Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: 5 Ways to Use Task Cards in the Classroom

5 Ways to Use Task Cards in the Classroom

I LOVE using task cards. They are so much more engaging and versatile than a worksheet! I also love that after prepping them once, they can be used over and over in different ways! Here is a look at five of my favorite ways to use task cards in the classroom.

1. Scoot

I LOVE to do scoots in my classroom! In fact, we do one every Friday. I use task cards and a scoot to assess our weekly language skill. The kids are out of their seat and moving around. This increases the blood flow to the brain! Plus, the kids don't even realize they are doing an assessment.

When I do a scoot, I lay the task cards on desks. I ask students to answer the card closest to them first and then get up and move around the room to answer the rest of the cards. I tell students that they get to get up and move around, but they can't use their voices. If I wasn't using it as a formative assessment, I might let them work in corporative learning groups.

My kids are pros at scooting, so now I can leave them in my sub tub!

2. As a Center

Every month, my students have sets of task cards that they must complete in their math centers. I give them the recording sheets at the start of the month. I put the cards where students can access them. During their independent time, they work on the cards in any order that they choose. Since they are doing this center independently, this is a great time to practice skills from a previous lesson. It the perfect spiral review! And more engaging than a worksheet! It is simple to differentiate by requiring different sets of cards from different math groups.

3. In Interactive Notebooks or Journals

Most task cards will print perfectly in black and white. I like to print some and have students attach them to their notebooks/journals. Each month, my students are given four task cards that ask them to respond to their independent reading. This holds my students accountable during their read-to-self time and it allows us to have a conversation about their books. The same sort of thing can be done  using math journal prompts.

4. Paired with a Board Game

Nearly any popular board game can be paired with math or ELA task cards! Students have to answer the task card question correctly before they can take their turn in the board game. Some of my favorites are Candyland, Checkers, Jenga and Connect Four. You can find these games on sale during the holidays and many can be purchased at garage sales or second-hand stores. I like to use these as a Fun Friday activity!

5. Line-Up Activity

Let's be honest- there is NEVER enough time! We have so much to teach and only a limited time to instruct. I like to use every last minute of our day together. When we have just 5 minutes until specials or release time- this line up activity is PERFECT! I walk around the room showing a task card to each student. If they get it correct, they get to line-up. If not, I come back to them (if time permits). Such a simple way to get some review in!

All of the task cards shown above, and dozens and dozens more, can be found in my TpT store HERE.

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  1. What an excellent and helpful post! I learned some new ways to use task cards!

  2. LOVE! The idea of using dot dobbers for math center work, I've only used them for language arts. GREAT idea. Thank YOU!

  3. LOVE the idea for using task cards paired with INB! Definitely going to borrow them. My two favs for task cards are Scoot and Scatter. With Scoot I place the cards on desks and designate a specific line of travel, then use a bell to signal the scoot to the next desk so that everyone moves at the same time. Your description of Scoot sounds like what I call Scatter. I scatter the cards around the room and students walk the room completing items on the cards as they find them, a bit like a scavenger hunt.

    Aren't task cards just the BEST?

  4. Lots of great ideas here. Love the idea of using them in an interactive notebook, I never thought of that!
    Burke's Special Kids

  5. I love a good line-up/exit pass task but I normally get the kids to show me their work. I may do it the other way round now.

    Lizzie's Daily Blog