Analyst, 1996, 19, 289-292.

Daniel T. Willingham, Practice Makes Perefect-but Only If You Practice Beyond the Point of Perfection, Ask the Cognitive Scientist, American Federation of Teachers, Spring 2004.

Tips and Treats for Boomers

“I think autumn is such a wonderful time of year! It is so easy to find ways to make learning fun for our students. The changing leaves and shorter days provide the perfect opportunity for science discussions. Candy collected on Halloween can be used for graphing activities, and the vibrant hues of autumn are the perfect inspiration for artistic creations. Halloween-themed task cards on Boom Learning are also sure to motivate students to engage in learning and practice!”

-Shelly Rees

The ghouls have been working hard in the pits of code. They’ve put together tricks and treats for your Booming pleasure.

New in the Store

New For Fall

Our authors have been busy too.

Look for new items and last minute Halloween.

If you like to plan ahead, we have seasonal materials for

Holidays

Winter for the Northern Hemisphere

And don’t forget to look for value bundles.

 

More Deck Options in the Library

In the Library view for a deck, you have new options now. You can take a number of actions, including contacting an author with general feedback.

Screenshot 2017-10-29 07.19.33Don’t forget to take some time and “Rate” products you use. “Contact Author” is a private conversation between you and the deck author. “Rate” is a public review of the product. The “Feedback” option in deck play is also private. Use it to comment on a particular card.

“Delete” will remove a product entirely. Choose wisely as you will need to repurchase any product you delete.

 

Report Sorting and Data Resets

In the Reports view accessible from the Library you can now sort using the header fields. Below I’ve sorted by the number incorrect, but you can sort by any of the bolded title fields.

Screenshot 2017-10-29 07.28.10

“Reset All Data” does just that. It wipes out all student data recorded to date and resets the deck as if students had never taken it. Choose wisely, you can’t recover the data once deleted.

Studio Widgets

Screenshot 2017-10-29 07.35.32

The “Caption Pic” widget in the studio is the one to use when you want to have a specific word stay with a specific picture when randomizing.

The Fractions widget gives you a jump start on formatting fractions. Both are “container” widgets that combine elements of other widgets.

Be sure to watch our video on working with Complex and Multi Containers to make the most of widgets.

Boom.Cards

You can direct your students to Boom.Cards for simplified login. You can also post Fast Pin or Hyperplay links (available in the Library) in your LMS to take your students directly to their assignments. Although the video is titled Boom Cards + Google Classroom, you can use the tips in it about Fast Pins and Hyperplay links in any LMS.

Hipster Avatars

Your students probably already know about this, but in case you don’t: students can now choose from a selection of avatars that includes some … hipper versions.

Screenshot 2017-10-29 07.54.10

Happy Halloween!

The Boom Team

Mastery for Monsters

“In kindergarten, our kids need a variety of practice with learning math skills. It may take multiple months for kids to become secure in their understanding of counting and cardinality. By using seasonal resources we can keep the lessons exciting and engaging. Although the skills remain the same, by using seasonal themes the lessons feel different. ” Della Larsen.

When a child is at standard a teacher’s work is done. Correct?

Nope.

The work is done when a student is proficient, you know, able to respond correctly, quickly and without hesitation. At that point, the concept has been so deeply ingrained that only a wee bit of brainpower is needed to retrieve the knowledge. That means more oomph to learn new things!

Proficiency training is for everyone. Seniors maintain or build connections. Career changers revive atrophied proficiencies or develop them for the first time. Middle school and high school students remove barriers to tackling advanced materials. Upper elementary students solidify math facts and word attack skills. Primary students need to learn, learn, learn!

Proficiency for the Win

Proficient learners have several advantages over non-proficient learners.

  1. Higher endurance.
  2. Less easily distracted.
  3. More brainpower to apply to new tasks.
  4. Improved retention.

These advantages are particularly apparent when students tackle tasks for which the proficient skill or knowledge is a component.

What are some examples of proficiency?

  • The ability to read aloud without conscious attention to adding expression.
  • The ability to recall and apply a math fact when performing advanced operations without hesitation.
  • The ability to drive from home to school without having to think about each turn and stop.

Overtraining without Injury

How do you get to proficiency? Overtraining.

What is the downside of overtraining? Boredom.

Sustained, ongoing practice of materials can get dull. Learners need to practice a skill when it is taught, and at regular intervals. Research shows that materials must be studied for three to four years to get 50 years of retention. Otherwise, the skill is lost within three to four years. Yipes!

Variation for the Win

Offering the same lesson in novel variations, ranging from theme to answer types, builds proficiency without turning students away from learning. With Boom Cards decks, you can find resources ranging in skill level from simple single answer multiple choice, to drag and drop, to multiple response, to fill in, allowing you to gradually increase the challenge and vary the presentation.

At this time of year, there are an abundance of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and fall-themed Boom Cards resources available. “My students always get so excited when October comes in anticipation of Halloween!  I like to direct that enthusiasm by creating Halloween themed activities for them,” says Boom Cards author and teacher Linda Post.

Sheila Cantonwine finds that students can be excited and distracted during the holiday season. She uses themed resources to keep them on track academically while spiraling math topics and providing more practice where needed. With Boom Learning’s reporting tools, teachers can see if the students are gaining proficiency.

Read about resources for K-Middle School in our newsletter or shop our store for current seasonal items.

 

 

 

 

References

Kathleen M. Doughterty and James M. Johnston, Overlearning, Fluency, and Automaticity, The Behavior Analyst, 1996, 19, 289-292.

Daniel T. Willingham, Practice Makes Perefect-but Only If You Practice Beyond the Point of Perfection, Ask the Cognitive Scientist, American Federation of Teachers, Spring 2004.

 

For the Love of Français: Languages of the Americas

English, French and Spanish are frequently taught languages of North America. In Canada, English and French have equal status as official languages. Today’s blog is focused on resources for French language instruction.

We’ll cover Spanish resources at a future date. But if you just can’t wait, you’ll find them in the store.

Teach French

“Prior to Boom Learning, students were merely just going through the motions of learning another language.”

-Najda Zada of Garden Full of Knowledge

Engaging Digital Natives

Like all instructors, Najda has her share of reluctant learners. Digital natives engage with the world visually. Najda says her students “love using Boom Cards because it gives them an opportunity to be able to use their handheld devices to practice their French language.”

20161009_001824000_ios

In her classroom, she selects a French language Boom Cards deck and then has the whole class work through it, enunciating each French word and deciphering the response.  At other times, she divides the class into two teams. Each team is given a question that they must answer within an allotted time. She finds these methods motivate her digital natives to speak French. “With Boom Learning, learning another language has been fun, engaging, and motivating to all types of second language learners.”

Surviving Teaching French

Boom Cards are not just for learners, they are also for novice teachers. At ISTE 2017 we spoke with a number of attendees from Canada. They were excited about using Boom Cards to assist teachers who were new to teaching French. With many authors adding sound features, teachers now how a variety of pronunciation resources.

Teaching French involves skills ranging from phonological awareness, les rimes, to sight words, to vocabulary building, to grammar. Materials available from our authors include sound, writing, and cross-curricular content. Here is just a sample!

les phonemes prof numericLes élèves raffoleront de ces cartes à tâches digitales autocorrectives qui sont totalement compatibles avec tous les types d’appareils mobiles ou écrans interactifs. L’apprentissage des phonèmes, via les sons AUDIO inclus dans cet ensemble de jeux interactifs, augmentera l’engagement des apprenants assurément.

by Prof Numeric – available individually at Boom Learning or as a bundle at Teachers Pay Teachers

Les Rime Michelle DupuisRhyme is a key component of phonological awareness. This fun resource will help students practice rhymes and review vocabulary words. Cette ressource contient 15 cartes qui permettront aux élèves de développer leur conscience phonologique.

by Michelle Dupuis Education French–Français

 

sight words for french immerssion

There’s no such thing as too much sight word practice. With these decks, kids will be able to listen to correct pronunciation and work on recognizing the written words. Kids won’t even notice how much work they’re doing while listening to a native speaker other than you. Try the free sample.

by For French Immersion – available individually on Boom Learning or as a bundle at Teachers Pay Teachers

verb tense mme r

These 25 cards will help students identify common reflexive verbs and practice present tense conjugations. There are ten multiple choice cards for verb identification, ten fill in the blank cards for conjugation and five fill in the blank cards for negative constructions.

by Mme R’s French Resources 

 

La rentree Madame Angel

Second language learners need lots of opportunities to practice new vocabulary in fun and engaging ways. This bundle of Boom Cards decks allows students the opportunity to read, listen to, identify and write school themed vocabulary.

by La classe de Madame Angel

 

Les r saisons Peg Swift

 

Investing in cross-curricular resources is always a good idea when you are building a well-rounded program. Here’s one that combines science and language.

by Peg Swift French Immersion

 

Quel temps Toujours Francais

Build vocabulary knowledge for students. This deck incorporates both listening and writing. It can be used both for assessment for learning (as a pre-assessment) or assessment as learning (used to determine if students are understanding the material).

by Toujour Francais

 

 

Find the Boom Cards collection for you

More French teaching resources available at Teachers Pay Teachers

Surviving and Thriving at the End of the School Year

I was volunteering in an elementary class Friday and the end of year phenomena was in full swing. The weather was warm and so were their tempers.

If you covered all your mandatory topics for the year and the kids are on track, this is a good time to mix it up and encourage curiosity and self-directed learning. Consider adding logic, puzzles, critical thinking, or world language materials to your library for choice time.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 10.39.37 AMSometimes it is enough to switch to spring and summer themed materials. The psychological effect of bright colors and cheerful images might be just the thing. If you are finishing up a measurement unit, try a summer themed deck on Customary Measurement Word Problems by Tarheelstate Teacher.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 10.42.48 AM

For younger students, expand their vocabulary with “I Spy” Beach Vocabulary by Teachering.

 

 

 

For the youngest students, we have a variety of multiple choice materials in mathematics, ELA, and French.

Summer little kids layout

Need more? Find the collection for you.

The Spring and Summer Collection
Freebies
The Primary Collection (Pre-K to 2nd)
Emerging Students (3-5)
The Upper El Collection (4-6)
Middle School Mash-Up (6-8)
High School STEM and Social Studies (9-10)
World Languages

Engage Students with Visual Resources for World Language Mastery

“Prior to Boom Learning, students were merely just going through the motions of learning another language.”

-Najda Zada of Garden Full of Knowledge

Like all instructors, Najda has her share of reluctant learners. I recall struggling to learn world languages, but then I’m a primarily visual learner. My husband, whose strength is auditory learning, can pick up languages in a flash.

Digital natives engage with the world visually. Najda says her students “love using Boom Cards because it gives them an opportunity to be able to use their handheld devices to practice their French language.”

20161009_001824000_ios

In her classroom, she selects a set of French language Boom Cards and then has the whole class enunciate each French word orally.  As a group, they work together to decipher the response. Other times, she divides the class into two teams. Each team is given a question that they must answer within an allotted time.

She finds these methods motivate her digital natives to speak French. “With Boom Learning, learning another language has been fun, engaging, and motivating to all types of second language learners. Boom Cards have just given us a new twist to learning French!” With Boom Cards, the learning experience is enhanced with visual and kinetic modalities.

You can also find materials for French as a second language from Mme R’s French Resources. For a different shade of romance, try Italian resources from Hand in Hand Learning.

Engaging Younger Students

It can be challenging to find world language materials targeted for the elementary grades. Most materials are for middle school to adults. With Boom Learning, you can find ready-to-use decks made by teachers.

If you need something special, it only takes an hour or two to make a DIY deck you can use for years (no reprinting, no hand grading). If your deck turns out to be just what students need, you can add a little polish and put it in the store, for free or for a fee. Everyone gains: students and teachers. Worksheets and task cards both can be translated into Boom Cards, along with books. As Lucy from For French Immersion says “The fact that Boom decks work on computers, tablets, and interactive whiteboards is benefit you don’t get from regular apps.”

Lucy’s best selling French Verbs Growing Bundle is a great value, as you get all new decks she adds. For French Immersion designs materials for younger students in immersion classrooms (they also work for second language instruction). If you want to enjoy the season with French, we recommend this deck. You can also find French immersion resources from La classe de Madame Angel.

20161009_001815000_ios

We are also lucky to have linguaphile and designer Miss Mindy creating for Boomers in some of her many languages. She has spent the last 7 years teaching Spanish at a small independent K-6 school in Vermont and is now homeschooling her daughters. Mindy started studying Spanish when she was 13 and was enthralled. She minored in German and also studied French and Latin. Expect a variety of language resources Miss Mindy’s store. Here is a sample of her seasonal resources:

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After three German au pairs and high school Spanish we joke that we speak Danglish in our house. In Mindy’s house they must speech Flandanglish. What do you speak in your house?

Do you need more elementary resources? Rebecca Reid of Line upon Line Learning has elementary Spanish resources.

 

Speaking Scientifically with Boom Cards

“While all my friends were asking for Backstreet Boys paraphernalia or bicycles, I remember getting a microscope for Christmas when I was 9 or 10 and it was like I’d died and gone to heaven.” – Kristin Lee

Chemical or Physical Change?
Chemical or Physical Change?

Today I want to introduce Kristin Lee. She is my soul buddy. My favorite magazines as a teen were Scientific American and Discovery. Neither of us ended up as scientists, but we independently found our way to incorporate science in our careers. Kristin loves “seeing those middle schoolers fall in love with science!”

Puzzles, patterns, problems. Science has it all for Kristin. “I want students to feel my passion for science in my work and maybe, for some of them, light the same fire I have. I hope for a metaphorical fire and not one set by a Bunsen burner in the middle of my science lab.”

Kristin recently started making her Boom Cards

“Working with Boom has allowed me to take less concrete concepts, like the periodic table or vocabulary, and still make them fun and interactive. Teachers get real time data on students that can help them assess the needs of their class, without spending hours collecting and organizing it themselves.”

Kristin isn’t the only science loving author on Boom Learning. Rebecca Reid has gone beyond the task card to integrate reading comprehension with science learning about coral reefs (best for students grade levels 3-6).

For younger kids, you can also find these materials:

 

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.

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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