General Archives – Della Larsen's Class

My Boom Deck has too Many Cards

April 9, 2021

You can control how many cards your students see in a Boom deck. Teachers and students love Boom Cards on Boom Learning, but sometimes your Boom deck has too many cards.  Sometimes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  When you have a Boom deck with dozens of slides it can feel a little overwhelming to your students.  You might just want to assign a few cards at a time. The good news is there is a feature on Boom Learning that allows you to “hide “cards. This feature gives you control over which cards your students can and cannot see. The first step is to go to your library and assign a deck to your class.  Now click the blue action button. You’ll see a drop-down menu with the words “hide cards”. Click that item.     Next, you will be taken to the deck. All you need to do is click “hide card’ on the cards you don’t want your students to see. Click the continue button until you have hidden all the cards you want.   Now it’s time to check with the overview button. You can see all the cards...

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Boom Learning Membership Levels

March 30, 2021

Understanding the levels of membership on Boom Learning Teachers are loving using Boom Cards in their classrooms. But navigating through the membership levels can be confusing. In this post, I’ll break down each level and let you know what makes each level unique. Once you have all the information you can make a decision about which level of Boom Learning will work for you and your students. Can you use Boom Cards for free? Yes! You can absolutely use Boom Learning for free. With the free membership, you can use any deck you have purchased on Boom or on TPT. They will be in your library and they are yours forever. There are literally hundreds of free decks for you to use. Your students can receive many of the benefits of Boom without you spending a dime. Let’s review the different levels Starter Membership – Free The starter membership on Boom is free. You can open a classroom with  5 students at this level which makes it ideal for parents who homeschool. I recommend that if you are a teacher using the starter membership that you add your lowest students into your class. You will be able to receive...

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What is a Boom Card?

March 23, 2021

Have you heard the buzz about Boom Cards and Boom Learning? In the search to constantly improve their students’ success many teachers find themselves asking “What is a Boom Card?” Boom Cards are self-checking digital task cards. We’ve all used paper task cards in our word work, literacy, and math centers. Task cards that require our kindergarten students to show their learning with a clothespin or a paper clip. Well, Boom Cards are similar to old-fashioned task cards but just digitized.     Boom Cards Increase Student Learning. Boom Cards offer unique scaffolding so that your students’ learning increases.  Many Boom Cards provide sound files that provide various bonuses for teachers.  Students can hear vocabulary for unknown words.  Sound files provide extra support for special needs students by giving students the name of words and letters they are matching/building.  In math centers, word problems are read to students so you can be assured that your students are being assed on math and not reading comprehension.   Boom Cards are self-checking. Your students receive immediate feedback. Students can make real-time adjustments to their learning with the feedback they receive. You can feel confident that students who are working independently are...

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Using Boom Cards to Create Math and Literacy Centers

March 16, 2021

Using Digital Centers in Kindergarten Using centers in kindergarten is a great way to give your students practice working on math and literacy goals. One of the biggest challenges to effectively student-run centers is that your students can be off task. You send them to a well-planned phonics center but they end up doing something completely different. My students have always loved center time. To be honest, so did I. I loved the hum of students talking with each other, the controlled movement within a busy class. A well-run centers-based classroom is a joy to behold.  Any kindergarten teacher who can manage centers while making it look easy is working hard. It makes me think of a duck gliding on the water while paddling feverishly below. A controlled center time doesn’t just happen, it takes planning. Kindergarten classes should have a vast mix of centers. Students should have access to blocks, dramatic play, science, writing, books, math, word work the list goes on and on. It can be overwhelming for a teacher to create all these engaging centers while targeting academic standards. There is a solution to creating engaging skill-based centers. It’s a lot easier than you might think....

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Best Books to Teach Rhyming

March 9, 2021

How to teach rhyming to beginning readers. Knowing our students’ ability to rhyme is a powerful tool for teachers. Knowing about a child’s ability to rhyme or not, can give us a heads up to keep an eye on the student. However, of all the phonemic awareness skills the ability to rhyme is not as valuable an indicator as being able to isolate segment and blend phonemes so we need to assess all the phonemic awareness skills. Understanding our student’s ability to rhyme can help us identify students we may want to keep a close eye on. Grab a phonemic awareness checklist here   When a kindergarten student shows an ability to rhyme it tells the teacher that the student is able to discern the difference among sounds. It is a pre-reader skill that helps our kindergarten and preschool students stay engaged. Rhyming is silly and young children enjoy the fun of rhyming. Rhyming helps beginning readers to notice the sounds in the word. The silly words draw their attention to the phoneme and not necessarily the meaning especially if we rhyme with nonsense words. Rhyming teaches about the structure of oral language. By exposing our kindergarten and preschool...

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Using Boom Cards to Increase Phonemic Awareness

March 2, 2021

What is phonemic awareness and how can we teach it? Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, manipulate, and substitute phonemes. Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound that can differentiate meaning in spoken words. The goal of every kindergarten teacher is to teach our students to read. It’s the single most important academic skill that we teach. It’s also the most rewarding as a teacher. Watching a child see themselves through the lens of a reader is one of the best parts of being a kindergarten and first-grade teacher. In the rush to push our students to district reading benchmarks it’s common to jump over a crucial first step. Before we begin to teach our students to read we need to make sure our students are fluent with phonemic awareness.  So often teachers ask why their students are not reading with the same success and their peers. We often need to back up and ensure that our struggling students have developed phonemic awareness fluency.  Grab a free Phoneme Awareness Checklist here.   So how do we teach phonemic awareness? One of the greatest ways to have our students practice phonemic awareness skills and assess our students’ understanding...

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Using Digital Resources in a Kindergarten Classroom

February 16, 2021

During the Covid pandemic of 2020, every kindergarten teacher had to pivot and quickly figure out how to teach remotely. Teachers spent hours trying to educate themselves about how you can teach kindergarteners to read using digital resources. Now, as we can finally see the light at the end of the long Covid tunnel we find ourselves asking “Will there be a place for digital once we are back in the classroom?” The short answer is YES. There has always been a place for digital in our kindergarten classrooms. For years teachers have been using Google Classroom and Boom Cards to supplement reading groups and to fill in as literacy and math centers. The big difference between before 2020 and after is that now every single kindergarten student has a working knowledge of digital devices. Chances are if you teach in a typical US school and you teach kindergarten, you had limited access to digital devices. Often the kindergarten students received the “hand me down” devices from the upper grades. Often they were broken, had lost charging cords, and each teacher was given a very small supply and absolutely no training. However, long before remote teaching was ever a...

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Teachers Need Self Care

January 29, 2021

The most important thing teachers need to focus on this year.   Teaching in 2020  is different, no question about it. Teachers all over the world have had to change almost everything they do to fit into this new normal. Here’s the thing, your kids may not reach benchmarks this year. There I said it. They might not. Teaching remotely, hybrid, or 6 feet apart is affecting teachers’ ability to teach, and our students’ ability to learn. there is no denying it, there will be many students who will enter the next grade in the fall behind. However, that’s ok. I mean it’s not ok that students are behind, but it’s ok that students haven’t reached benchmarks this year. teachers, students, and parents have all given it their all and made the best of it. guess what? We will survive and thrive once again. Teachers are totally adept at adjusting what they teach and how they teach to met their students’ needs. In the fall we’ll figure it out. This year we need to focus on our health and social development like no other. I always say the 3 most important things we need to focus on is relationships,...

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Using Boom Cards in kindergarten

January 13, 2021

5 Reasons you should be using Boom Cards in kindergarten     Whether you are teaching remotely,face to face, or a hybrid of both using Boom Cards is a great option when teaching kindergarteners. Here are 5 reasons why using Boom cards to teach is a successful strategy. #1 Boom Cards are self checking. Why are self-checking activities so important to our students? When students engage in self-checking Boom Cards they receive immediate feedback on their work. We all need people who give us feedback. That’s how we improve. — Bill Gates They receive “real-time” information about their learning. This information can increase their confidence and inform their future practice. #2 Boom has sound For the vast amount of us, we will have students in our classes that have skills and knowledge that have huge ranges of levels. We are called upon to provide differentiation in every lesson we provide. Kindergarten teachers need to scaffold learners who have special needs and for students for whom English is not their first language. Our ELL students and our students with special needs have unique learning needs and it’s up to teachers to meet those nedss. Boom Cards provide that scaffolding and...

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5 Reasons to use Boom Cards to Teach Sight Words

January 12, 2021

Learning to read sight words is a crucial step in increasing reading fluency. Regardless of what you call them, trick words, high-frequency words, or sight words. We can all agree our kindergarten students need to be able to read these allusive words. If our students struggle with fluency they will lose comprehension. Our early readers need a library of sight words that they can read quickly and correctly.  Many kindergarten teachers ask “How do I teach sight words to my kindergarten students?”. There are many tips that help teachers create lessons to increase fluency. You can read about strategies here  Using Boom Cards is a great option when teaching sight words.  Here are 5 reasons why using Boom cards to teach high-frequency words is a successful strategy. #1 Boom Cards are self-checking. Why are self-checking activities so important to our students? When students engage in self-checking Boom Cards they receive immediate feedback on their work. We all need people who give us feedback. That’s how we improve. — Bill Gates Students receive “real-time” information about their learning. This information can increase their confidence and inform their future practice. When our kindergarteners receive immediate feedback it can have a positive...

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