5/10/2018

Fun and Digital Way to Learn Phonics

As soon as I finished creating Boom cards (digital task cards) for first grade grammar, I went straight to my next big project: Phonics Boom Cards. Just like my no-prep phonics printables, I am creating them in an order that I think is the easiest for students to bridge from one level to the next. That way, your students will not be frustrated, but excited to see their own improvements!



If you already follow me on social media or my Teachers Pay Teachers store (and if you do, thanks!), you may have noticed that I have been uploading a lot of resources called Boom cards. You may already use them in your classroom, or perhaps you are completely new to them. Boom cards are practically the same thing as task cards, but they are completely digital, self-checking, and require no-prep. On top of that, teachers can get a report immediately on how their students performed when working on a specific set of cards.

Here's a list of the phonics Boom cards I have:
1. Short A CVC Words (4 decks)
2. Short E CVC Words (4 decks)
3. Short I CVC Words (4 decks)
4. Short O CVC Words (4 decks)
5. Short U CVC Words (4 decks)

I created four decks for each focus words, because we all know that one deck of 24 cards is not enough practice for our students! In addition, having a variety of sets will keep them engaged. ;)



Many teachers have shared their positive experiences using digital resources in their classrooms, and it makes me so happy when I get feedback on the resources I have created. These cards can be played like games and your students will be asking for more!

I've created Boom cards for first grade language and grammar and am currently working on creating phonics cards. However, if you are looking for other subjects from other grades, you can check out boomlearning.com or teacherspayteachers.com to find decks created by talented teachers and authors. Do try them out!


4/05/2018

Digital Classroom: Boom Learning

What kind of technology do you use in your classroom? Do you know about task cards? What about digital task cards? All kinds of fun digital task cards are provided on a new and up-and-coming platform called boomlearning.com. You can do whole class activities on an interactive whiteboard, or have your students play on a computer or a tablet.  I can assure you now that once you use it once, there’s no turning back. You will love it.





Let me share with you what I love the most about using Boom Cards.
1.       It’s interactive and fun.
2.       It’s no-prep.
3.       It’s paperless.
4.       It’s self-checking. (Yes! Kids will get immediate feedback.)
5.       No more grading! (You will be able to monitor your students’ progress super easily.)
6.       It’s easy to access.
7.       You can utilize it using many different devices

Here’s a little video I made to explain what Boom Cards are:

Where and how do I sign up?
First and foremost, you need to create a free account at boomlearning.com. After that, you can decide what kind of membership you’d like to get depending on your need. You will be given four choices:
Starter- (FREE) You can choose this if you’re planning to make a few decks and play what others have created without tracking student performance. It’s perfect if you are just using it for your family or a few tutees, or if you are only using it as a whole class activity on a smartboard.
Basic- You can monitor up to 80 students and create a few decks of your own.
Power- You can monitor up to 150 students and create unlimited decks.
Ultimate- You can monitor up to 200 students and can create unlimited decks AND sell in the marketplace.
You can check out the details here.

How do I buy them?
You can buy Boom decks with points on BoomLearning.com. You can acquire points when you buy a membership, and you can buy an additional Points Package if you want to purchase more decks. One cent equals one point, which means a dollar is  equivalent to 100 points.
You can also buy Boom decks on TeachersPayTeachers.com. In your download, you will find a link that will direct you to the Boom cards you purchased. New Boom Learning users coming from a sale made at Teachers Pay Teachers will get, for three months at no charge, the premium feature of student progress reporting. This free promotion is for 150 students. At the end of the three-month window, you will need to renew the account to continue having access to student progress reporting. Customers receiving the promotion will be able to upgrade to a higher service level account and to buy points to purchase additional decks like any other customer.

Can I test it out first?
So you want to give it a try, but you’re not sure you want to buy one yet? I felt the same way, because it was a totally new thing. If you are like me, you should try my freebie first. On the website, you will also be able to find many great free decks by other authors too!


How can I set up a class and manage it?
If you already have a membership and you want to learn how to set-up your virtual classroom, watch the video below. I tried to be as informative as possible. In the video, I will also show you how you can get student reports and how to differentiate learning. It’s extremely easy. IT’S AMAZING :)


How can I use these in my classroom?
There are several ways you can use digital task cards. I’ll list everything that I can think of below, and if you’d like to share more ideas, please feel free to comment! 😊

  1. Centers: You can play them in centers for individual or pair work.
  2. Early Finishers: You can have your early finishers work on assigned decks.
  3. Whole Class Lesson: You can use an interactive whiteboard to play the decks as a whole group.
  4. Small Group Instruction: If you group your students into levels, you can use these cards during your small group meetings.
  5. Assessments: When you assign students, you can easily get reports on the decks that your students complete.
  6. Differentiate Learning: You have the option to assign the same deck to everyone or individualize learning by assigning different decks to different students.
  7. Homework: You can have you students sign in on a computer at home to complete assigned decks if the technology is available at home. Vacation homework is also a good idea.


Tip: If you have computer/tablet stations, you can log into your classroom, so that all your students have to do is click their name and type their password in to access their Boom cards.







So, what do you think? I hope you give it try! Here are some of the Boom Cards that are available in my store.




7/13/2017

Digital Classroom: Interactive PowerPoint Lessons




Are you looking for a way to spice up your ELA grammar lessons? Instead of just writing on a whiteboard and handing out worksheets, I began to create PowerPoint lessons to see if I could spike my students' interest during grammar time. Very quickly, I learned that I was spending less time writing on the board and focusing more on their engagement. 




With just the click of a button, I was able to get the next point up on the slide using animations and was able to check their understanding. I began to add interactive activities that required their participation, such as clicking for the right answer, matching, drawing and writing on their whiteboard. This made lessons SO much more fun for both me and the students! For many years, I have used my hands-on grammar activities and practice pages for classwork and homework, but the PowerPoint lessons really changed the game. Having this digital aidalong with your regular lessons, will definitely enhance your teaching and student participation. Here is a video I made to show you what the slides look like with animations. 





Another amazing digital tool that I fell in love with recently is Boom Learning. On this platform, you can make or purchase digital task cards and assign them to your students to complete. Students will get immediate feedback and teachers will get full reports on the decks their students complete. The best part about this is that kids will fall in love with it and they will be doing work without even realizing it! If you’d like to learn more about it, please click here.



Our world is changing rapidly, and technology is becoming a more and more integral part of our lives, therefore, children these days will need to be digitally literate. It’s time to embrace technology and take advantage of it! 
Also, less paper means ​happier Earth, right?

Thanks for reading!



5/01/2017

Editable End of Year Awards

Love it or hate it (and by now most of us will love it!), we're coming to the end of the semester. As the time comes when we look forward to a long and well-deserved break, we should also not forget to look back on the year, and all we have achieved. 

I always like to use the end of this semester as a time to celebrate what we've done, and there's no better way to back the little angels feel special than to have an end-of-year classroom award ceremony! I prepare individual 'Certificates of Achievement' for each of the children, and make it so that these certificates fit with the character and traits they've shown throughout the long school year. Furthermore, I try to make them feel that little bit more special by awarding them during a fancy ceremony in our classroom! Ok, it's not the Oscars, but from the looks on their faces it's just as special :) 

Here, I am sharing some of the ideas I've used in recent years:




There are 71 different awards to choose from, so every student can get something different! It's a PowerPoint file and they are editable, which means you can type in their names, your name, and the date.


Awards:

Dancing King
Dancing Queen
Junior Einstein
Math Whiz
Avid Reader
Best Author
Creative Mind
Class Comedian
Contagious Giggler
Joy to the World
Wise Owl
Caring Friend
Sports Star
Fab Fashionista
True Leader
Off to Hollywood
Social Butterfly
Helping Hand
Bright Future
Friendly Neighbor
Curious Mind
Rock Star
Nice & Neat
Ball of Energy
Good Listener
Sunshine
On-Task
Hard Worker
Team Player
Kind Spirit
Patience
Etiquette
Super Reader
All Smiles
Handwriting
Most Improved
Super Speller
Friend of the Earth
Homework
Attendance
Map Reader
Problem Solver
Amazing Artist
Rule Follower
Sharing Pro
Best Attitude
One of a Kind
Chatter Box
Question Bag
Excellent Behavior
Honesty 
Vocab Master
Music Box
Morning Cheer
Class Clown
Heart of Gold
Innovative Tech Guru
Storyteller
Memory Box
Brainy
Bubbly
Best Laugh
Most Responsible
Future Teacher
Full of Cheer
Sportsmanship
Animal Lover
Best Effort
Great Personality
Peace Keeper


Have fun with them! :D

2/19/2017

Phonics Mini Scribblers

What do you use to enhance your phonics lessons? What activities do you use in your literacy centers? I have seen many wonderful ideas on Pinterest, but I'd like to add one more to that as it worked wonders in my class. I started creating Mini Scribblers and put them in our literacy centers. These are write and wipe activities, and as you can probably imagine, kids love using dry-erase markers!


Here are some ideas how to use these Mini Scribblers:

1. You can cut the paper into smaller squares, laminate them, and put a ring through them. This is how I use them and they are a huge hit!

2. If you don’t want the hassle of cutting and laminating, you can print each page and put them in the file sheets and have the students use dry-erase markers to easily write and wipe their work.

3. You could also simply print the pages and use them as worksheets in class or for homework. 








Some teachers may choose to use them in small group instructions or RTI. These would be perfect to support your reading readiness in pre-K or Kindergarten, ESL students, or in first grade.

So far, I've made Mini Scribblers for alphabets/beginning letter sounds and CVC words. I will continue to add more in the future, so please go to my store and click *follow* to get notifications when I post a new product! :)







If you are just looking for easy no-prep printables like the pictures below, you can click one of the images. I have a sample packet for you to download so you can have a better idea of what is included.







Have a beautiful day! :)




11/07/2016

First Grade Language Centers

A few years ago, I started to make little sets of activities to go with my grammar lessons. We would do them together as a whole group and sometimes in a small group, and I would let them ‘play’ on their own at literacy centers. I also placed them in the early-finisher’s basket because they just l-o-v-e-d it. Good for me! My work is done! Kids are having fun learning about… GRAMMAR!

Because these sets were so successful with my kids, I started to make more activities to go with each of my grammar lessons. They include puzzles, sorting cards, task cards, games, and simple activities. I posted them all in my store and put them together in a huge bundle. That way, you can save a whole lot of $ instead of buying them separately.

I've spent many hours including clear directions for each activity, pictures of how to use them, and answer keys. I hope your kids can enjoy them as much as mine did! :)



These are the units that are included in the bundle:

Pronouns 
Subject-Verb Agreement 
Adjectives 
Nouns 
Conjunctions 
Commas 
Singular and Plural Nouns 
Verb Tenses 
Prepositions 
Determiners
Prepositions 
Capitalization
Inflectional Endings
Shades of Meaning
Multiple Meanings
Synonyms and Antonyms
Homophones
Base Words and Affixes
Sort into Categories (FREEBIE) 



If you are like me and are looking for a fun, hands-on approach for your students to practice grammar, I strongly recommend this packet! Whether you follow Common Core or not, you will find this bundle useful when it comes to teaching grammar.

Have a good week!

10/11/2016

Halloween How-To Writing

I always try to stick a little fun writing activity in every season, and this one is a great way to practice the students' how-to writing skills. The students can make the witch's cookbook into a flipbook, then make a witch to go along with it. 


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Witchs-Potion-Recipe-How-To-Writing-2824726

The kids will have fun creating their own magic potion recipe. If you have covered poetry or rhyming, they could have fun with coming up with interesting spells. I provided a quick reference sheet for them to look at when choosing ingredients. They, of course, don't have to choose from the gross, icky-yucky ingredient list I gave them. For the potion instructions page, I included two different sheets for you to choose from. You can choose one according to your students' level. When completing this page, students can look at the reference sheet to use some of the cooking words.



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Witchs-Potion-Recipe-How-To-Writing-2824726

You can click here to download the flipbook and the craft template! :)