I am on a mission. My goal is to share how I most often use task cards, but also come up with some new ways to use them in the classroom.
METHOD #1: Independent Work. Depending on my purpose, this seems to work best if I am looking for a true assessment of understanding. Rather than providing a set of task cards for each student, I scatter one set around the classroom. Students each receive a Task Card Recording Sheet and their goal is to complete each task card by the end of class. Obviously, setting expectations for the classroom environment is important. Each card must be returned to where they found it before they can begin searching for a card they have not yet done.
METHOD #2: Partner Work. At least in my classroom, working with a partner seems to work best when each task card can be a “station” in the classroom. Partners find a task card and are given four minutes to work together to solve before rotating to a new station. …I often time the stations so that the last ten minutes of class can be spent finishing any cards that were more challenging.
METHOD #2: Team Work. I have tables in my classroom, so students are used to sitting in groups and working as a group. If I plan to have students work as a team to complete the task cards, I often have a set of cards for each group. (color-coding = brilliant.) It is important to me that each student actively contributes to their team. I often require students to complete the task card independently before discussing their answers. In order to move onto the next task, all team member must agree on their solution.
When I set out on this mission, I found a few great resources that get me thinking. (oh, the possibilities…) Check out these resources for even more suggestions for using task cards in the classroom.
Interested in trying task cards?? (…or do you just need a new, fabulous set to spice up your collection?) Be sure to check out my newest Teachers Pay Teachers product. Adding and Subtracting Decimals: Task Cards. Get them [here]! I just used these with all of my middle school students when we returned from Spring Break. It was a great way to turn our “math brains” back on and review this important skill.