In education, new trends and technology come into fashion and often leave just as quickly. Sometimes it is tricky to tell if the latest thing is really worth diving into. Boom Cards™ digital task cards are one of those new tools. After beginning using and creating them (a little reluctantly at first), it is has become obvious that Boom Cards are an invaluable tool in the 6th grade math classroom. They are definitely not a passing a trend and are sure to become a favorite tool for your sixth graders.
Let’s look at three reasons why Boom Cards are a must have resource in a Texas 6th Grade math classroom.
No. 1: Math Boom Cards are self-checking
Many sixth grade math teachers are implementing stations or centers in their classroom. This allows the teacher to work with some students in small groups. Even though sixth graders are almost teenagers, they often have trouble with independent work.
Sixth grade math is HARD! It is the grade level with the most new TEKS of any year of math. It is no wonder that many students find it difficult to work independently.
One of the staples of the 6th grade math centers is task cards. Task cards are wonderful because just one problem or task is presented at a time, reducing overwhelm. Traditional task cards do not supply feedback for students. It is not until they have worked through many that the teacher is likely to be able to give them feedback.
Have they been practicing incorrectly? Did the student wait too long to seek help when they were stuck.
Boom cards give students feedback on each of digital task card they complete. With a satisfying “ding” letting the student know, “Go on! You’ve got this!” or a circle showing the student where they have made an error.
Instead of working on, continuing in mistakes that could cause bad habits, the student is immediately alerted to where they are going off course.
No. 2: Math Boom Cards are open-ended
In the math classroom, multiple choice questions can be the go-to because they are so easy to check and get data from quickly. Boom cards can give you that quick data with ANY type of question.
Boom cards have numerical answers that are still self-checking, but that isn’t the best part! With Boom cards, there is drag and drop as well. What does that mean? For a 6th grade math teacher that means:
- Ordering numbers
- Plotting points
- Setting up equations
- Creating tables
- Sorting and classifying numbers
- Labeling figures
- Creating graphs
All of these can be made using drag and drop features that are still self-checking, but so much more engaging and rigorous than a multiple-choice questions.
No. 3: Boom cards allow questioning like the open-ended STAAR proposed item types
Changes in the way students are assessed can also lead to new ways that students practice the content they learn. In Texas, the STAAR test now and the TAKS test before it, had students mostly answering multiple choice questions. The real-world is not usually multiple choice.
Because of HB 3906, STAAR will become considerably less multiple choice as well. With the implementation of this law, by 2023 the STAAR test will be at least 25% open ended-questions. The state has been developing some new types of questions that combine technology and our TEKS standards in interactive ways!
Some of these new question types can be produced in engaging and academically relevant ways using math Boom Cards. These new open-ended questions will be different for both students and teachers. With math Boom Cards’ drag and drop feature, many of these experiences can be added into daily instruction and practice for students.
So what if you’re ready to start using Boom Cards digital task cards with your 6th graders?
The first step is to create an account on the Boom Learning platform for yourself. Free accounts are always available. With a free account, you will be able to assign task cards for your students to practice.
A paid account is inexpensive, only $25 or $35 for an entire year. It comes with data reporting on your students’ progress through the cards you assign to them. You will be able to create your own cards with one of these accounts and have 150 to 200 students enrolled in the platform.
Whether you want to choose a free or paid account, click here to get started!
***Leaf and STEM Learning does not claim to be affiliated with the Texas Education Agency or STAAR assessment. Follow the internal links to view the public documents published by TEA.