Raise your hand if you’re looking for more ways to keep your students engaged in their learning? I see ALL of your teacher hands! Task cards are the perfect way to get your kids up and moving during the day, while still practicing key skills. They are perfect for extra practice and review for different skills in any subject area with your whole class. Plus, they are more engaging than traditional worksheets! Read on for 10 unique ways to use task cards in the classroom for more fun during your lessons.
What Are Task Cards?
Task cards are exactly as 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. Students solve the problem on their recording sheet next to the matching number or letter.
Task cards are a great option for whole group activities, small groups, no-prep lessons, or to place in stations or centers. These little cards are very versatile and can be used in various ways in the classroom.
Check out a few of my favorite ways to use task cards in my YouTube video below:
10 Unique Ways to Use Task Cards
#1. iSpy/Around the Room
This type of task card activity is probably the most well-known. First, tape your set of 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 scavenger hunt around the room. When they find a card, they solve for the answer next to the matching number or letter on their recording sheet or in their math journal. Students can move around the classroom at their own pace, which is perfect for your struggling students.
This is the perfect activity to get your students up and moving. They can work independently or with a partner.
#2: 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 of the game 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 kid-favorite! Place a card on each student’s desk. When the teacher says “SCOOT,” students will move to the next desk and solve the problem on that card. This repeats until they have solved all the cards.
This game can be played with students of all ages and is a great way to get kids up and moving.
#4: Find Someone Who
I think this is my personal favorite task card activity! Depending on the number of students in your class and the amount of task cards you have, you may need more than one set of cards for this game.
Tape a task card on each student’s back. Using their clipboards and recording sheets, 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 on their own back and solve.
#5: Journal Activities
This little-known secret has become a lifesaver for me over the years. You can turn any set of task cards you have into an activity for your math journals.
For this activity, 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.
To do this:
- 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 so two pages fit on one sheet. Students had to highlight the adjective and then underneath, they used that adjective in a sentence.
Task cards are also perfect for math stations and word work. Most sets of task cards come with a direction page and a recording sheet. If not, you can easily make a set or have them solve on dry erase boards.
Your entire class will benefit from solving math task cards or literacy task cards in their daily stations.
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 learning centers!
#7: No Prep Lessons
What teacher doesn’t love a no prep lesson? Task cards are perfect for this! Simply display a page of task cards onto your white board.
Using a dry erase board, have your students divide it into four parts and label each box. In this place value example, they solved card A in the A box. Once all four problems are solved, change the page on your screen.
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! Keep going until there is one person left. This is an excellent way to include your whole class! They love the suspense and have a blast with this one!
#9: Quiz, Quiz Trade
Quiz, Quiz, Trade is perfect for getting your kids up and moving. It’s also a great way to review skills at the end of a unit or before an assessment.
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 each 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 students’ heads and not on their backs.
Place a task card on each student’s 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 on their own headband and solve.
I hope this post has given you some new ideas for incorporating task cards into your day. Check out more of my task cards in my TPT store here or in my website store below.
Do you have another idea for using task cards? Leave a comment below and let me know!