BOOM! The pandemic hit. Our lives changed. Teaching changed. What we loved using in the past, such as task cards, isn’t as accessible as it was Pre-COVID. Maybe we entered the online classroom kicking and screaming, but we’re here. Goodbye task cards, hello Boom Cards! These are the digital resources for adult ESL you’ve been looking for! (Boom Cards are actually also Pre-COVID, but they aren’t that widely known yet, especially in adult education.)
What are Boom Cards?
They are digital, interactive, self-checking, AND they give you data! Differentiation is a powerful tool that you can easily implement by assigning different decks to different students and even hiding cards you’d rather they didn’t answer. When you assign cards, you get data immediately to let you know how accurately and how quickly your students can answer.
How does LIVE sound? Just ensure that your students each have an account (it’s free for them) and that they log in to play (don’t use fast pins).
Wait, what are fast pins?
This playing mode is for whole groups and small group learning. Sure, you can also use it for individual work, but you can only collect student data when students log in and do their assigned decks individually. For that, you’ll want to get a membership.
Hold on; there’s a membership fee?
Yes, but not to worry—you can use a fast pin for FREE on any deck that you’ve purchased (and there are even free decks out there). Now, remember, no data is collected. HOWEVER, you can get reports for up to five students for free! Boom Learning often gives free premium membership trials (we’re talking UNLIMITED student data), so definitely check to see what’s currently available. (There’s a GREAT one through the end of June 2020!)
But why would my adult ESL students want to play a deck of Boom Cards?
Adults want to know immediately if they got an answer correct or incorrect, don’t they? This makes that possible. Not only do YOU not have to spend your time checking their work, but they don’t have to wait for even a second to find out if they have the right answer. They find out as soon as they click that submit button. Best of all that submit button is on each card, so there is no need to go back and hunt through cards to figure out where they made a mistake.
Don’t forget that we already know adults still like playing games on their phones! Your adult students will love how learning is gamified. They can earn Gems when they master content, Coins for persistence and struggle, and Pulses (they look like lightning bolts) whenever they answer a question correctly more than once. These rewards trigger the same places in the brain that all those hugely popular game apps do and make players want to keep playing. With Boom, instead of mindlessly playing candy games, they could be improving their English!
UPDATE: I’ve since discovered that there are sometimes formatting issues when viewing BOOM cards with phones, so tablets and laptops might be the best bet unless you have personally checked out a deck on your own phone first. I haven’t run into any issues with the cards I’ve made. I’ve heard of other sellers having problems, but they are creating completely different styles of cards than I am.
Meh. I’ve seen Boom Cards, and they look childish.
Yes, most of what you see in the Boom Learning store is meant for children–so far. That’s only because adult ESL teachers haven’t fully discovered this awesome tool yet! Imagine the delight your students will feel when they realize they can play decks on their phones (or tablets or PCs) anywhere they have internet access! And with the self-checking aspect, they will know immediately what they need more practice with and what they’ve mastered.
You know me! I’m not going to publish decks with bobble-headed children or cutesy clipart. For now, my focus is on making all my grammar task cards and grammar worksheets into boom cards. Yes, there will be color, but the focus is more on content than anything else. Clipart, if used, will be kept to a minimum and used with intention. I prefer to use the space to ensure the text is large so it’s easily read. (Email me or comment below if you want something in particular done ASAP.)
Where can I buy Boom Cards by Rike Neville?
You can get some of them at my TpT store, but you’ll all of them at my Boom Learning store. Listing on TpT takes up a LOT of time, and I want to make as many of these digital resources for adult ESL as fast as possible so that YOU can get what you need to make this whole online teaching experience easier on you. I also offer bundles in my Boom Learning store, and I’m happy to create a custom bundle so that you can get exactly what you want/need without also paying points for decks you don’t have use for.
Whoa. Wait a minute–what are “points”?
This is simply Boom’s way of making it possible for you to make very small purchases. Tiny purchases still cost a marketplace up to 10% in processing fees, so they are often forbidden or charged to the buyer or the seller (transaction fees). Instead, with points, you can pay a premium for just a few points or get a discount when you buy in bulk.
How will I be notified of any updates?
You won’t! That’s another grand feature–any updates happen LIVE as the author makes them! Whenever your students are playing a deck, they are playing the latest, most up-to-date version available. Unlike TpT, you don’t need to re-download to get any revisions or added content. It’s just THERE. Like magic!
I’m IN! Where do I sign up?
You can use my referral link or pop over there and sign up without a referral link. I’m good either way because I want you to get in on this opportunity for you and your students. These are the digital resources for adult ESL you would have been using Pre-COVID if you’d known about them!