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January 8, 2014

How I Use Task Cards

You probably can tell that I use task cards a lot in my classroom.  I wanted to share all the ways that my students work with them.  

Math and Reading Workshop

During workshop time, students work individually and with partners to practice skills.  I put them on a hanging pocket chart, or in a basket - and students answer on scratch paper.  They then turn it in so I can check their work, and it keeps them accountable for participation.  

Morning Math Meeting

During our morning math meeting, students solve 4 or 5 task cards of different skills as review, and another couple new skills that we are about to tackle.  It's a constant spiral for them.  I love how I don't have to brainstorm a bunch of different equations every morning, and my student helpers are able to change out the cards at the end of the day.  

Scoot Game

There are many different ways to play Scoot.  One way is having each child have a card on their desks,   each child having a paper & pencil, and then after a minute of work time tell them to scoot to the next desk to solve the next card.  This way usually takes my class about 45 minutes to an hour to go through 32 cards.  

I don't usually have time to do the entire class rotation though (all 32 cards), so I have students place a card on their desk, give them a minute to solve on scratch paper, and then tell them to find a new desk.  They are hopping all over the place and we tackle about 2/3 of the cards.  Afterwards I have them meet with a partner to discuss their answers, and then I collect the papers.  This way I can then stick the cards into a workshop rotation and there are still some "new" cards that they kids haven't done yet, with the other ones being review.  This method usually takes my class about 30 minutes.  

On days that I have an even smaller amount of time I have the students place the cards on the desks, give them a scratch paper, and time them for 15 minutes.  It's a challenge to see how many they can accomplish during that time.  I usually do this type of thing with multiple choice answers.  

Small Group Intervention

When I have a small group that needs to work on a specific skill, I usually pull out some task cards and bring the kids over the carpet.  Somedays I use task cards during my small group teacher lesson as our problems to solve.  I love how laminated task cards have replaced a lot of my paper and pencil review sheets (which has saved me tons on copies).  The kids bring their whiteboards over to the carpet area and we go through the problems step by step.  

Parent Intervention

I am blessed to have parents that want to work in my classroom.  When they come to visit, I just leave some task cards in a basket on the table, a big whiteboard, marker, and a list of students to call to work on specific skills.  They use the cards as problems to work on.  It makes it easy to prep for the helpers. 

There really are so many different uses to those laminated cards.  I absolutely adore them!  

Do you use them too?  


  1. Great ideas! One thing that I have done this year with my 1st and 2nd graders with them is to have them go on "scavenger hunts." I hide them around the room, and give each child an answer sheet. Then they go around the room and see how many they can find and answer. This is great for me (especially during the winter months) as it gets them moving around (we get inside recess days so they don't use a whole lot of energy up then). They love it! You can read about it/see pictures of it on this post.

    Primary Classrooms are Oceans of Fun

  2. This is a great post! One question... How do you mark their answers for the scoot game if they're writing them on scratch paper and moving to random desks so their orders will all be different?

    x Serena x

  3. I really like how you use task cards during your morning math meeting! I am so implementing that with my class! Thank you for sharing!


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