Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Boom Learning Cards: Teaching Grade 5 Eureka Engage NY Math Unit 1

I have had a lot of fun creating digital Boom Learning cards for my fifth grade students to supplement the Eureka Engage NY math Unit 1 program. Boom Cards have a great future for classroom learning as students can work on digital task cards on their browsers, whether on a phone, iPad, computer, or Chromebook. The Boom Cards are self-checking and students can repeat a deck repeatedly for more practice or to gain mastery. Each time a student plays, 20 Boom Cards are randomized from an assigned deck. Students get instant feedback as they play. Teachers can check the student responses for each play unless they are playing FastPlay in which students can just practice without scoring.

I created 15 different Boom Card decks to go along with Eurekak Math Unit one. They can be practiced at anytime throughout the year to reinforce skills. Each of the decks relate to the concept of place value in some way. These are problems similar to the problems in Eureka Math, but they are not limited to it. They can be used with any math program studying place value. My students showed greatly improved mastery of concepts after working with these Boom Cards.

To make the Boom Decks fun. Each deck is centered on capturing a monster. There is a random card that pops up in each deck identifying the monster, but I have included printable reward cards for each monster. I give my students the reward card after they have answered all 20 questions correctly (teachers can check on the Boom Learning website. This provide motivation to master a deck. My fifth graders love collecting the cards and coloring them in. Some have set up books to in order to collect and organize them.  Others even make their own monster cards.

You can purchase each deck separately or you can purchase the whole bundle of 15 Boom Card decks at a greatly reduced cost.

I am giving away one deck  on Metric Conversions for free. You can try out this deck as well as play a short preview of each deck by clicking on the Teacher Pay Teachers preview for each of the decks.

Here are the TPT links to the 15 Individual Products in this bundle. Each link has a product preview.

Check out all the different reward cards!

Boom Cards play on modern browsers (released in the last three years) on interactive whiteboards, computers and tablets. Boom Cards apps are also available. Not sure your browser is modern enough? Try a free Boom Cards deck first. When you redeem your purchase, Boom Learning opens an account for you if you do not already have one. For TPT customers new to Boom Cards, Boom Learning will give you, for one year, a free account that lets you track student progress for up to 80 students. At the end of that year, you may renew or choose not to renew. If you do not renew, you will be able to continue using Boom Cards with the Fast Play feature. Fast Play does not track individual progress.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Shang Ya! Friendship Oath

Have your students use this ancient oath of friendship from China to write a friendship poem.

I have used this poem to inspire my class towards writing friendship poems for years, however for the past two weeks, I have had a university student from Xi'an China observing my fifth grade classroom as part of her studies. I decided to create easy to use templates for writing this poem, so that we can write the poems while she is still visiting our class. Usually, I do this for Valentine's Day, but we are doing it a bit earlier this year.

Shang Ya! Oath of Friendship Poetry Writing

Here is some examples of Friendship poems written by girls from the Mathare Valley slum in Nairobi, Kenya. On my third trip to Kenya in 2014, I taught a variety of poems for students in grades 5-12. I taught Shang Ya! to this group of girls. They also made the Chinese style artwork. I then photographed their artwork and used a green screen to record them reciting their poem in front of their art. I did a whole class in about two hours. It was very busy, but fun!

Some day I will publish the directions for making the Chinese inspired art work.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Shipwreck of the Thomas W. Lawson on Friday the 13th

The Thomas W. Lawson was the only seven masted schooner ever made. It was the world's first supertanker and it caused the world's first major oil spill when in sank off the coast of England during a storm in 1907. The day is sank was a Friday the 13th. The Thomas W. Lawson was named for one of the richest Americans of his day, who had previously written a fiction book titled "Friday the 13th" about a man who purposely sank the stock market on that day. He was quite an interesting man and you can see a video here that highlights, his life, his "Dreamworld" estate, and the boat bearing his name.

I became aware and interested in the Thomas W. Lawson after my dad built a wooden chest with a painting he did of the boat on the top for my son. Inside was a card with the story of the boat and the mention that my great-grandfather did the rigging of the Lawson at the Fore River Shipbuilding yard in Quincy, Ma.


I decided to research and write a story about the Thomas W. Lawson for my fifth grade class. After my 30 plus years of teaching, it was the first time I wrote such an article for a class. You can find my article with vocabulary, close reading questions, and writing topics at Teachers Pay Teachers here. For a short time you can get it for 75% off (only $1). It is geared for students in 5th -7th grade.