Using BOOM Cards to Build Phonics Skills

Looking for a quick, no-prep option for homework, centers, or independent work to support your phonics instruction? BOOM Cards may be right for you.

What Are BOOM Cards?

Boom Cards are interactive, digital task cards that teachers and students can access and use on Internet-capable devices on the Boom Learning platform. They are essentially task cards that have been “gamified” by teachers and resource creators and set to provide immediate feedback after an answer is submitted. A group of task cards that forms a usable resource is called a “deck.”

Boom Cards can be set to include questions, fill-in-the-blank activities, matching games, and more. They can vary widely in task and complexity, but across decks students are asked to supply an answer. Once submitted, the deck immediately indicates whether the answer is correct or incorrect. If incorrect, students can then fix the mistake and resubmit their answer. This helps reinforce learning and keeps students on the right track.

How Boom Cards Help Teachers

The Boom Learning setup is just as good for teachers as it is for students. The platform provides teachers with real-time data on student performance. Teachers can review accuracy, track progress, identify areas where students are struggling, and tailor instruction accordingly.

Another reason why Boom Cards are an excellent supplemental resource for any structured literacy program is that they’re versatile and customizable. Decks can be created for essentially any skill on the Orton-Gillingham scope or sequence. With the variety of answer formats on the platform, the same skill can be targeted different ways. With a bit of creativity, the possibilities are really endless when it comes to creating new opportunities for students to practice and review learning targets.

Teachers can quickly build a large library of Boom decks on the website either by creating their own, searching for free ones, or buying them in the Boom marketplace. Once a deck is in your library, its yours to assign or use. 

While the individual student use and data tracking is extremely helpful for busy teachers, Boom card decks are also perfect for displaying on SmartBoards in the classroom for a whole class activity. Students can take turns going up to the board and pressing the correct answer, or answer collectively from their seats as the teacher directs the activity. 

One potential negative is that Boom Cards use would be considered “screen time.” As a parent and an educator, I definitely fall into the “low-tech” category. My own children do not have free access to an iPad, however, my first grader does use one 1-2 hours weekly for school assignments (mostly reading and math). This is by no means a judgment of anyone who uses iPads or phones, it’s just what works for our family.

With that said, my son LOVES using BOOM Cards. I assign him decks that I’ve created that align with his reading skills. I’ve even let my younger daughters use the rhyming and syllable counting decks, which they love. So, if you’re an educator or parent looking for a guilt-free screen time option, consider finding some Boom Card decks that will help boost your kids’ phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, or math skills.

Another point to note is that some Boom Learning memberships come with an annual fee. Personally, I pay for the Publisher account because I enjoy making decks and offering them for sale in the Boom Marketplace and on TpT. If you’re a teacher who doesn’t plan on creating many decks yourself, the Essential membership, which is the cheapest annual option,  will probably work for you. If you are a parent looking for supplemental resources for your child or a homeschool family with 5 or less children, you may be able to work within the Free option. 

Why teachers should use boom cards to supplement their phonics instruction

To summarize, here are the key reasons why I love creating and using Boom Cards with my students and with my own children:

  • They’re interactive and fun!
  • There’s no limit to the content and activities that can be created, from simple to complex.
  • They can be fully customizable to meet YOUR students needs.
  • They are efficient, no-prep, and easy to assign and use.
  • They track data and student progress for teachers.
  • They can be used as productive screen-time on any device that has internet access.

You can find a discounted ever-growing bundle of Boom Cards in my TpT store. The bundle contains phonics and phonological awareness decks that can be used year-round, including seasonal and holiday decks.

You can find free Boom Card decks within my Free Resource library, or by filtering “Free” in my TpT or Boom stores.

Boom Card ever-growing phonics and phonological awareness bundle on TpT

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