I have an absolute love/hate relationship with task cards. Ok, maybe more like a hate/hate relationship. I just truly feel that there are many flaws with task cards that do not benefit the students OR the teacher. Task cards are not differentiated. They do not provide any type of scaffolding for students. If you want to differentiate your cards, you have to have multiple sets!
Also, task cards take too much time. You print 30 cards and expect all of your students to finish them all? What if they don’t need to? Would most of your students would benefit from doing something harder? Oh, and don’t even get me started on grading! How long does it take to grade twenty-five students and each having thirty cards?
I bet you see it now too. Above all, the lack of data, time, purpose, grading, and differentiation all make task cards a waste of time. What if I said there was a way to REVOLUTIONIZE your cards? Come see how I’ve been able to turn all of those cons into pros!
Task Cards: Getting More for You & Your Students!
Even though I didn’t like task cards, I used them every once in a while. I decided to think of a way to transform the cards into something a bit more meaningful. Focusing on the cons, I figured out a way to change them into pros. The design is something that fit both my needs and my students’ needs! I call them: Self-Differentiating Task Cards! They may look like a regular task card, but there are SO many ways in which they are different!
The Revolutionized Design
Here is more information about how the task cards are designed. Each set of cards has 30 cards. The cards increase in difficulty from card 1 to card 30. They are set in groups of 5, each group focusing on the same type/level of question. For example, cards 1 through 5 are level one, very simple questions and then cards 6 through 10 are a bit more advanced and ask a different type of question, but still on the same concept.
As students progress, the questions get harder – but don’t worry! There’s a reason for that!
The biggest difference between my task cards and the ones you are used to seeing is that the students will not complete all 30 cards. Based on the students’ abilities, they advance faster or slower through the cards. If a student gets a card correct, they skip through the rest of that section of cards and into the next section. A student gets an answer wrong, they go to the next card in the section, giving them another chance to try that type and level of question again.
How do they know when to progress? At the bottom of each card are directions on where to go based on the answers they give. A separate answer key is also provided as well as cards without directions at the bottom in case you want to use something different. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to differentiate for your students, I’ve got 20 unique differentiation ideas just waiting for you!
Task Card Grading
One of the biggest cons from the ‘old’ way of doing task cards was the grading, but this new design in cards takes away ALL of the grading you have to do! As students complete their cards, they will write down the letter of answer choice on their recording sheet. However, if they are allowed to skip problems because they were told to based on their answer, then they will place an “X” in each of the boxes that they skipped.
After that, when you collect the recording sheets from each student, instead of grading the problems from beginning to end, you will simply look for the student’s frustration point. This is the section(s) in which the student had to answer 3 or more questions in a row. If they had to answer any of the questions after the first question in the row, then that means they got the answer wrong.
To clarify, all you’re doing is looking for each student’s level of frustration and you can record that on the free data sheet that I provide with the cards!
How are these better? Let me count the ways! You now have a self differentiating center you can give to your students. If they are low or high on a specific concept, it’s fine! They will progress at their own speed. If your higher students are truly advanced, they finish and you have something ready that’s more suited for them to work on.
You no longer have to grade thirty cards for each student. And you have AMPLE data at your fingertips to know which level each student is struggling at within a specific concept, not just the concept itself. So you can easily make data groups to enrich or remediate in a snap!
If you’re more of a verbal learner, you can watch a Facebook Live video I did explaining these task cards in detail. Also the directions in the task cards are very detailed and even provide you with loads of ideas for intervention ideas for your students who reach frustration level at each section! As a result, teachers absolutely love these cards and I know you will too!
Whatever concept you need, you are covered! Both reading task cards and math task cards can be found in my TpT store! Want them both? You can grab them together at an even bigger discounted rate, too!
Also, loving the colorful photo containers to store your task cards? These are the Iris Multi-Colored Photo boxes and they work perfectly!
If I have convinced you of one thing today, it’s that task cards the old way are NOT worth the time!
In conclusion, you deserve better and your students deserve better. So do more! You can try my Main Idea task cards for free to make sure you love them.
If you ever have any questions about them, please feel free to email me. I understand they are different and might take some getting used to, but they are worth it! Don’t just take it from me – check out what these teachers had to say!
Justine S. said “I have so much to share about this awesome resource. First of all, it’s a growing bundle. That part, is fantastic! I’ve printed all of the task cards completed, so far. I LOVE that the answer sheet is universal, that the differentiation is TRULY embedded, and that I will have actual data that will guide my instruction. No wheel to be reinvented to meet my student’s needs.
It’s all been done for me. I especially love that you’ve included some interventions for areas that students may struggle in. Feeling ecstatic about the grammar coming soon. I will absolutely be purchasing them. Too bad your bundle doesn’t come with card stock. HA HA. I know, you can’t do it all. If you are a teacher on the fence about this purchase…. add it to your cart and buy it. You will not regret this purchase. I pinky swear.”
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