Why & How to Use Task Cards in The Classroom

Why?

Task Cards Save Paper: Using task cards can cut down on the number of copies and paper used because you don’t need to make a set for each student and if laminated or kept in protective sleeves, they can be used for years without printing new copies. 

Task Cards Increase Engagement: They add to student engagement because they add novelty. Paper and pencil practice is certainly useful, but can become dull and routine.  Using dry erase markers on a task card can mix things up a bit.  Also, task cards can be printed with fun colors and clip art to add interest for the students.

How? 

Centers and or Work Stations – Print cards and keep in small containers or baggies.  Have students work in pairs or groups solving problems on task cards and recording on a record sheet.  I like using record sheets for two reasons. One, the students are more likely to stay on task if they know they will have to turn something in at the end of the center. And, the other reason, I like to look over the record sheets to see if students need re-teaching or extra help with the skill/concept worked on in the center.  If you do not have a lot of copy paper you can always have students use notebook paper to create a record sheet.  Have them write the name of the center on the paper and then number or letter their answers.

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Whole Class Cooperative Groups – My suggestions for whole class would be the same as for work stations & centers except you would need one set of task cards for each table group.  After learning or reviewing a concept with whole class, the students could work on the cards with their table groups.   After the group work you could have a class discussion about the task cards as a way to wrap up. Another whole class activity which would require only one set of task cards is a “Scoot” or circuit.  To set up a Scoot you have a different task card on each desk and have the students work in pairs rotating around the set of task cards in numerical or alphabetical offer.  Some teachers will set a timer for scoot and others will let students move as they finish.  For a FREE  “Scoot Record Sheet” that can be used with any set of task cards, click here.

ScootSheetPREVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mastering Multiplication

Knowing multiplication facts help students see the patterns and relationships between numbers that are needed to be successful in other areas of math!   Division, renaming fractions, and balancing equations are just a few examples where being able to recall facts quickly and correctly are extremely helpful!

So what do you do as a teacher or a parent of  upper elementary or older students who have not mastered the multiplication facts? Continue reading

Decomposing Fractions

There have been a lot of changes in Math instruction over the past few years. One change that I wasn’t so sure about at first was “decomposing fractions“.  At the time I was teaching third grade and there were already so many things to teach about fractions. But, let me tell you, now that I am tutoring 4th, 5th and 6th graders, I see how decomposing fractions really helps them to understand the “bigger” things that they do. Continue reading

To PEMDAS or Not to PEMDAS?

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I tutor students from a few different schools/districts and I have found that I now have to ask them if they use PEMDAS, GEMS, or GEMA. And just last week I learned about GEMDAS. If you search Pinterest you will find that some people have very strong opinions about this topic. I have read some good blog posts about order of operations lately and it has me thinking. Continue reading

Back to School Math

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Back to School – Getting your child ready for a great year in Math!

Some of you are cringing and some of you are celebrating, and most of us are somewhere in between, but one thing is for sure. Summer is in its final stages and school is just around the corner. There are back to school sales everywhere. Now is the perfect time to get deals on supplies, clothes, backpacks, and new shoes. Now is also the perfect time to help your child prepare for a successful year academically. I am not suggesting a full  day of rigorous home schooling before school starts, but some basic review of last years skills and preview of this years’ skills can give your child a huge head start for going back to school!     Continue reading