Raise your hand if you’re looking for more ways to keep your students engaged in their learning? Task cards are the perfect way to get your kids up and moving. They are perfect for practice and review for any skill in any subject.
What are Task Cards?
Task cards are exactly how they sound. They are small cards that have one task for students to complete on them. Most cards are labeled with numbers or letters and have a matching recording sheet. Your students solve the problem on their recording sheet next to the matching letter.
You can use task cards for whole group activities, place them in stations or centers, or even use them for no-prep lessons! They are very versatile.
Here are 10 ways that you can use task cards in your classroom.
iSpy/Around the Room
This task card activity is probably the most well known. Tape your task cards in various spots around the room. You can hide them on a shelf, tape one on the back of a chair, or even on your door. Then your students will take a clipboard and their recording sheet and go on a hunt around the room. When the find a card, they solve for it next to the matching letter on their recording sheet or in their math journal.
This is the perfect activity to get your students up and moving.
Racing for Points
For this whole group game, you will need two teams. Ask one member of the team a question from a task card. If that team member answers correctly he or she gets to draw a card from a deck of regular cards. Number cards are worth their value. Face cards are worth 11 points. Aces are worth 1 point. Whatever number is drawn is how many points that team gets. The team with the most points at the end wins.
To add a little more fun while playing this game, before asking a question call out a suite. If they draw a card with that suite, the team loses all its points and must start over.
Scoot is another classic task card activity and is always a favorite. Place a card on each students desk. When the teacher says “scoot”, your students will move to the next desk and solve the problem on that card. This repeats until they have solved all the cards.
Find Someone Who
I think this is my personal favorite! Depending on the number of students in your class and amount of task cards you have, you may need more than one set for this game.
Tape a task card on each student back. Using their clipboards and recording sheet, have them pair up and solve the problem on their partner’s back. Then they will switch and find a new partner. If they pair up with someone who has a card they already solved (if using two sets), then they wait until it’s time to switch again. They keep trading partners until they have solved all the cards. When they get back to their desk, they can remove the card for their back and solve.
This little known secret has become a lifesaver for me. You can turn any set of task cards you have into an activity for your math journals.
For this, you will want to print multiple pages of task cards onto one page. The cards become the perfect size to fit into a math journal.
- Select the pages you want to print.
- Under Page Sizing and Handling select Multiple
- You can change the number of pages you want to print onto one sheet.
- 2 to 4 pages per sheet is normally the perfect size
With this example, I printed these adjective task cards to where two pages fit on one sheet. They had to highlight the adjective and then underneath they used that adjective in a sentence.
You cans more examples of this in this blog post.
Task cards are perfect for math stations and word work. Most sets of task cards come with a direction page and a recording sheet. If not, you could easily make a set or have them solve on dry erase boards.
They will draw a task card and solve next to the matching letter or number on their recording sheet. You could even tape the cards around the room and let them play iSpy (as mentioned above) for a station activity!
No Prep Lessons
What teacher doesn’t love a no prep lesson? Task cards are perfect for this! Display a page of task cards onto your board.
Using a dry erase board, have your student divide it into four parts and label each box. In this example, they solved card A in the A box. Once all four problems are solved, change the page on your screen. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
In this whole group activity, have students stand in a line and face you. Draw a stick or name and ask the question on the task card. If that student answers correctly, he or she gets to “bump” a person on his/her right or left. The person who got bumped is out! However, if the student answers incorrectly, he/she is out! You keep going until there is one person left.
Quiz, Quiz Trade
Quiz, Quiz, Trade is perfect for getting your kids up and moving. It’s also a great way to review for testing. Each student needs a task card. Play some kid-friendly music. When the music stops, students pair up and answer each other’s task card. The music will start again, they trade cards and move to find a new partner. The game repeats as long as time allows.
For this activity, each student will need some sort of headband. You can easily create these using sentence strips and paperclips. Tape a sentence strip around a students head to make a hat. On the front of the hat, place a paperclip. This will hold up the task card.
This activity is very similar to Find Someone Who except this time the cards are placed on the student’s heads and not on their backs.
Place a task card on each students headband using a paperclip. They will use their clipboards and recording sheet to pair up and solve the problem on their partner’s head. Then they will switch and find a new partner. They keep trading partners until they have solved all the cards. When they get back to their desk, they can remove the card for their headband and solve.
I hope this post has given you some new ways to incorporate task cards into your day. Do you have another idea for using task cards? Leave a comment and let me know!