Boom Learning Membership levels

October 8, 2020

Which Boom membership level should I use? Boom learning has burst into classrooms all over the United States. Although it may seem as though Boom has been an overnight success, those who were using tech long before the pandemic have long enjoyed the features of Boom. The one question so many teachers have is “Can I use Boom for free?” The short answer is Yes. However, once you see the features of the paid membership and  you realize how inexpensive it is. The real question should be “why wouldn’t you have a paid membership” Let’s look at the features of each level then you decide which works best for you. Boom Learning Starter Membership is free. If you are on the fence about trying something new and want to get your feet wet, this is a great place to start. At this level you can search the Boom Learning site and TPT for free decks. There are literally 100’s of decks to choose from. You can comfortably find a deck for most skills. Here is a free deck to get you started Boom offers sections (think different classes) and with the starter level you get 1 section with 5...

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Using Boom Cards in Kindergarten

September 30, 2020

Top reasons why teachers should be using Boom Cards in  Kindergarten. Boom Cards are digital task cards that provide students with immediate feedback on their answers.  However, that’s not all that is provided with Boom Cards. Kindergarten teachers can access a report feature that includes student accuracy.  The most impressive feature on this digital platform is that students love playing Boom Cards. There is an element of fun that is not present on other platforms. Students receive an audible “ding” with a correct answer. Receiving that feedback makes learning feel like a game. Learning feels like a game. The Boom Learning platform offers so many features that engage students. From mystery pictures, to escape rooms, to video mini lessons, Boom cards take learning to another level. Read more about teaching sight words with Boom Cards   Kindergarten students aren’t the only ones loving Boom Cards. Teachers can easily assign decks to students. One of the great features is that Boom can be assigned both Google Classroom and Seesaw.  Kindergarten teachers can assign decks with either a hyperlink or a fast pin. Boom Cards are versatile they can be played on multiple devices.  Kindergarteners can access their decks on iPads,...

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Tips for going back to school on Zoom

September 4, 2020

How do kindergarten students start the year virtually? Kindergarten students all over are starting school remotely. As leaders debate how to go back to school safely, teachers everywhere are wondering how they can build relationships with their students during remote learning. When schools closed in March teachers had already developed relationships and classroom culture. It was hard, but teachers everywhere quickly figured out how to end the year virtually. But now it’s back to school season and teachers are faced with brand new students. Kindergarten students are starting school in a whole new way. Teachers have to meet their students virtually. Suddenly ending the year seems like a cakewalk compared to starting a new year. So many questions, so much unknown.  The single most important element in a classroom is relationships. I can say this with 100% confidence that the single most important element in a classroom is relationships. The relationships you form with your students, with their parents, with your co-workers. Relationships are the foundation of all learning. So how do you build a relationship with a 5 year old over Zoom? So how do you build a relationship with a 5 year old over Zoom? Here are...

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Tips for Using Google Classroom for Kindergarten Remote Learning

April 15, 2020

3 Tips for using Google Classroom in Kindergarten During Remote Learning So many teachers and students have been thrust into using Google Classroom during school closures. If this is the first time your kindergarten students have used Google Classroom I have some tips to make the transition from classroom learning to remote learning a little easier on everyone. Be kind to yourself First of all, be kind to yourself, we are all trying our best, and there will be good days and bad days. No one could have prepared for this and we all need to give ourselves just a little bit of grace.  Here are my top tips for using Google Classroom for the first time. #1 Use content they know. There is a steep learning curve for you, your students, and your parents. Learning a new platform can be difficult.  Start with content you know they are comfortable with. Even though your kids may have mastered the content – they are learning how to log in, access the lessons, and submitting lessons. Make sure the content is easy. This really is about the process not the product. Matching upper and lower case letters is a great place...

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Remote Learning in Kindergarten

March 14, 2020

  This week has been surreal.  The implications for schools are unprecedented. Teachers have been asked to prepare for remote learning with only a couple of days notice, and in some cases hours. So many teachers are finding themselves faced with the challenge of getting up to speed with digital within a day or two. Take a deep breath, there is support for you. If your school and your students have been affected by closures here is a list of resources that may help. One of the major challenges that low income families face during closure is the lack on internet connection. Here is some information from Comcast   and Verizon  on providing free internet or discounted prices to low income families. Here are 2 free courses that will help get you ready to use digital Google Classroom is free and readily available to teachers and schools. You can set up a class in a matter of minutes. All you need is your school created email and password. The course will show you step by step how to add students, assign lessons, and a few tips for getting your students logged in. Google Classroom Course Boom Cards are self-checking digital...

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A Playful Kindergarten in a Digital World

Playful kindergaten

Yes, you CAN have a playful kindergarten in a digital world. A playful kindergarten AND a digital word may sound like two ideas that do not go together sort of like suger-less candy. However, a playful classroom and a digital world are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it is actually easier to create a playful kindergarten in a digital world. We all can agree that in the last few years kindergarten has become more and more like first grade. The demands on both the students and the teachers have increased.  So has the stress. We are expected to get our kindergarten students to an ever-increasing benchmark and it feels like play and playfulness are being squeezed out. Decreased recess time, the elimination of dramatic play,  blocks, and play, add to an increase in disruptions. It doesn’t have to be that way. Many teachers report  seeing an increase in challenging behaviors and we are seeing more and more information about managing our student’s stress level. Most schools are trying desperately to adopt PBIS strategies to adapt to the ever increasing social emotional needs of our kids.  Hmm. it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to imagine that maybe just maybe we are seeing an...

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How to Use Google Classroom in the Primary Grades

  Google Classroom really CAN work in Kindergarten It wasn’t so long ago that teachers actually thought young students couldn’t use Google Classroom. I feel like I spent much of my time convincing people seriously – Google Classroom really can work for kinders. So now most teachers and admins realize that using digital tools like Chromebooks in kindergarten is an option. But the question then becomes how…. How do we bring Google Classroom into our day? I have a google classroom, now what? So,  you have a few Chromebooks and you set up your google classroom but you find yourself saying now what? This is for you.  Need a little help getting started? click here. If you are like most teachers you want the very best for your students. You stay up at night worrying that you are not meeting their needs, not seeing results fast enough. We all want that magic pill that will reach every single student. We want that class where every child is confidently making benchmarks. Well, after over 30 years, I have still yet to have that class. In reality, we have students come to us so far behind that before we even start we are...

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Using BeeBots in the Classroom

February 16, 2020

Ignite learning for your youngest students with Bee Bots.   Using BeeBot robots to engage your students is easier than you might think. I have seen first hand how using a BeeBot in my class can engage my students. When I bring out a BeeBot my students are fully “in”. Year after year my students consistently love using coding to make their BeeBot move. Robots and coding are magical. A BeeBot is a small programmable robot that will engage your young learners in a way that will amaze you. I have been using BeeBots with my kindergarten students for about 10 years. What I have learned is that robots and coding are magical. Allowing kids to use their hands and their minds at the same time is both a pleasure and an honor to watch.  When you program a BeeBot your students will need to use critical thinking skills. When students code they need to think about how what they do next will impact the step after that and the step after that. This kind of complex thinking of holding one idea in their head while simultaneously thinking about the next step doesn’t happen all the time. The skills...

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10 Items You Need to Bring STEM into your classroom

January 28, 2020

Using STEM challenges in your class is an amazing way to engage and excite your students. There is something about having the freedom to create that can tap into the imagination and let you feel free. Here is a list of 10 items you can use in your class tomorrow to create STEM Challenges. #1 Blocks: You probably already have blocks in your classroom, but blocks are amazing and if you are willing to break out of the block area you can literally see the wheel turning. If you can only afford one thing – get blocks.  I love using small math blocks. They often come in big math curriculum kits. These small blocks are perfect for table-top STEM activities #2 Straws I know, I know, we all want to protect the turtles and keep straws out of landfills. However you can re-use straws over and over. I get a big box at the beginning of the year and it lasts until June.  The kids can create countless solutions to problems with straws. I recommend the flexible straws because the kids can really be creative. #3 Tape Plain old masking tape can be amazing. I often give my kids a...

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What To Do When Your Students Don’t Know The Alphabet

November 8, 2019

How do we help teach the alphabet to students who are already behind their peers? It’s the goal of kindergarten to teach our students to read. The very first step is learning the alphabet. Many students come to kindergarten already reading. Most of our students will know many letters. But what about the kids who don’t have any letter naming skills? How do we help teach the alphabet to students who are already behind their peers? You may have some catching up to do. Read read read. The students who come to us reading have had a rich experience with books. If our students haven’t had that experience we have some catching up to do. It starts with books. Read to them every chance you get. Exposing them to rich picture books that are engaging, and entertain, are the best. If your students are struggling with their letter names then read alphabet books.  Here are some of my favorites alphabet books. What’s your name? Start with their name. Often the very first letter students learn is the first letter in their name. You can make name puzzles for each child.  Use your pocket chart to sort names, count the letters...

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