Defeat the Desk Monster with Flashcard Machine

Elementary students need to practice material such as vocabulary words, math facts, and other essential information. Flashcards are a proven way to do that. But have you ever given out the cards only to find them scattered all over the room, or stuffed in the students’ desks looking like hamster bedding?

flashcard machine

If you told the kids to take them home to study, you found at least 3000 cards all over the floor. If you told the students to leave them in school to practice in class, the cards invariably grew legs, crawled out the window, and jumped into the wind. All this without any help from the kids who insist, “They were in there yesterday.”

flashcard machine

The attack of the desk monster? Photo Credit Denise Krebs

Online Flashcard Maker Flashcard Machine

Flashcard Machine keeps the Desk Monster away from those slips of paper.

Flashcard Machine is a simple, no-frills way for students to practice any information you want your students to know! You can click on the flashcard library at the top of the screen and search the over 368,000 sets already saved publicly on the site. I searched for science cards for 5th grade and found 750 sets!

I’m a bit OCD and usually can’t find exactly the list that I want on sites like this, so most of the time I find it easier just to make new ones for myself. A benefit of making custom cards is that Flashcard Machine lets you create a private URL to give the kids. If you put that URL on Google Classroom, they can just click there, and they are right into the program.

To get started, you’ll need to make an account (however; your students will not need to log on to practice the words.)

You can download the step-by-step directions here.

Here’s what the flashcards look like. Again, they are not flashy (ha!), but that may work better with students that are easily distractible.

flashcard machine

I was not overly impressed with the games. What you see below was the speed game, and the kids have to click on each of the four cards moving across the bottom until the correct answer shows up on the blank card. Then they have to click the card at the bottom again. If you use it, set it longer than 10 seconds per card.

flashcard machine

MISTAKE ALERT!! I did this, so you don’t have to!

Make sure that you have changed the sequence to show the order of the cards the way you want them. If you don’t make sure they are correct, your students could be playing a game and end up trying to type a full definition in less than 10 seconds. 🙂

flashcard machine

I like that you can print the cards, even if it makes them susceptible to the desk monster. You can print them out and make memory cards, or send them home with the kids to practice. Because they have the term number and the definition number at the top, the cards are self-checking. These labels are useful if students were playing games with them in class.

flashcard machine


If you have parents asking for things to do with their kids at home, you can send them the printable cards for those without any form of internet. If they have a smartphone, you can recommend they add the Flashcard Machine app to their phone. The children can also practice the cards at home on a computer with internet.

If you have lists of terms for any subject, try storing those words and definitions on Flashcard Machine. They will be available online at any time for the kids to practice. What types of lists would this site help you keep track of? How do you think it might be useful? Let us know in the comments.

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