Task Cards: Reviews Made Fun

My name is Courtney, and I'm addicted to task cards.  Two years ago I had no idea what task cards were. Boy was I missing out!!! Once I learned about task cards and what they could do, I was eager to try them out in the classroom... I was HOOKED!!  Not wanting to overwhelm myself, I slowly eased into implementing task cards in my classroom. This past year, I really started experimenting with ways to use task cards while keeping students engaged. Day in and day out, I try to throw anything and everything I can at the students to keep their minds fresh! Being a science teacher allows me to have fun while still teaching relevant content. This past school year was rough for me (see previous post), and I REALLY tried to implement as many new teaching strategies as possible.  I tried Nearpod and LOVED it (maybe that will be my next post). My district is trying to get more technology into the classrooms, which means I got an iPad cart for my room in January.  There are so many different ways to introduce and practice new concepts, especially with technology. The one that I always come back to is using task cards as a review. Task cards are an amazing way to review and practice concepts and an easy way to get a grade.  There are lots of different ways to implement task cards. My favorite way is for students to get up and MOVE!! I hang the cards up around the room, give each student an answer sheet, and assign them the number task card where they start.  There are five classes of 4th graders at my school.  We have 50 minute classes, and YES... everyday I see all 100 students. Each student has a number for their homeroom, and usually it is based on their last name. For example, Mike Adams would be #1 and Colbie Anderson would be #2.  So, there are five #1's because there are five classes.  It does make it easy, especially when task card time comes around.  The #1 students in each class start at task card #1, and so on.  When I give the signal, the students go find their number task card, and they answer it.  They wait until I give the signal (I usually give them about one-two minutes to answer the question); then they go to the next number card. For example, student #19 will go to card #20, and student #20 will go to card #1 (there's 20 cards).  When everyone has visited all the task cards, I collect the papers and grade them.  Here's a sample from my Properties of Soil Task Cards: (Click the images below to grab a set for you)

 Properties of Soil Task Cards

I love having colorful task cards with pictures.  It's also a plus to have higher level thinking questions! This is a sample from my Slow Changes to Earth's Surface {Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition} Task Cards:

 Slow Changes to Earth's Surface

An even better way to use task cards builds off of my previous example and uses every students' favorite thing... TECHNOLOGY. Instead of collecting the answer sheets after all students have answered, have them go around one more time and use QR codes to check the answers.  With this way, the students go around once to answer all the questions. Then, the students grab a red pen (this is what our students use to correct their work), put their pencil away, grab their iPad, and they go around again to check their answers.  Yes, it seems rather monotonous, but the students LOVE scanning the QR codes to see if they got the correct answer.  Plus, they are using a red pen to correct which means they can't change their answers.  So, they are basically doing the correcting for you!  HE HE - DON'T TELL THEM THAT!!!! I have implemented task cards other ways as well. One way was doing the exact same thing as above, but the students put their chairs in a giant circle around the room- they have to spread out enough so that they can't touch the students' hands on either side of them.  I do this so that they can't cheat since my main goal is to see what they know individually. It's like a fun formative assessment.  Here's an example of how the QR codes look.  Just copy the task card page and corresponding QR code answers front to back, and you've got yourself some FUN and ENGAGING task cards!!!!

Back to what I was saying at the beginning... I LOVE TASK CARDS!!! Seriously, y'all- if I could teach exclusively with task cards I would. Since I'm a fairly new seller on TPT, I thought I would get my seller's feet wet with creating task cards that can be used with the Texas TEKS, since I'm a Texas teacher (it still feels strange to say that, even after 2 years). There are two different ways to prep these task cards: one way is to copy the front of the task card (like the traditional way) and the second way is to copy the QR code on the back of the task cards and have the students check the answers with a QR code reader.  If you're not lucky enough to have one iPad for every child, you can have them work in pairs or even include it as a station. There are so many possibilities!!  If you love using task cards as much as I do or have never used task cards and want to try them out, just click on each link to check out the various concepts covered :

 Force and Motion Task Cards

 Forms of Energy Task Cards

 Mixtures and Solutions Task Cards

 Properties of Matter Task Cards

 Science Tools and Science Safety Task Cards

I'm adding more task cards each week... I hope y'all will check them out!!! 

Bye friends!!!!

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