Raise your hand if you’re always looking for different and fun ways for your kids to practice and review what you’ve taught. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk task cards.
What are Task Cards?
Task cards are alternatives to worksheets. They usually contain one task or question per card. This is what makes them very versatile. You can use them to play whole group interactive games, put them in centers, or even differentiate by giving specific cards to identified students as extra practice.
Why Flip and Go Math Task Cards?
I specifically designed my Flip and Go Math Task Cards to easily fit into any K -5 classroom. You’ll find that they:
- contain a wide variety of question types (i.e. multiple response, fill in the blank, true/false, and more)
- are easy to assemble
- include recording sheets and answer keys for self-checking
- are enlarged for ease of student use – I like to include clear math models and visuals
- are grade-level appropriate, hitting critical standards per grade
They are a “go-to” resource for many teachers like you.
Here are a whopping 25 ways that you can use them in your classroom.
Let’s get to it!
How to Use Task Cards in Your Classroom: 25 Task Card Ideas
1. Early Finishers – Since kids work at their own pace, task cards are the perfect solution for your early finishers. Store them in a bin labeled “Early Finishers” and tell your kids to pick up a set when they need it.
2. Lesson Warm-Up or Hook – Your lesson hook should only be a couple of minutes. Choose only one task card and depending on your purpose, use it to introduce a new topic or quickly review a trouble spot for the whole group.
3. Friendly Classroom Competitions – OK. This is one of my favorites. All you need are task cards, a large dry erase board, and a timer. Split your class into 2 teams. Call on one representative from each team to come up to the board. Read and show them both the card. Set the timer and let both students write their answers on the board. The student(s) that get it correct win a point for their team.
4. Morning Work – Project one of the task cards on your whiteboard and have students complete it at their desks. Make it accessible to your kids by choosing a topic that you have already taught.
5. Scavenger Hunt – These are super fun for elementary students. Choose several task cards to use in your scavenger hunt. Number and place them in different parts of your room by taping them on the wall, doors, etc. Next, give your students a recording sheet with the same numbers on a clipboard. Kids “hunt” and solve as many cards as they can within a certain time limit.
Looking to up your task card game? Pick your grade level below.
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6. Parent Room Volunteers – We love involved parents volunteers and task cards are a great way to get them involved. Give them the cards and the answer key and let them support a small group of kids.
7. Formative Assessment – Make sure students fill out a sheet to record their answers and then check them using the answer key. This way you can see what your students know and what areas they need extra support.
8. Playing SCOOT – This whole group activity is a fun way to review with your entire class. Place the cards on different desks and students rotate to answer questions on each card. Each rotation should last 1-2 minutes. Use a signal to rotate (i.e. chime, buzzer, etc.).
9. Homework – Ever have a parent that wants extra homework for their child? No problem. Let them take home a set of math task cards.
10. Math Centers – This is definitely a teacher favorite and I agree. Math task cards are a simple center fix when you are looking for activities to place in centers. Easy to set up and engaging for kids!
11. Small Group Instruction – Do you teach a small group? Bring out the cards. Model how to solve a problem using a think-aloud. Next, work on a similar problem together. Finally, have your kids do one independently and explain their thinking.
12. Substitute Plans – It’s always good to have easy-to-implement yet meaningful activities for a substitute teacher to manage in your classroom. Task cards get a thumbs up for being sub approved because of their simplicity.
13. Math Discussions – When teaching a whole group lesson, project the cards on your whiteboard so that everyone can see them. Give students wait time to think and then discuss the problem. Ask questions like: “How would you solve this?” “Does anyone agree or disagree?” “What’s another way to solve this problem?”
14. Quiz-Quiz-Trade – Get kids up and moving with this one. It’s also an excellent way to prepare for testing. Give every student a task card. Each card should have a sticky note with the answer on the back. Students pair up and answer each other’s questions. Then switch cards and find someone new.
15. Spiral Review – Mix cards that have different skills in them so that your students will continuously review older topics.
16. Hallway Practice – As educators, we’re always trying to find ways to maximize time. Carry a set of task cards with you while your kids are in line. This way you can do a quick review while keeping your kids occupied during a bathroom break or waiting for an assembly to start.
17. Back Up Activity – Ever have that dreaded moment when your interactive whiteboard stopped working or your specials got canceled? Have no fear! Bring out your task cards and do ideas #3, #8, or #14 on this list.
18. Reviewing for State Tests – Flip and Go Math Task Cards are excellent for test prep because of the variety of question types (i.e. True/False, Multiple Response, etc.)
19. Lesson Closure Activity – Wrap up your lesson and do a quick assessment using a card of your choice. Ask a couple of questions to see how much your students understood the concept.
20. Independent Practice – Have kids use task cards to practice a skill or concept you just taught at their seat.
21. Partner Work – Let students work in pairs. Each child should have a recording sheet but answer the same card. After answering the same question, they can discuss and check their answers using the key.
22. Create Your Own – As simple as it sounds. Let your kids create their own tasks cards. Add them to the original stack so that their classmates can solve them.
23. Choice Activity – If you use choice boards or choice menus in your classroom add tasks cards as one of the choices.
24. Numbered Heads Together – This is another one that my students LOVED! It’s a variation of Idea #3: Friendly Classroom Competitions. Instead of one large dry erase board, you’ll need small ones for every student. Divide your class into groups of 4-5 students. Assign each student in each group a number from 1 – 5, depending on the group size.
Project and read a task card on your whiteboard. Give students a few minutes to solve the problem by themselves on their dry erase boards. Next, give them time to discuss their answers with their teammates. When time is up, call a random number from 1-5.
For example, if you say “Number 2s stand up!” all of the students that were assigned the number 2 in their group stand up and show and explain the group answer. The student(s) that have great math reasoning to support their answers get a point for their team. This activity builds teamwork and communication skills.
25. Intervention – Last but definitely not least task cards can be used to differentiate by assigning problems. If you have one or two students that need extra practice in one area, take a recording sheet and highlight only the numbered task cards that you want them to work on.
Hopefully, this has given you several good ideas of how you can use Flip and Go Math Task Cards with your students. Don’t forget to check out your grade level below.