Tuesday, June 30, 2020

5 Ways to Use Task Cards in the Classroom

Do you use task cards in the classroom??

I LOVE using task cards in my classroom. Over the years, I have collected, created, printed, laminated, and cut A LOT of task cards. My collection has grown quite large over the years.

Today I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why I LOVE task cards and 5 ways to use them in your classroom.

Task cards are so great because they offer valuable practice, review, and reinforcement for students of important concepts. Being that we are a testing grade, students need lots of practice to ensure they have mastered the skills before that dreaded test. It kills me to see worksheets xeroxed, used, piled up on my desk (to be graded), returned,  stuffed into cubbies or desks, then dumped into the trash can. Task cards allow practice for students without having a gazillion worksheets to go through. The plus side of it though is that students love them too. My students often cheer when they find that it is time to work on task cards. 

The neat thing about task cards is that there are so many different ways to use them. 

Here are some of our favorite ways to use task cards in our classroom:


  1. For a game of SCOOT, students are all seated at their desks. 
  2. They each get one task card and a recording sheet. 
  3. Assign the cards around the room in number order. 
  4. Students record their answers on their recording sheet, then quietly wait until the teacher calls SCOOT. 
  5. Once SCOOT is called, students will pick up their pencils, recording sheets, and SCOOT to the next seat to answer the next task card. 
  6. Continue this rotation until all task cards have been answered.

Students LOVE SCOOT. They think of it as a game. I love it because it's a great formative assessment to see who knows what as well as to see misunderstandings they may be having. It's also a time for some peace and quiet :) 

SCOOT works best for skills that don't require much thinking time such as rounding, identifying parts of speech, fractions, etc. This would not be an ideal activity for things like word problems or elapsed time problems.

*If your desks are in an odd configuration, you will need to identify the movements around the room beforehand to avoid any confusion. 


Students also love hunting for their task cards. This is most often a center rotation.

I will tape task cards up around the room, and students will go around with a clipboard and their recording sheets. They find a card and record their answer on their recording sheets. For sake of time, I teach my students that they do not have to answer questions in number order. Find whatever card and record that answer in the correct box.

Since I use this as a center in my math workshop I also use these answers as a formative assessment for groups adjustments. Depending on the concept and how much the kids finished, I may or may not have them do ALL the cards.