How Do I Use Boom Cards in My Drama Class?
Teachers are creative beings and love an intriguing teaching method. They are busy searching out new ways to reach students on a day-to-day basis. “To build a better mouse trap.” I always say.
When the pandemic closed our schools, teachers scrambled for digital lessons. Folks, they were amazing! While everyone is extolling the virtues of our front line workers (and they are amazing), teachers should almost be included with them!
Did anyone even notice how quickly, smoothly and expertly the teachers pivoted to on-line learning? I even shifted gears in record time and I’m not in the classroom. See how: Drama Lessons for Home-Bound Students or During the Corona Virus Quarantine
Teachers are rock stars!
What are Boom Cards?
Boom cards are self-grading that are gamified and provide teachers and parents the data they want. A teacher can use them for remedial instruction, review for a test or direct instruction. They are awesome. If you haven’t seen Boom Cards, check them out here: Boomcards.com
What are their strengths?
- Digital task cards (in this case Boom Cards) build a skill base for the twenty-first century learning tools.
- Digital task cards are flexible.
- They can be used on a wide variety of devices.
- They are a paperless resource–save those trees and ink.
- They are similar to all other digital task cards or digital apps.–they are easy to use and understand.
- Digital task cards are easy to share, give feedback and grade.
Teaching with Games
How Do I Use Boom Cards in My Drama Class?
While I was researching this post, I found this rationale for teaching with games from ACD.org a website for administrators, principals and teachers says:
In classrooms showing the greatest gains, teachers did specific things. To get similar results, teachers should games for these reasons.
Use inconsequential competition. In general, students like to compete as long as the stakes are not high. During a two-week unit of instruction, a teacher might organize students into teams of four students each. Teams might play games four or five times during that unit. Each time they play, the first three teams to complete the game receive points (for example, 3 points for the first team to finish, 2 points for the second team, and 1 point for the third team). At the end of the unit, the teacher adds up the points for each team, and the three teams with the highest number of points get some inconsequential but fun reward, such as coupons to buy juice from the vending machines in the cafeteria.
Throughout the year, the teacher should reorganize the teams so all students have the experience of winning and losing. However, teachers must not factor game points into students’ grades for the unit. The points and rewards are simply for fun.
Target essential academic content. If games do not focus on important academic content, they will have little or no effect on student achievement and waste valuable classroom time. The most efficient way to maintain an academic focus is to organize games around important terms and phrases. For example, during a unit on dance moves, a dance teacher might identify terms and phrases such as axial movement, line of gravity, movement phrase, and nonlocomotor movement. Questions and answers would involve information important to these terms and phrases.
How Do I Use Boom Cards in My Drama Class
Debrief the game. The most common error teachers make when using games is to add up team points and move on. The whole point of playing academic games in the classroom is to provide opportunities for students to examine important content in a lively and enjoyable venue. To stimulate analysis of important terms and phrases, a teacher can ask students which questions were difficult to answer and why.
For example, suppose that during a game of Pictionary in a mathematics class, students had difficulty drawing an image to represent the Fibonacci sequence. At the conclusion of the game, the teacher would ask students about their difficulties with this item. The discussion would serve as a brief review of the defining characteristics of a Fibonacci sequence.
Have students revise their notes. One generalization that applies to learning all types of content is that students must have opportunities to revise their understanding of the content as time goes by. When a game has ended and the class has discussed difficult terms and concepts related to the content, the teacher should give students time to revise their notes. A teacher might ask students to look over what they have previously written about this content in their notes and make any necessary changes. This might involve correcting misconceptions or adding new information that the students were unaware of.
Pretty wonderful, huh? Here is another post about using games in the classroom: Games + Teaching Method= Our Students Win!
HOW DO I USE BOOM CARDS IN MY DRAMA CLASSROOM? If I were you, I’d assign Boom Cards for distance learning or use them as differentiated instruction in the classroom. These are suitable for middle grade students. You could introduce the unit with the Boom Cards, assign them as homework for those with WiFi access or make them part of the lesson for the day.
As of this writing, I have nine sets of Boom Cards and hybrid blended classroom lessons.
Each set includes:
- 20-40 Cards
- Questions for Each Section
The hybrid boom cards PDF include:
- Letter to Teacher
- Warm up
- Enrichment Activities and more!
I was a little hesitant to embark on the digital task card wagon. Theater is usually taught in real time on a stage. Plus, it’s very experiential. We learn on our feet so to speak.
When I discovered Boom Cards I really had to think outside of the box and consider how a drama teacher could use digital card instruction. Honestly, it wasn’t difficult to see how to use them–there are a myriad of ways as I mentioned above.
As a student, I would have enjoyed and appreciated learning through Boom Cards, especially with math concepts. Beginning at about third grade, I was rotten at math. Our teacher became sick and the substitute who finished the school year took over. When I didn’t understand multiplication, she left me in the dust pretty fast. I understand why, though. She was overwhelmed with the responsibility of finishing the year for someone.
Just think what these Boom Cards might have done for me?
Bookmark this post, because if you know me, you know I’ll add more sets as I have time.
Have you taught with Boom Cards? I’d love to hear about it. Contact me DhcBaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net