A task card is a series of questions/problems/tasks that are broken down and usually only include one per card. I like to describe it as a worksheet where you took each question and put it on its own card. Now, I say worksheet but that doesn't mean that a task card has to be boring or lower level thinking. That is actually the beauty of task cards. They can work for any level (yes seriously a preschooler can do them but so can a college student) and include many types of questions such as multiple choice, short answer or fill in the blank.
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FAQs about Task Cards
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about task cards. Do you have the same questions??
Do I need technology to use them?
Why don't I just give my students a worksheet instead?
One of my favorite reasons for using a task card, is that it allows you to differentiate for your students. Based on the questions on the cards and the skill level of your students, you can assign certain cards to certain students. Or you could even assign a certain amount of cards to be completed. That way, a struggling student who would be overwhelmed with looking at an entire worksheet of problems, has a more manageable assignment when you tell them to complete 5 cards. Now they can focus on just one problem at a time.
Is this just a math resource?
Can I turn it into a game?
Another idea for a game would be a "beat the clock" game. Set the timer and have students move around the room trying to solve as many task cards as they can before the timer goes off. Student with the most correct answers wins.
Is there movement involved or do they work on task cards at their desks?
Are task cards only for practicing a skill you've already taught?
What supplies do I need?
A set of task cards, a recording sheet and a pencil. If you want to just use one set of cards for the class and reuse them each year, I would suggest laminating for durability. If you want students to be able to write on the cards or glue them into a math journal for example, print enough cards for the whole class.
What are other ways you could use task cards?
- A problem of the day
- Morning/bell work
- Math/literacy journal activity
- Sent home as homework
- As an interactive bulletin board where students can take the cards, solve them and then put them back
- Fast finisher activity
- Partner work
- Small group work
- As an exit slip that they have to solve at the end of a lesson so you can see what they learned that day
- With parent volunteers/tutors for students who need extra practice
How do I store task cards?
Everyone creates their task cards at a slightly different size, so it is hard to have one storage solution that works for everyone. Plus each teacher has a different amount of storage space available to them. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- use a coupon holder or index card holder
- purchase small photo boxes such as THESE (5x7 size) or THESE (4x6)
- photo albums to store the cards in
- rubberband them and stick them in the file folder with the subject they best match when you are done using them
- Attach a set using a book ring and hang them on a bulletin board or other designated place around the room where students can grab the set they want when needed
Can I try some task cards to see if I like them?
If you want to give task cards a try, but don't want to create your own or buy them if you aren't sure if they will work for your students, grab a freebie.
I have my place value task cards sample available as a freebie for lower elementary students. They focus on expanded form, word form, place value blocks, comparing numbers and more.
For older students, I have states and capitals task cards. I have a free sample of the states in the western region. This set has a QR code on each card to have students check answers, but you can use them without the QR code if you want.
What is your favorite way to use task cards? Do you have a trick for storing them? I'd love to hear about how you use task cards!