Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Two New Ideas for Using Task Cards!

Is your task card collection growing?  Mine seems to grow every week, and I'm always looking for new, fun ways to use the cards with my students.  They love task cards no matter the format, but the more fun and exciting I can make them, the better.

Last week, as we were reviewing percentages, we did a little scavenger hunt.  There were 32 cards, which all had either a whole number answer, decimal answer, or percent answer.  I separated the cards into three different areas and hung them on a wall with a label to show the type of answer the card had.

Then, I used the answer key to write each answer on a separate sticky note.  I gave each of the students a sticky note and instructed them to put their sticky note above ANY card in the hallway, as long as it was in the correct section (i.e. if their answer was a percent, it had to go above a card in the percent section). 

Once every card had an answer above it, the students chose a starting card and went to work.  When they solved the card, they had to find the sticky note with their answer on it and then complete the card below it.  (I also had them put their numbers in order from least to greatest, but that was just a little something extra, and another way to make it easier for them to find their next card when they found their answer.)

You can do this with virtually any math task cards, and it's a great way to self-check!  The kids loved going from card to card and then figuring out where they needed to go next.  Bonus: They were up and moving the entire class instead of sitting at their desks!

If you are looking for a pre-made version of a scavenger hunt, I have also used Jason's at The PowerPoint Maniac.  He has some really interesting math scavenger hunts...the aren't identical to this format, but my kids love being detectives and looking through clues!  You can check them out at his TpT store HERE.

One of my TpT/Blogging Friends, Blair Turner, sent me a picture of my task cards in action in a room at her school. Blair blogs at One Lesson at a Time, and she has some incredibly brilliant interactive notebook resources!  She was in a classroom using some of my fraction task cards, and this teacher had a FABULOUS idea!

The teacher, Laura, had printed the task cards and added them individually to several large pieces of chart paper.  Each group of students got a piece of chart paper and some time to complete their cards.  Then, the groups traveled to two other charts, checked the work, and flagged them with sticky notes if they disagreed with an answer.  After checking the two other charts, the original group came back tot heir poster and made any corrections to the "flagged" cards.  I'm in love with this idea, and I can't wait to try it in the next couple of weeks!

Do you have a great idea for utilizing task cards?  I will offer a free set of cards from my store for any teacher who sends me picture of their task cards in action with a description of how they are being used!  I just love seeing other ideas from across the country.

Interested in more math task cards?  Click the image below!


  1. So how did they get to do all the cards? It seems like they would be stuck only in the percent section since the cards (and answers) were grouped.

    1. Hi LyN! Good question. :) I randomly placed the cards in each section; only the answers were separated by type. I did that (and arranged them from least to greatest) so that they wouldn't spend much time looking for their answers. I hope that helps!

  2. I just blogged about this a few days ago. I use task cards ALL the time. My students like them, but if I do them too often, they moan. I love the ideas of switching them up. I am definitely trying the scavenger hunt one next week with some new algebraic cards I just bought.

    This past week, I took 4 sets of integer cards and divided them up into 6 groups. My students needed practice with all 4 operations, but doing 36 for each seemed ridiculous. Students completed 16 cards, 4 for each operation. It seemed manageable and they were all successful.

    that link is here: http://www.hodgesherald.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-really-large-number-line.html

    I also like the chart paper idea. Going to use that soon.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Hodges Herald

  3. I love task cards and both of your ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm going to share them on my FB page!
    Third Grade Galore

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