Sunday, June 30, 2013

Task Cards - How I Use and Store Them

I have been away for a while due to needing some time to rest after a long school year. 
Just as the school year ended, my laptop crashed (without warning!) and I had to purchase a new one.  Fortunately, my step-father gave me an external hard drive that I had been using to back-up my files.  If you aren’t backing up your documents, I STRONGLY suggest you do this immediately!  I could not have imagined losing all that I had saved on that laptop.

The last time I blogged, I had a small giveaway for my favorite color crayon out of a 24 box Crayola crayons.  Unfortunately, no one was able to guess my favorite color.  I would still love to giveaway the product.  If you would like to win one, please go here and take a guess. Read the comments, my mom left you a hint.  I will send a copy to the first person who can guess my favorite color.

My students and I love using task cards in the classroom. They are convenient and there are so many ways you can use them.  Here are a few ways I use them in my classroom:

·      to play Scoot  (I love any chance for them to get up and move!)

·      I hang them around the walls of my classroom for students to walk around and solve.  (another opportunity to move)

·      literacy and math centers

·      small groups

·      whole class I place them under the projector and show them on the SMART Board.  The students use their white boards to answer the task card.  This is a good way to do an informal assessment.

·      Jeopardy game I place them in a pocket chart and assign a value to the question.  We play the game just like the original game of Jeopardy.

·      To play Quiz, Quiz, Trade
For my first year of using these wonderful tools, storage was a HUGE problem.  I could not find a system that worked for me.  I needed something that would hold task cards (of all sizes), answer keys, and the recording sheets.  I like to have everything in one place.

About three years ago, I found a perfect solution to my problem.

Here are the six things I use when preparing my task cards for classroom use and storage.
laminating sheets to laminate the task card cover sheet and the task cards
scissors to cut out the task cards, like you didn’t know that
Ziploc (in this case Dollar Store Brand) bags I buy the sandwich, quart, and gallon size bags.  I place the task cards in the bags depending upon their size.
glue dots I use these to attach the laminated cover sheet to the front of the 9x12 clasped envelopes.  One dot in each corner has been enough for me.
velcro mini dots I attach two of these to the back top of the envelope to keep them closed.  Over the years, I have found that those clasps don’t hold up well after being opened and closed several times by nine and ten year olds.  Velcro is easy and last over the wear of being used.
9x12 clasped envelopes I attach the laminated cover sheet to the front of the envelope.  Then I place the answer key, recording sheets, and task cards in the envelope.
This system may seem like it has a few too many steps, but after trying many different ways this is definitely what works best for me.  My task cards have lasted for a few years and very few have gone missing.  Not one has been torn or destroyedsaid as I knock on wood
Here is a post where I share where I store these envelopes.
Check out Melissa’s post at Common Core & SoMuch More for other ways to store task cards.

Do you use task cards in your classroom?  I would love to hear how you use them and your storage solutions.


  1. I am glad you were able to have some time to yourself, we all need "me time."

    I like the way you store your task cards...I am still trying to figure out a way. Right now I just have them in my files, but I feel like I forget they are there and I miss using some of them.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. I love that you took some time for yourself! All of this can be soooo overwhelming! I like your storage system-very organized!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. Great tips. We use a lot of task cards in our room too. I love how you organize them. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners