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Vroom! Zoom! Have you been hearing about Math Speed Strips lately? Math Speed Strips will quickly become your students’ math activity to use as an early finisher or math center activity. (I love using them in the first couple of minutes of a guided math or small group math lesson!) This post highlights the basics of Math Speed Strips, how to use them in your classroom or home, materials needed, and other commonly asked questions.  There's also a free set of Speed Strips that I want to share with you to use in your classroom or home!

Speed through subitizing and develop number sense with these differentiated sets of Math Speed Strips.

Sometimes the best opportunities come out struggles. It was mid-December and a kindergarten teacher had asked me to model a guided math lesson on the reviewing the numbers zero through 10. My goal was for this small group of kindergarten students to understand the relationship between numbers and quantities. The teacher gave me some background knowledge about the students in the group and shared that the students were ready for numbers six to 10.

Our warm-up to the lesson began. I eagerly asked the students to use their dry erase markers to write the number four on their whiteboard. The students took off the lids to their markers and starred at me. It was like they're little faces were saying, "You want us to do what?!" I immediately knew that my planned lesson was out the window! I KNOW you have been there too! It was in this moment that I realized that I needed to create a quick, fun way to help students read and recognition numbers to build subitizing and number sense skills which is painless for teachers to use in their math classrooms! Introducing Speed Strips...

* Please note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend items that I use regularly and know you will love!

Simplifying the Road to Number Recognition and Subitizing 

Speed through subitizing and develop number sense with these differentiated sets of Math Speed Strips.
What are Math Speed Strips?

Vroom! Zoom! Energize your students with these simple strips that represent numbers in many different ways. Each set has 26 cards and each card has five numbers represented on them. The objective is that students move left to right along the strips and read the number representations. At first, students will rely on counting each number. As students practice and build their number sense, students will begin to subitize, or instantly recognize the numbers. Students can use Speed Strips independently, with a partner, or in a small group.

If you want to create a routine for using Speed Strips, add a quick two or three minute practice at the start of your small group or guided math lesson. 

Speed through subitizing and develop number sense with these differentiated sets of Math Speed Strips.
How to Use Math Speed Strips

Students get a set of cards, it can be randomly selected or assigned. Students may choose to use a mat to work through the cards in the set. 

Speed through subitizing and develop number sense with these differentiated sets of Math Speed Strips.  If using a mat, the students will place the set of cards in the center of the mat. Each card will be read left to right. Students can use their finger, a pointer, pencil, or toy car to move along the racetrack as the students read the car. These Speed Strips allow all students access to the numbers, by activating their auditory, visual, and kinesthetic modalities. 

Auditory: Students say the number.
Visual: Students see the number represented on the car.
Kinesthetic: Students move a physical object across the card as they read the numbers.

Materials Needed

Scissors or Paper Cutter
Hole Punch (I used my three-hole punch)
Binder Rings

How to Organize

Speed through subitizing and develop number sense with these differentiated sets of Math Speed Strips.  There are a variety of ways to display Speed Strips, if you are interested in something more than tossing them into a basket. I prefer each card set being accessible.

You can place Speed Strips on a peg board.

Speed Strips can be displayed on jewelry displays found at local hobby and craft stores.

Magnetic hooks placed on the side of a filing cabinet work too.

Command Hooks could also be used to place Speed Strips on an already existing surface.

How to Prepare the Sets of Cards

1. Print Speed Strips on colored cardstock. I used a rainbow pattern for the sets of cards. There is a full color cover (optional) or a black and white cover that comes with each set of cards.

- I love the versatility of colors. If you like specific colors or your classroom has a theme, you can print out the sets of cards using those colors. I used six different colors in my pattern, but any would do! 

- If you like using six colors like I did, you would need 9 pages of colored cardstock for each of the 6 sets... so 54 pages of colored cardstock in six different colors. 

- You can make it simple by buying a large pack of colored cardstock and just using them or mix-and-match the colors to your hearts content. I use Recollections by Michaels cardstock. I load up my race cart on scrapbook paper sale days... it is great for printing Speed Strips and math centers.

2. I ALWAYS cut before I laminate, but I realize that most teachers laminate the pages before cutting! I use a Swingline® Paper Trimmer as my go-to paper cutter. I was able to cut 5 pages at a time (since it is heavy cardstock, which sped up the prep time!

3. Place the Speed Strips at the edge of the three-hole punch (see photograph for alignment). I use a Swingline® 20-Sheet Desktop Hole Punch - Silver. Since I was using cardstock, I only punched a few at a time. If you punch too many, the strips get stuck and can easily tear. Avoid this by punching about five strips at a time.

4. Place each Speed Strips set on a binder ring. Each strip is identifiable by a letter of the alphabet on the right side. You can organize the Speed Strips in alphabetically or randomly. Just make sure the cover shows when displaying the cards!

Speed through subitizing and develop number sense with these differentiated sets of Math Speed Strips.

If you want to use this activity to check each students’ level of understanding, there are pre-assessments and progress monitoring tools included. These tools can help you meets students' individual needs for RtI or intervention through these simple assessments (see below at some of the tool included.)

I love using the colored sponge tip applicators when collecting data on the students. It is so simple to mark the correct responses!

Speed through subitizing and develop number sense with these differentiated sets of Math Speed Strips.

Want to try these for FREE?

I'll keep you afloat. I encourage teachers to give them a try, but I can guarantee that once your students start using Math Speed Strips, they will be begging you for more!  Download a free set of Speed Strips by clicking on the button below!

Speed through subitizing and develop number sense with these differentiated sets of Math Speed Strips.

What skills are included in this Speed Strips Number Sense Bundle?

Dominoes (common representations of the number are shown on the ends of the domino)
Mixed Dominoes (mixed representations of the number are shown on the ends of the domino)
Ten Frames
Tally Marks

These skills are represented on six card sets for each of the number sets 0-5, 6-10, 0-10, 11-15, 16-20, and 0-20. 

These groupings of numbers allow students to master small number sets, before adding numbers that are unknown. It helps build on students' strengths!

If you want to use the 36 differentiated Math Speed Strips in your classroom, you find it in my TpT shop. 

What ways are you promote subitizing and number sense in your classroom?

Do you ever have trouble following through with things, like those ridiculous resolutions that no one ever keeps? Eating healthy is the most popular resolutions each year and it is no different for teachers! The months of January and February always bring out the best in my teacher lunch bag. A beautifully dressed salad with lightly coated dressing adorns the tightly sealed plastic container in my bag. By the time testing season rolls around in March and April, I begin to conceal leftover pizza in that same container. I strategically place my lunch bag in front of me so there is just enough room to sneak my reheated pizza into my mouth without detection from the judging eyes of my peers.

I know I am not alone in this annual struggle. Each year, I set a resolution to eat healthy and do not follow through for more than a few months. I did not create a plan with action commitments so when times are difficult, or stress hits, I do not have a plan, much less, a backup plan. This year, I am committing to be more mindful about my resolutions and rocking it in the New Year along with my students!

Being Mindful in the New Year with Rockin' Resolutions

Be a resolution role model for your students. 

As teachers, it is important to practice what we teach! Bring your resolutions into the classroom. It is a great thing to do as a whole class. Students will look to you to learn how to approach creating resolutions.

Instill a sense of responsibility in your students. 

Talk about responsibility and doing well in all things. We should not ask our students to do more than we are willing to do.

Keep resolutions positive. 

Instead of pointing out students’ shortcomings, be a historian of previous successes. Make note of things that your students are doing well. Ask your students, “How can you transfer your success doing ______ (the task they did well on) to something else?”

Brainstorm some ideas.

- What are some of the great things you want to do this year?
- What do you want to improve?
- What will make your life better and happier?

It is best to keep the list of resolutions to a minimum so you can devote time and energy to each item.

Decide how students can present their ideas.

Committing resolutions to paper by writing them helps out creates a record. It is important to set action commitments, or steps needed to complete the action, if you want to take your students through the critical thinking process and have follow-through.

It's important to share ideas with a friend and talk regularly about the progress. (See the photograph on the left for a creative way for writing and displaying resolutions!) Doing a weekly, monthly, or check after each grading period will help keep students accountable for their goals. They can simply check in with a partner.

When a student completes a goal or makes progress towards a resolution, it is important to celebrate these steps as to promote moving forward and accomplishing it! Play a special song during class time or write out the accomplishment in an exclusive location in the room. Make it fun!

Rock your resolutions in the new year!

My waist band and the judging eyes of my peers will be pleasantly surprised when a beautiful salad adorns my container through testing season this year! If you ready to implement these promising steps to being more mindful in the New Year, you and your students will benefit greatly! As you rock being a resolution role model, your students will be inspired to be successful in their goals too. Keep it positive, commit it to paper, and celebrate progress over perfection!

If you would like to use this New Years writing activity in your classroom, you can find it in my TpT shop.

What are you resolving to do in the New Year?

We all know that a more appropriate title for a teacher in December is "Chaos Coordinator!" You are constantly putting forth time and a lot of effort this time of year in so many areas. It is time to embrace your newly earned title in the classroom and engage your students with some winter-themed and Christmas-themed math activities for young children! These math activities will help you embrace the chaos and let your students math skills and creativity shine!

How to Embrace the Chaos with December Math

As we enter the busy season of holidays, it is difficult to keep students engaged in the content. It is often hard for us as teachers to stay focused and on track too! {I am not pointing at myself right now.}

By using the holiday, which is usually the distraction, as a focal point in the classroom, students become highly engaged in the content.

Embrace the chaos and select a math activity that is right on point for your class... here are a few of my favorite things!

From Chaos to Creativity: Top December Math Ideas

Wreath Math Craftivity {4 Skills}

One of the newest craftivities to hit my shop is this gem, Wreath Math Craftivity! Add paper plates and, perhaps, a dot marker with sponge tip applicator!{I make a small commission when you shop using this link which keeps the Diet Coke fund from running dry and the creativity flowing!}This creates a simple craftivity for students to complete. It gets even better than this cute wreath! There are four math skills that you can use as "ornaments" to decorate your wreath. {grades K-2}

- Sequencing Numbers (1-10, 10-20, random numbers up to 120, random numbers up to 1,200)
- 2-D Shapes (two dimensional shapes)
- 3-D Shapes (three-dimensional shapes)
- U.S. Coins 

Christmas Craftivity {Wants and Needs}

Do you teach wants and needs as part of your math or social studies curriculum?

The best way to teach wants and needs is in context. What not a better way than as students are generating a Christmas list?!

Don't worry, as with all of my resources, I strive to make them diverse. This craft includes two versions with Santa or a snowman to be inclusive of ALL students, especially culturally diverse students.

This is a great activity for little hands as the cutting is very simple. I took extra time when I created this to define the lines for cutting for younger students.

Splat! Interactive Math Games

If you have not heard of Splat! math games yet, you are missing out! I wrote about these fun, interactive games a little while back. You can catch up on how to play Splat! here. I have seasonal and skill-based games for winter including these sets:

Gingerbread Themed:

Reindeer Themed:
- Generate a Set to 20 {grades K-1}

Christmas Emergent Readers

Make sight word practice fun, engaging, and interactive with these math emergent readers!

These are perfect for math or literacy centers with a winter or Christmas theme. I love that you can use them for sight word practice, math centers, OR literacy centers! They are so versatile!

Students practice sight words in a math context with skills:
- instantly recognizing numbers (subitizing)
- compare sets of objects, (more/less)
- identify 2-D shapes
- distinguish between wants and needs.

There are so many standards-based winter and Christmas activities to choose from to support your math instruction during December. Embrace the chaos and keep the students engaged this holiday season with purposeful  math activities!

If you would like to use any of these activities in your classroom, you can find them in my TpT shop.

How do you embrace the chaos in your classroom? 

I anticipate the return of the back-to-school nightmares. The dreams about a fresh start back to school that end up in nightmares about not being prepared or things being out of order before the students arrive in their brand-new shoes and bright new uniforms. Can you relate? What back to school nightmares do you have? One thing I do to avoid these nightmares from becoming reality is to plan ahead. One of the first things I like to figure out is how to use the long list of school supplies that will soon take up the entire counter in my small classroom! All of my notebooks, whether spiral or composition, are used as interactive notebooks for the different subject areas, including math. I have most recently streamlined the process I have used for the last few years so that I can set-up notebooks in snap!

Interactive Notebooks are Easy to Setup 

There are some essential pages that you will need when beginning interactive notebooks in your classroom.

These pages are like the "front matter" in a chapter book. The pages, such as the title page and preface, that precede the main text of a book are considered "front matter."

An interactive notebook also has front matter, including a title page, table of contents, and a rubric that precede the content-specific information that will grow throughout the school year.

If you have this front matter ready and photocopied during the first week of school, you can start preparing your notebooks with your students. You can create the front matter yourself using my examples from the photographs or purchase these pages.

Breaking up preparation for each notebook during the first couple of days of school works the best. It is helpful for getting the students back into the groove after they enjoyed their summer off. I try to have a whole class activity, which helps build the community of learners, and then have an independent activity to practice the acceptable voice tone, or voice level. I repeat this pattern for the first week of school and then begin our regularly scheduled days with specific standards-based content.

Read more about building a community of learners and a few of the activities I have used with success here.

Throughout the first few days of school, we work on different components that can be found in all of the interactive notebooks we use for each subject. 

Cover Page 

Create a blackline, or black and white copy, of a notebook cover. Minimally, the cover page of a notebook needs to have a place for the student's name and the subject area. 

If you rotate classrooms or the notebooks go back-and-forth from home to school, you may also want to add a room number where the notebook belongs.

I like to use a blackline copy for the front cover as it encourages students to get creative and personalize their notebooks. This helps build a sense of ownership of their notebook and the items will be collecting in them as the year progresses.

I also like to add a strip of colored duck tape to the spine of the notebook. Each subject is identified by a different color of tape. For example, all of the science notebook spines are green while the math notebook spines are blue. This helps students organize their materials. This is especially helpful for younger students sifting through their desks attempting to locate the correct notebook.

Title Page 

Another way to denote important locating information on a notebook is on the title page. Many teachers like to include a title page as it resembles a reference book that you would access at the library.

When preparing students for the real-world and teaching real-life applications, it is important to expose students to accurate information. Something as simple as a title page, can prepare students for researching topics as they advance in the education.

Several teachers like to use a title page for additional information, including the teacher's name, class period (if applicable), and the school year.

This can also be a place where students can get creative and personalize their notebooks too.

Table of Contents

Locating information in an interactive notebook is made
easy with a table of contents. A simple table that includes the page number and title of the entry is most important. I also like to record the date of the entry too.

A table of contents is one of the places that is most difficult to keep up with so you want to establish a routine. 

When students are directed to get out their interactive notebooks, they immediately open to the table of contents. By creating this routine, students know that the first thing that they are responsible for is recording the entry on their table of contents.

I create an interactive notebook along with the students so I record the entry first and then use a document camera and overhead projector to show the students my entry. This is very helpful for younger students as they will need to copy the words into their notebooks.

Grading Rubric 

A grading rubric is another important element to feature in interactive notebooks as it presents the expectations for the notebook. 

I have two rubrics that I use including one rubric that measures the entire notebook and another rubric for checking individual pages.

When grading a specific page, I give the students the opportunity to present their best work. I let them know in advance that a certain page number will be graded using the rubric. 

I do not grade each notebook daily. I usually spot-check notebooks. One of my favorite ways to do this is during recess. I ask the students to open up their notebooks to the page I want to check right before they leave the classroom. When I return from dropping off the students, I quickly walk around the room and check their entries.

These are the essential components that I use in all of my interactive notebooks. Teaching routines and procedures for getting out their notebooks, recording information on the table of contents, and the expectations for notebook pages take some time at the beginning of the year. Once the routines and procedures are learned and practiced regularly, using interactive notebooks will become much easier. Students will beg you to create an entry in them before you know it!

If you would like to use my interactive notebook starter kit, you can find it in my TpT shop.

What are your secrets to setting up interactive notebooks?

The first days and weeks of school are important for establishing a positive classroom culture or classroom community. When students' view their classroom as a positive and supportive environment, they are more likely to learn. Now that's a powerful statement! Teachers who take the time to know their students, their families, and backgrounds, reap the rewards throughout the school year. Real estate agents often focus on three things: location, location, location. Teachers need to focus on three things too: relationships, relationships, relationships! One way to create a positive classroom culture is by applying the principles of culturally responsive teaching.

How to Create a Positive Classroom Culture

Creating a Positive Classroom Community 

Culturally Responsive Teaching is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students' cultural references in all aspects of learning (Ladson-Billings,1994).

There are seven aspects that helps teachers implement culturally responsive teaching in their classrooms:
  1. Positive perspectives on parents and families
  2. Communication of high expectations
  3. Learning within the context of culture
  4. Student-centered instruction
  5. Culturally mediated instruction
  6. Reshaping the curriculum
  7. Teacher as facilitator
The biggest takeaway from studying this important pedagogy is that it's all about the student! 

How to Create a Positive Classroom Culture by Down River Resources
Teachers need to build relationship with the families connected to the STUDENT. 
Teachers need to communicate high expectations to the STUDENT. 
Teachers need to promote learning within the context of the culture of the STUDENT. 
Teachers need to value the STUDENT'S cultural history, values, and contribution.
Teachers need to reshape the curriculum to meet the needs of the STUDENT. 
Teachers need to be the facilitators of the STUDENT.

Ways to Create a Positive Relationship with Families 

I know you are thinking, how does positive perspectives and relationships with families impact the classroom community? Often times, students embody the same feelings and views that their families have on topics. If I think about the last political season, I could see the passion parents had as students talked about the candidates! They developed these views and opinions in the home.

Seek to understand the family's view.

It is important to seek to understand families' hopes for their child. Each parent, or guardian, wants their child to be the best and thinks their child IS the best. It is important that teachers embrace this vision for their students also. You can gain this understanding any time you encounter a family member, especially during conference times. Teachers must take a parents' vision for their child, as well as their concerns, seriously. If not, it threatens the relationship with the family. 

Write weekly notes to send home with the students.

One of the best things I ever did for my classroom was write a weekly note. I started the tradition my first year teaching. I include a little blurb about what happened last week and what we are looking forward to in the coming week. I also note what topics we are covering in each subject, The simple statement of each topics allows families to know what kinds of things that they can help with at home, if they choose to do so. Our weekly spelling list is also recorded there for quick reference.

By sending home a weekly note about the happenings in the classroom, families stay connected to the school. It is an additional time commitment for you, but it will valued by those who read it! My parents are constantly stopped by people in the community who remember my weekly notes home. 

Develop a rapport with families during pick-up.

Simply say a little more than the typical greetings during after school pick up. Share a memory of something fun, exciting, or interesting that their child did or said during the day. Not only does it create a window of opportunity for the parent to talk to you, but it helps establish a positive relationship with the parent. When an issue arises, it is much easier to address the concern with the parent. 

Ways to Create a Positive Relationships with Students

When you view parents, or families, as partners in the education of their child, their children are more likely to be receptive to you too. The first few weeks of school is the most important time for creating positive relationships with your students and among them too! I remember the old saying among veteran teachers, "Don't crack a smile before Christmas!" I think this is out-dated! It is important for a child to view you as an authority figure with high expectations, but them thinking you sleep at school is passé. 

Get to know your students.

 First Day of School CraftivityThe first few days of school are perfect for quick activities and ice breakers you know them personally. The more information you have about a child, the better you can connect with them. This embodies two principles of culturally responsive teaching: learning within the context of culture and student-centered instruction. 

I like to provide my students time to work on small crafts and other activities that allow students the opportunity to draw and color. This gives me an opportunity to quickly assess their fine motor skills, while providing time for them to talk to their table team. This is a simple way to start building that sense of community.

 Splat! Classroom Community Mega BundleI also play small community building games where students share about what they like or don't like. I learn a lot about students' preferences. I use this knowledge as a connector throughout the year to other connect. When a new movie comes out that my students have watched, I watch it too. I am able to make learning more relevant for the students!

Talk about things important to you.

When you share parts of your own personal life with students, they get more comfortable with the idea of sharing their own. This creates a connection with the students. I frequently mention Mr. Williams, my husband, or my sweet puppy dog, Jedi, when I am teaching. Students make that personal connection to me and engages them. When I was teaching in kindergarten, I had to teach about wants and needs of an organism. I designed an entire unit around my dog, Jedi. The students loved it and were able to make connections to other organisms' wants and needs much easier because they were so interested! It motivated them to talk and write about their experiences and connections!

I hope this inspires you to take steps this school year to create a positive classroom culture, if your interested in some of my classroom community building resources, you can check them out in my TpT shop.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing Co.
Teaching numbers isn't as easy as 1-2-3. While it might be easy for students to simply repeat or say their "numbers," there are many skills that blend together to build a child's foundation in numeracy. Children must be able to, not only, say their numbers and recognize them, they must also build a concept of counting and cardinality. From there, their learning continues to grow and develop as children learn what numbers actually represent. One of the skills that is significant for students to learn is visual discrimination. Visual discrimination is the ability to recognize details in visual images. It allows children to identify and recognize the similarities and differences of shapes/forms, letters, numbers, colors, and position of objects, people, and printed materials. Visual discrimination skills are essential for all subjects, including mathematics.

Visual Discrimination and Visual Processing

Visual discrimination is a visual processing skill that can be practiced in the home and at school. Visual discrimination is the ability to recognize details in visual images. It is important to emphasize that the development of this skill can be an issue for some children. We can continue to practice the skill and develop it, but some children will struggle and we need to be aware that medication nor additional practice will help those with a visual processing issue.

Processing issues go undetected on basic vision tests. Scientists have actually identified eight types of visual processing issues that exist and visual discrimination is one of them. Many children with learning issues, like dyslexia, have visual processing issues.

Regardless, visual discrimination is an important skill and needs to be practiced as it affects learning, especially in mathematics.

Visual Discrimination in Mathematics 

Let's look at how visual discrimination skills are developed through mathematics. Visual discrimination is the ability to visually detect differences in variables such as shape, pattern, color, size, etc.

Looking at the variables mentioned, it's easy to see how widespread visual discrimination skills are within the context of mathematics!

First, in order for children to be comfortable with numbers and mathematical concepts they reply on the ability to distinguish between different number symbols. If you think about letters, various numbers are similar in formation.

In fact, look the visual I created on the right side. This shows several of the numerals that young children often confuse because of their formation.

Examples of Visual Discrimination in Mathematics 

It is easy to ask a young child, "What is two plus one?" and get a correct response. When this is written down, it is common that the same child would not complete the question is writing, "2 + 1 = ?" Weak visual discrimination skills make it difficult for children to distinguish between the numerals and symbols.

As if single digit numbers were not challenge enough, Children have to identify the numerals correctly AND they but process them in the correct order, from left to right. Triple- and quadruple-digit numbers also comes with the same challenge.
double-digit numbers pose a challenge.

For example, 14 and 41 represent different amounts but are composed of the same numerals. Children must distinguish the order of these two digits.

The numbers 10, 100, and 1000 have visually similar digits but the place value is much different.

Children need to be able to determine whether a letter was a lower case 'e' or 'c', or an upper case 'F' and 'E,' in order to read those pesky word problems!

Visual discrimination allows applies to time. Take 5:07 and 7:05 a.m. into account. I would much rather wake up at 7:05 a.m. than 5:07 a.m.

Moving into geometry, a square and a rectangle both have 4 sides, 4 vertices, and 4 right angles. Squares and rectangles are similar but there is one variable that is different, thus each one is its own shape with a distinguishing attribute or property. In this case, the length of the sides is different; hence, visual discrimination helps a child see the difference.

These are just a few of the examples that are found within mathematics where visual discrimination is significant.

Practicing Visual Discrimination Skills

We can see why is it imperative that children have strong visual discrimination skills.

The lack of visual discrimination skills can lead to problems future problems in understanding mathematics. For example, if your child is unable to distinguish the the number“1” from the number “7,” he will incorrectly read the number “11” as “77.” This will lead, inevitably, to frustration and self-doubt, as your child struggles to understand their solution does not make sense (which it likely will not since “11” and “77” are not interchangeable).

We can help children to refine their visual discrimination skills in fun ways so that they build their confidence in math!

Here is a quick list of activities that can be done at school or in the home to help!

- Sort and match objects (socks, markers, blocks, etc.)
- Collect things from the playground or backyard to sort into categories.
- Complete straight edge puzzles where children must pay attention to the details on each piece.
- Matching games or concentration where children spot the differences in the cards. You can use numbers or shapes.
- Make duplicates of some family photos. Show your child two identical pictures with one different picture and ask him which pictures are the same and which one is different.
- Use simple matching puzzles with the same two number, colors, or objects are both pieces.

If you do have children with visual processing issues, remember that there is no cure, but there are many strategies and supports that can help them. All children can benefit from learning to detect the differences in visual images.

I hope this post inspires you to create opportunities for your children to practice their visual discrimination skills, and if you want some basic numeral puzzles to help your child build their skills download them here on the blog. (See box below.)

What activities can you do in the home or classroom to build visual discrimination skills?

Technology is everywhere! Cell phones, tablets, and computers are brought between home and school daily. Many schools are doing away with their no tolerance policies of the past and embracing the usage of these devices in the classroom. Whether you enjoy using technology in the classroom or not, the EdTech movement is taking over as more schools are adopting the 1:1 environment (one-to-one computing). I have always used technology as a fun way to present information to my students in math, but now I am able to allow my students to practice and master the content using an engaging new app, Boom Cards by Boom Learning. This new platform allows my students to engage in the math content using interactive digital task cards. My students love using the digital task cards during math centers, independent practice, and small group instruction using the Boom Cards app.

Down River Resources creates interactive digital task cards for kindergarten, first, and second grade math, hosted on Boom Learning. They are perfect to use during math centers, independent practice, and small group instruction time.

Boom Cards Teaching Resources Engage Learners

I received a free subscription renewal in exchange for writing this blog. I only promote products or services that I have investigated, used, and truly feel deliver value to you.

Boom Learning keeps teachers and parents alike afloat because...

Down River Resources creates interactive digital task cards for kindergarten, first, and second grade math, hosted on Boom Learning. They are perfect to use during math centers, independent practice, and small group instruction time.
1. Digital task cards can help students practice and master specific skills.

2. Digital task cards can assess students' understanding of specific skills.

3. Digital task cards can be used to differentiate instruction since decks of cards can be assigned to students to complete in the classroom or home.

4. Digital task cards save time and money since there is no photocopying, cutting, laminating, or storing!

5. Digital task cards create a fun, interactive environment where game features keep students engaged and wanting more!

Requirements to Use Digital Task Cards

Down River Resources creates interactive digital task cards for kindergarten, first, and second grade math, hosted on Boom Learning. They are perfect to use during math centers, independent practice, and small group instruction time.There are three things required to use this digital platform: a device (computer, tablet, cell phone, or interactive whiteboard), the internet, and an account on Boom Learning

Boom Cards teaching resources can be played directly on the website or through an app from the App Store, Google Play, or Amazon.

Teachers and parents can choose from an ever-growing
library of task cards options to assign to your class or child. There is a range of grade levels, subjects, and topics covered. This variety is great to keep all students engaged in the content, whether the child needs intervention on a specific skill or a challenge in a subject!

One of the best things about digital task cards is that students receive immediate feedback which engages students!

Each answer the student provides receives instantaneous feedback. The cards are self-checking and allow the students to know if they got the answer correct or not. In addition,  there is summative feedback, or a summary of of how the student responded, at the end. (See image for a sample screenshot of summative feedback.)

Down River Resources creates interactive digital task cards for kindergarten, first, and second grade math, hosted on Boom Learning. They are perfect to use during math centers, independent practice, and small group instruction time.
Another perk of this platform is that the student learning experience is "game-ified" to encourage mastery, struggle, and repetition. Students engage more in the content because of this experience.

- Students earn gems for mastering content.
- Coins are rewards for persistence and struggle.
- Pulses (the lightening bolt) reward over-learning behaviors (the concept that learning past mastery leads to automaticity, with speed and accuracy).

Teachers have the ability to assign decks (sets of cards) to individual students so the practice can be very targeted for intervention purposes too. The assignment can be completed within the classroom or at home. Thus, parents can get involved in their child's learning too.

Parents Can Get Involved in Digital Learning

Down River Resources creates interactive digital task cards for kindergarten, first, and second grade math, hosted on Boom Learning. They are perfect to use during math centers, independent practice, and small group instruction time.There are convenient printable password cards so they can be distributed to the students. This card will information families on how to access the website or app at home. These are great for passing out during parent-teacher conferences when parents ask for things that they can do for their child at home! Now, families can also get engaged in their student's learning from home and on-the-go!

In the image titled, "Student View," parents can see the information and progress for their child once they login to the app or website.

Teachers and parents can see how many times it takes for a student to correctly answer a card too. This can help teachers and parents identify any difficulties the student may be facing during the practice sessions. Speed and accuracy is also accounted for in the reporting.

Parents: Ask your child's teacher if they are use Boom Learning. If not, they might be interested in this platform. You can always create a personal account to use with your child independent from the classroom. is so much excitement for this new platform. Teachers are wishing they had the opportunity to engage their students in these types of digital learning tasks sooner!

My nieces and nephews are all signed up too and using the digital task cards this summer to prepare for kindergarten, first, and second grades! I look forward to watching them grow and master math!

Digital learning, is an instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student's learning experience. If you haven't joined the movement, this is one of the easiest ways I know! Boom Cards teaching resources, hosted on Boom Learning is surely one quick-fire way to enhance a student's learning experience in the classroom and at home.

I hope this post inspires you to check out Boom Cards by Boom Learning, and if you want to use a free deck of cards and try this out, please follow this over to my TpT Shop. 

(You will get a FREE "basic" account that comes with a few extra perks above the free trial for using that link!)

How would you use interactive digital task cards in your classroom or home?

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