Making the Most Out of Task Cards

16 May 2016


If you're anything like me, you just LOVE a task card.  Even my students love them!  There's just something about the format and shiny laminating that make them much more appealing than a traditional worksheet.

There are so many different ways you can use these question banks. Here's a list of how I use them in different ways to mix it up and make the most out of my task cards!

Scoot
I think that most task card creators envision their work being used in the game Scoot.  There are a couple of different versions of the game, but here's how we usually play:

1 - Distribute the cards around the room.
2 - Pass out recording sheets to students.  Depending on the task cards (or how much work they need to do with them - for example Adding and Subtracting Fractions), they take their pencil and notebook paper with them.  Sometimes, I have them use whiteboards to show their work and only record the actual answer on their recording sheets.
3 - Students start at their own desk and complete the problem.
4 - When they are finished, they "scoot" to the next seat.

Usually, we let them simply go to an open desk where no one else is working so that they are working at their own pace. This means that they don't necessarily work in number order.  Remind them to pay attention to the number on the task card so they record their answers in the correct spot.

Scoot is typically a "quiet" activity (because we like to take it as a grade if it is a skill they've mastered).

Timed Scoot
If the task cards are a quick skill that doesn't require a whole lot of work (like my Classifying and Measuring Angles task cards) then we pull up Kagan's Timer Tools on the SmartBoard and set it to the interval timer.

If you don't have that program, Online Stop Watch has one that you can use for free!  Click on this link:  Online Stop Watch - Interval Timer
Click on the Add Interval button to get started.
Enter the time for each interval and select a sound to play after each round. I like Ting Ting!
Set the Repeat button to 99 so you don't have to keep restarting it.
Be sure to click on the "on" button for Restart when done.
And you're all set!  Students should "Scoot" around to the next task card when they hear the timer go off.

Want one more Scoot variation?  My good friend Katie (at Ms. Broccoli's Boutique) has clips around her classroom with numbers on them.  She then clips the corresponding task cards on the clips so students can work on the Task Cards when they finish early, etc. so they aren't in the way of other students.  It was so brilliant, my math collab partner and I did the same thing in our classroom.


Remediation/Enrichment
Task cards are literally perfect for remediation and enrichment because they give you a set of questions to pull from.  During a unit, I'll work with students who need extra practice and use whiteboards and markers to work through problems together.  I've also purchased task cards specifically for enrichment.  For example, if my on level students are working on adding and subtracting fractions, I might introduce multiplying fractions to my above level students and use task cards for problems to work on.

Morning Work and Homework
There's always a few minutes at the beginning of the day (or for me, the beginning of my math block) where I need to take care of some administrative things.  An easy way to keep students engaged is to print each student a copy of the set of task cards (I usually print them 2 pages on 1 page) and have them work on a few at a time independently. Another alternative is to have students work on a few cards each night for homework.

Math Stations and Early Finishers
Many of the teachers around our school has made the leap into Guided Math.  Task cards are a great activity to put into one of your Math Stations!  I typically include the answer sheet into the station bin so that the center is self-checking.  Students can hang on to their recording sheet in their math folders, stay-at-school folders, etc. so they can head back to it if they finish something early.

Journals
I love taking the more "difficult" problems (ones that require more than one step) and using them in our Math Journals.  We've been working really hard on communication and explaining our thinking in Math.  The handy-dandy Snipping Tool (PC) or the Snip Tool (Mac) makes it easy to select a problem and then print it small enough to glue into the journal section of our math notebook.  We then use it to discuss different strategies to approach the problems, etc.

Exit Tickets
Exit Tickets are another way to do a "quick check" on a skill you've been working on.  Use the same Snipping tool to select a question you want feedback on and print a few on a page.



End of Year Review
Break those bad boys out from your files at the beginning of the year for skills you need to review before testing.  I still haven't heard the dreaded "but we've already done this!" from anybody.  Don't forget - there are many ways to use them again at the end of the year!

I'd love to hear other ways that you might use task cards in your classroom!

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas, once again from the SUPER-TEACHER! Thanks for the shout out ;)

    ReplyDelete

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