Boom or BUST! Getting Started with Boom Cards™
Please welcome my guest blogger, Amber from Striding in Speech!
Let’s be honest, there are a lot of changes going on right now and the last thing you want to do is add another website to your “things I have to learn” list. I hear you and understand how you are feeling. When I made the switch to teletherapy in 2018, I was trying to learn all of the new things that went along with my job and, to be honest, the Boom Learning℠ website was something I avoided for a while.
What I didn’t realize, at the time, was how easy and accessible the Boom Learning website is and how Boom Cards™ would completely transform my teletherapy sessions! I can’t believe I waited so long into my teletherapy career to start using them. These bright, colorful, and interactive cards increased my student’s engagement and took all of the prep and mental work out of planning sessions. Plus, Boom Cards can also be used in face-to-face settings with the Boom Learning app. The students that I see in person love Boom Cards as much as my teletherapy students do!
I’m going to help you navigate the world of Boom Learning with everything you need to know in order to start using these wonderful, interactive task cards during your therapy sessions. Once you start you won’t go back!
BOOM LEARNING MEMBERSHIP
I recommend starting with the “Starter” membership, which is free for 3 months. Within this membership, you are able to download free decks, purchase decks, use decks with students during therapy sessions, and send links to parents for homework. This is all you need to get started with Boom Cards!
After your free membership ends, you have the option to upgrade to a “Basic” membership for $15 per year. The basic membership has the same abilities as the starter membership with an additional number of sections and students. Sections are a way to organize and group your students. Students are individual accounts you’ve created for each student. FYI- I have not used either one of these things in the two years I’ve been doing teletherapy and don’t ever plan on using them!
After you’ve signed up for your Boom Learning membership, it’s time to find some decks to use! You can download free decks or purchase decks directly on the Boom Learning website or on Teachers Pay Teachers.
TO PURCHASE ON THE BOOM LEARNING WEBSITE
You can search for products on Boom Learning under the “Store” tab. From there, you can use the search bar to type specific keywords or sellers you are looking for. There is also a “find free” tab listed to browse freebie decks. You can preview decks by clicking on the deck and selecting “full-sized preview”. This allows you to get a better feel for what is offered within a deck before purchasing.
1. Once you find a deck you want to purchase, add it to your shopping cart. When you are ready to check out, head to your shopping cart to review your items. From there, Boom Learning will swiftly prompt you through all the necessary steps.
2. To purchase on Boom Learning you must purchase a point package. Points are equivalent to about a penny. In your shopping cart, the website will tell you how many total points you need for items and will prompt you to buy a point package. Points packages can be purchased using a PayPal account or credit card.
3. Once you’ve purchased your points, apply those points to check out the items within your cart. The remaining points will be added to your store credit for future use. After you purchase your deck(s) using your points, the deck(s) will automatically be added to your library, which you can find by selecting the “Library” tab.
TO PURCHASE BOOM CARDS ON THE
TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS (TPT) WEBSITE
You can search “Boom Cards” or “Boom Learning” to find an extensive list of decks on Teachers Pay Teachers! You can also search within a specific seller’s store to find a list of Boom Cards they have created. Within the description and/or preview of most resources, you will find the link to a full-sized preview of that deck within Boom Learning so you can try out four cards of the deck before purchasing!
To purchase Boom Cards on Teachers Pay Teachers, add the product (free or paid) to your cart and checkout as you normally would on the TPT website. When the transaction is completed, you will download a PDF that includes directions for adding the purchased deck to your Boom Learning library. Most PDFs will have a statement similar to the following: “Click here to redeem your purchased deck.” When you click on the link or picture, you will automatically be taken to the Boom Learning website where you will confirm your account. Once you confirm your Boom Learning account, the deck will automatically be added to your library.
HOW TO USE BOOM CARDS IN THERAPY
Now you’ve purchased your Boom Cards and it’s time for the fun! All of the decks you’ve purchased will be listed under the 'Library' tab. Click on the deck you want to use with your students. From there, you can screen share via your teletherapy platform or use in face-to-face therapy with the Boom Learning app.
To send a deck to a student to do for homework, go to your Boom Learning library. On each deck, you will see a dropdown menu labeled “action”. Click on the dropdown and a list of tasks will appear. The easiest way is to send a “fast pin link” to your student. This will give the student access to the deck for 14 days and they do not have to create a Boom Learning account in order to access the deck. You can also send a “hyperplay link” as homework. However, with this option, students must create an account on Boom Learning in order to be able to access the deck. This article provides more guidance on assigning decks to students!
There you go- you’re all set to dive into the world of Boom Learning. I hope you find these digital task cards as functional and motivating as my students and I do!
Amber Kuckelman, MS, CCC-SLP is an ASHA certified SLP living in Texas. Amber works part-time as a teletherapist proving services for students attending virtual schools across 4 different states! She also works part-time in a private clinic serving clients of all ages (pediatrics to adults). Amber is certified in The Hanen Program-It Takes Two to Talk™ and has a passion for building relationships with her students and their families in order to work towards speech and language goals. She’s also a lover of no-prep and no-print resources! Follow her Instagram account (@stridinginspeech) and TPT store for ideas related to easy, no-prep, digital resources for both face-to-face and teletherapy!
Boom Learning and Boom Cards are the trademarks of Boom Learning Inc. Used with permission.