Task cards are
everywhere you look because teachers are falling in love with this method of
practice! Check out this post for information about WHY to use task cards, HOW
to use task cards, and RESOURCES for task cards.

__WHY__

Task cards are less overwhelming than worksheets because
students focus on one problem at a time.
This is helpful for all students, but especially those with attention difficulties. With worksheets, sometimes I find students
having a hard time getting started because the task seems so daunting, but with
task cards it is much easier to focus on completing ONE problem… then another,
then another.

Task cards can allow for movement as students change
stations or walk to retrieve another card.
Movement is so important to incorporate into classes whenever
possible. Think about how much time your
students spend sitting throughout the day.
They need opportunities to stand up and move to a different spot in
order to wake up the brain!

Task cards can provide a variety of practice on one topic or
several review topics. They are so
versatile! Sometimes I use sets of task
cards with a huge variety of topics to review for state or final exams. Other times I focus on one topic for more
repetition as students are learning a new skill. The possibilities are endless!

Task cards can be reused again and again because students
write in workspaces or a separate piece of paper. Print on cardstock and laminate so they can
stand the test of time and be used again.
You can purchase index card organizers to store them if you have the
space. Little to no prep after year one!

Students enjoy using task cards and show greater engagement
than when completing a regular worksheet.
Perhaps the best reason of all… kids love them! It’s literally a worksheet separated out onto
small cards, but many students feel like it is a game. My middle schoolers love task card days. J

__HOW__

My favorite way to use task cards is to leave them in a bin
at the front of the room. Each student
begins with one. They complete the
problem in their workspace, then return to the bin to compare their answer with
the answer key. If they are correct,
they trade for a new card. If they are
incorrect, they return to their seat to determine their mistake.

Set up 5 or 6 stations around the room with a handful of
cards at each. I project a timer on the
front whiteboard and have all students move to the next station at the same
time. Here’s my typical station
schedule:

2 minutes: Focus silently and get started.

2 minutes: Collaborate with peers in your group.

1 minute: Check answers and wrap up.

I give my students verbal instructions when it’s time to
collaborate and check answers. During
this time I walk around, help students get started if needed, answer questions,
etc.

Place each card at a different location around the room and
have students move around to complete them all.
They could be taped to walls with students using clipboards or set on
desks so students can sit. Switch it up
and see what your students respond better to!

Project some cards on the front board to discuss as a whole
class. This strategy could make a good
opener before sending students off to practice on their own. This method is also great for reteaching a
concept or having students record some examples into a notebook.

Print out and use them as worksheets or a packet. Of course there’s the traditional practice
packet that works well, too! In this
case, students could write directly on the pages as there should be plenty of
space to write.

__EVEN MORE SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES__

Mrs E Teaches Math: 7 Ideas for Using Task Cards in the Classroom and 5 More Ideas for Using Task Cards in the Classroom

Middle School Math Man: 4 Ways to Use Task Cards in the Middle School Math Classroom

Secondary Math Shop: Task Cards – A Fantastic Resource at the Secondary Level

Learning Made Radical: Ideas on Using Task Cards

__RESOURCES__

Looking for some ready-made resources? I have FREE set of task cards for reviewing functions on my blog. My full collection of task cards can be found here.

Smith Curriculum and Consulting put a new spin on using task
cards in the classroom with her product: Left, Right, Answer! Learn more here.

Scaffolded Math & Science offers a free set of Domain
and Range Intervention Task Cards. Scoop them up here.

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