Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Earthmerlin

How do you make flashcards fun?

Recommended Posts

OK, I know flashcards aren't too popular at times. However, I do feel they've got their place in education (albeit a small one). My duaghter's learning lots of informatiin lately and I have some sets of flashcards used for review. I'm looking for ways to make flashcard review sessions more engaging & (perhaps) fun. What successes have you had in doing so? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've had luck with setting a time goal ("whole stack in less than 2 minutes!") and a prize to aim for when we hit that target (family ice cream night / movie / little treat).

Also, my children enjoy timing ME on the cards. ?

A table-game is for me to lay out a bunch of cards, and take turns. I call out the definition / answer / meaning of the card, and if the kid can find the right card on the first try, HE gets it. If he can't, *I get it. Alternatively, the kid gets to pick any card he already knows, define / answer it correctly on the first try, and if he's right, HE gets it, and if he can't, *I get it. Person with the most cards at the end "wins." (I play this with kids of all different ages, and it's especially good when the information is newer to the kid.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use Anki for all of our flashcard needs.  It doesn't make if "fun" per se, but spaced repetition does make the process more efficient so we get more bang for our buck...'er time.  Also, using Anki means not having to manage and store physical cards, being able to include audio and video on cards, and being able to easily fit flash card study into the nooks and crannies of our day by running through our decks on my phone while taking walks, in waiting rooms,  in the car (both of my older boys can study their decks independently), etc.

Wendy

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make 'em faster and do them in-between things that *are* fun.

We use Quizlet for our flashcards btw, so they can go on a tablet or phone, be done in the car or anywhere, and they're just swipe swipe superfast. Quizlet has lots of other great features too (two sides, ability to read, games, etc.). We like that you can resize the text by zooming in or use pictures. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get your hopes too far up. You can make flash cards more palatable, but unless your child is a rare bird, you can't make them "fun". Drill is sometimes necessary, but it's not exactly a laugh-a-minute, and it never will be.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the ideas, folks! I need to use Quizlet and look into Anki--digital flashcards are a great idea. Tanaqui, you're funny. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Don't get your hopes too far up. You can make flash cards more palatable, but unless your child is a rare bird, you can't make them "fun". Drill is sometimes necessary, but it's not exactly a laugh-a-minute, and it never will be.

This. Don’t knock yourself out trying to make things fun. Just get it done. Honestly, it’s not like you spend an hour on flash cards. Or even 15 minutes. Latin vocabulary cards can be done in a minute or two, so can math facts and even Presidents of the United States.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that for most Flashcards aren’t fun (and I would argue are not necessary either but that wasn’t what you asked about).

We have created games before - matching, war, whoever-can-answer-first-gets-the-card - but they do require at least 2 players.  I love the way RS and LOE use cards with games for building facility/in place of drill. Song is another memorization method that works well for some. As does spoken rhyme (eg “The great bear did break and tear a steak and a pear, yea I swear he did not wear anything” was a sentence we created to remember all the words which use -ea for the long a sound). We use vocabulary cards called Marie’s Words that have great illustrations to help you memorize the words.

We are also ANKI users for foreign language vocabulary. Building your own ANKI deck with pictures and sounds you have chosen does take a lot of time but the process itself helps in your memorization. And we use Quizlet for study topics in Science Olympiad.

Best wishes!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, as I said before, I know flashcard drills aren't too popular. We use a variety of other review material and strategies. We use flashcards periodically & having different ways of using them keeps up interest levels. Thanks for the ideas so far!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Small doses, scattered throughout the day.  Like, set the timer for 2 minutes at at time and then stop when the timer dings.  That doesn't make it fun, but it takes away the grueling element from it and makes it bearable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Earthmerlin said:

Yeah, as I said before, I know flashcard drills aren't too popular. We use a variety of other review material and strategies. We use flashcards periodically & having different ways of using them keeps up interest levels. Thanks for the ideas so far!

 

Flashcards can be very effective.  

Before having kids, I was a corporate trainer for a health insurance company.  Some of the employees had to memorize various coding things (like diagnosis codes, etc.).  I'd pull out flashcards and they'd groan. I'd apologize for making them use flashcards and tell them that it would be worth it if they'd stick with me.  After a week of using the flash cards, they'd have memorized the information they needed,effortlessly, and they agreed that it had been good to use the cards after all.

So...flashcards aren't always the most fun, but they can be effective.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids actually quite like flashcards. Just today we made a set for memorising major and relative minor key signatures. We usually just go through them and the kid gets to hold whichever ones they got right, then we go through again, and repeat until the student has all the cards.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids like Anki - they like to review their "stats" at the end of each session: how many cards in how many minutes, what percent they got correct etc.  They like to try to beat their previous "record" and find this motivating.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids really like flash cards. ?  Maybe we're just weird!  In fact, my 4th grader is having a super hard time remembering grammar rules and asked if I would make her a set this weekend.

We work on "group" flash cards recitation-style in the morning after we finish our Bible time together.  Sometimes I hold them up and they all answer at one time, sometimes we go round-robin style, sometimes the kids quiz only me, etc. If it's just a short stack, I go through it with each child.  

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids balk any time I try to make things "fun".  They just want school over with as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Fun tends to slow things down.  Here are some ideas they do like:

  • Sometimes I alternate two kids, so it's a bit more competitive.   They like to get more correct than their siblings.
  • Disappearing memory verse--not flashcards, but still memory work.  You write the verse on a dry-erase board and read it together.  After each reading, a word or two is erased.  After several readings, the board is empty and they can hopefully still repeat it.
  •  We do spelling "bees" instead of quizzes.  They like these because they are faster and don't have writing.  Once again, not flashcards, but a fun way to learn information
  • Have them take a step forward with every card they get right.  When they cross the finish line, they win.  You can also do this with a basic board game (they move their game piece forward with every correct answer).  You can have a pile of flashcards for each kid, so even math facts can be combined this way.
  • Math Wrap Ups are an alternative to regular flashcards.  We sometimes do this instead of flashcards.  

Most days we just go through the cards quickly. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the flashcards while jumping on the bed (or trampoline if you have one)!

With math, do a flashcard walk.  (Best in a park or some other open area).   Have your child pick a direction to face, then answer the flash card question, then walk that many steps in that direction.  Repeat, and see where it takes you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my daughter had to study for AP World History she had a stack of flashcards about 6" high! So I put them in a central spot (like the kitchen counter) and I told her that anytime she walked by the pile, to get a snack or use the bathroom or whatever, she should stop and do 6 or so cards.

Under the last card I would have a surprise, like "go our for ice cream" or "you pick tonight's move" so when she would have an incentive to get to the bottom of the pile. The rule was, thought, that she had to get through the whole pile in one day. We did that for about 2 weeks straight. It took the pressure off of her but she still had the benefit of the repetition.

She ended up scoring a 4 on the AP Test, so I guess something worked!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...