It is a fact. When learning is turned into a game format, students learn more. One of the reason is student engagement. Oddly enough, failure in the classroom is often seen as failure. Right? Still, many experts estimate that gamers spend up to 80% of their time failing…. yet they are only more eager to play the game again! My solution is digital task cards, called Boom Cards. If you would like to try Boom Cards for free, see below. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
So it seems when a teaching environment is “gamified”, students are more motivated to practice and master skills. A win-win for the student and teacher. Students often don’t realize they are practicing skills that are frequently described as BORING and teachers experience student engagement that isn’t achieved with ”drill and kill” flashcards. Gamification doesn’t mean everything is all fun and games, instead it provides a layer of fun!
I’m not wholly advocating for 100% student technology time, by any means. However, in my 25 years of teaching I have learned to harness techniques that work. One method has been to use digital task cards. What do I mean? This past year I discovered Boom Cards– essentially digital task cards with the ability to provide instant feedback to the student AND teacher. (If you haven’t heard of Boom Cards, please see my other post here.) Every Boom deck that I use in my classroom is common core aligned. In other words, my principal observes rigor and learning results. And we all know that a happy principal = happy teachers!
Enter Digital Boom Cards
When students work with Boom Cards, they can earn Coins, Gems and Pulses(lightening bolts). Do you remember earning a merit badge when you were a boy scout or girl scout? You had a sense of accomplishment. The same is true with the coins, gems and pulses earned with Boom Cards.
– Students earn Gems when correctly answering a question with no wrong answers.
– Coins are rewards for persistence and struggle, with more coins awarded for harder questions.
– Pulses (the lightening bolt) reward overlearning behaviors (the concept that learning past mastery leads to automaticity, with speed and accuracy).
Coins are currency that can be “spent” to buy new Avatars.
Gems and Pulses are rewards to be collected. (Think Girl Scout vest/sash.)
Student engagement improves while your student is encourage to master (and maybe even struggle with) new skills.
How I Use Boom Cards
As a Reading Specialist and Reading Tutor, I work with striving readers. In other words- students who would rather be doing anything else other than reading. I’ve used Boom Cards as a way to teach foundational reading skills, the basic building blocks essential to reading success. My students love to complete phonics decks on the ipad. I’ve also found it especially helpful to use ”Boom Card ipad time” with one student while I am completing a running record with another student.
These are just a couple of examples that work for well for me. You will probably have many other examples of quality technology as a student motivator, depending on what you teach. In short, Boom Cards make my life easier and my students are happy and engaged with learning!
“How do I get started?” is a frequently asked question.
If you are a homeschooling mom, tutor or work with small groups of students(5 or less), all you need to sign-up for is a free Starter account. (If you would want to track student progress with data reports from Boom Learning, you will need the Basic account.)
I hope you have found this helpful. Stay connected with Teacher Features’ teaching tips and classroom freebies be sure to follow on Facebook, Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers, and subscribe to my blog!