Sunday, February 1, 2015

Getting the Most out of Task Cards

Do your students LOVE Task Cards?  My students do and I do too!!  

But, do you REALLY realize what a jewel you have with a set of task cards?  These are so versatile.  Don't just use them one time and then put them up until next year.  Keep recycling them all year long in different ways.  Your students will love you for it, and your planning time just got shorter!

With my task cards, I put a letter (very small) in the corner of the cards.  I also include large numbers on separate cards.  Why, you ask?

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Well, as I said, I like to use them in a variety of ways.  I mix and match standards for one domain and I even mix and match the concepts!

One week we might work on lines, line segments, rays, and more.  The next time, I might include all Geometry concepts.  Later still, I might mix Geometry and Place Value together, and before the "BIG" test in the spring, I might pull a couple of cards from several math topics and mix with a variety of language arts topics for a big review.  

Here is one of my favorite ways to use task cards:


 
Walk the Room – Place the numbers around the room (tape on walls, shelves, etc. or on desks) along with a  task card.  Provide an answer sheet for 20, 25 or 30 questions.  Students move around the room at their own pace or at a signal from the teacher and write the answer in the matching number of their answer sheets.  It's like a scavenger hunt!  Plus, it gets the kiddos up and moving.


Here are some other ways to use task cards:

Ticket out the Door – Show a task card using your projector for all students to see, or give students individual cards.  Students write the answer on a post it note.  Use these to see who is still having difficulties with a concept to form needs-based or small groups for the next day to give a mini-lesson to the students.

Needs Based – Use the task cards when working with students on a specific need.  Model the answers.  Students can use a dry-erase board to complete as teacher monitors.
 
Give Me Five – Give students five tasks all on a similar topic that they need extra practice with.

Math Centers – Choose a specific standard or a variety to review and place in centers for extra practice.

These are just a few ideas to help you use task cards in a different way.  If I'm going to spend my time making something or buy something, I like to get as many possible uses out of it as I can.  Don't you?  What are some ways you use task cards?

That's just...