Task cards are one of my favorite activities to use in the middle school classroom!
If you teach upper elementary or middle school and are new to task cards – keep reading – you’ll be hooked too!
WHAT ARE TASK CARDS?
Simply put, task cards are cards with individual questions or activities posted on them.
A task card and a worksheet can have identical information on them, but hands down, the students LOVE task cards and would choose them any day over a worksheet! Since they are practicing the SAME concepts!!! It’s a no-brainer!
Since task cards typically have only one question or activity on them, they are great for students with ADHD and other special needs. It is easier to focus on questions presented one at a time than an entire page of questions!
TASK CARDS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL
The possibilities for task cards in the classroom are endless!
- skill practice
- test review
TASK CARD BASICS AND STORAGE
Task cards can last for years if they are printed on card stock and laminated.
Since they are so easy to print, I often make several sets of each topic. This way multiple groups can use the cards at the same time!
Worried about cards getting lost or out of order? Keep them together by punching holes and storing them on one-inch binder rings.
Need a self-checking activity? I always add the answer key at the end of my set. Plus, you can always remove the key for students that might peek. 🙂
Keep them in sight! Hang the rings on command strips on the wall for easy grab and go access. Students can easily grab them if they finish early to review current or past topics.
WANT TO SAVE ON INK? When I’m short on time (or colored ink), I like to print the black and white version on colored cardstock. Still bright and durable!
Task cards aren’t just for elementary students! Here are some of my favorite ways to use task cards in the classroom!
Scoot is a game that my students love to play with task cards! It’s easy to set up and can be played with the whole class.
To set up the game, place cards in order around the room or on desks. Each student is assigned a starting spot. After one minute at each station (adjust as needed), call “Scoot” and students rotate to the next card until all cards are answered.
Hint: Make sure that are starting in the correct place on their individual answer sheets!
Ex: student on card six is writing their answer in the spot for number six on their paper.
Split your students into two groups. The first group should make a large circle facing inward. The remaining students should each find a student in the circle to pair up (facing each other).
I like to give each student a task card and give them 45 seconds to ask each other the question on the card.
I tell students that if their partner is struggling, they can coach the student to reach the correct answer.
When time is up, the outer circle students remain in place and the inner circle students rotate counter clockwise. This continues until they are back to their original partner.
Variation: Instead of positioning students in circles, try two straight lines. Line A stays in place and line B moves The last person in line B then runs to the front of the line to fill the empty space.
What I really love about this game is that each student will REALLY know their individual card since they have asked it several times over!
TASK CARDS IN THE HALLWAY
Many teachers place the task cards around their classroom. I like to tape the cards on lockers in the hall.
Two reasons I like this:
- During Covid, students can spread out more.
- Students have the opportunity for more movement in the hallway.
WHITE BOARD GAMES
In a small group, give each student a white board. Students take turns flipping over the card and answering it on their white board. Correct answers are worth one point each. Students keep track of their own points.
In the case where students disagree on the answer, the key is always close by!
Do you have extra board games in your classroom? Switch the rules around and have students answer a question before making their move. Connect 4 is an easy game to play with task cards and adds a little bit of a challenge!
READY TO GET STARTED IN YOUR CLASSROOM?
Here is a list of ALL of my science task cards! They can be purchased separately, or save 20% in a bundle!
Best Selling Task Cards
- Scientific Method Task Cards
- Moon Phases, Eclipses, and Tides Task Cards
- Energy Transformations Task Cards
- Earth’s Atmosphere Task Cards
- Water Pollution and Human Impact Task Cards
- Topographic Map Task Cards
Teaching Virtually This Year???
Check out my my blog post “Your Guide to Digital Task Cards in the Classroom.” In this post you will learn tips and tricks for using digital task cards in both virtually and in person!