in the urban school district where I teach spend much of their time away from
school playing video games and watching television. You might think their lack of physical
activity would make them perfectly happy sitting at a table in my classroom all
day; however, if anything, the students are more restless. It isn’t the
sedimentary life style they crave but the entertainment so often associated
with it. In order to reach my most
reluctant learners, I can’t just teach them.
I have to entertain them.
manage to entertain them without an acting or theater background? TASK CARDS!
I’ve been able to find task cards for any topic I teach in my
fourth-grade classroom, most of them created by the Queen of Task Cards, Rachel
Lynette. Teacher blogs, Facebook, and
Pinterest are full of ideas on how to use task cards in an entertaining
way. Some of my favorites are listed
In this activity, one Task Card is placed in front of each student. Students have a set amount of time to answer
the question, then at the signal (my Responsive Classroom chime), they grab
their answer sheets and “Scoot” to the next seat! By the time they have made a complete trip
around the class, they’ve answered multiple questions without realizing it. My
students love this game so much, and they stay on task so they can answer the
question and be ready to scoot before the signal!
version of Scoot, but still has the students moving around the room. I set this up during lunch or a special by
taping the Task Cards around the room. I
place some at eye level, some low to the floor, some on the windows, and some
on the side of my desk. Students move about
the room in a random order and answer the questions at their own pace, as no
signal is used for this activity. My
only rule is that there can’t be more than two students waiting for a card; they
must find an empty spot each time.
when I have a few minutes between classes or activities. I read one of the cards and assign sides of
the room to each choice. For example, I
might pick a card with the question, “Would you rather be able to fly or be
able to turn invisible?” Then, I ask students to stand on one side of the room
if they’d rather be able to fly and another side if they’d rather be able to
turn invisible. I ask two or three
students on each side why they made that choice, as this gives us a chance to
learn things about each other while getting out of our seats for some movement. This same activity can be used with any
multiple-choice Task Card set, so that students are able to choose a section of
the room corresponding to each answer choice.
many ways Task Cards can be used to practice the skills you need to teach,
while at the same time entertaining students and getting them active!
fourth-grade teacher in Euclid, Ohio, and am currently in my 28th
year of teaching. In addition to
fourth-grade, I’ve taught fifth-grade and worked as a technology resource
teacher. I started my own store on
TeachersPayTeachers in February 2013, to share my love of graphics, fonts, and
creating my own resources. My teenage daughter came up with the name of my
store, Counting on Words, because I create products for both reading and math. You can follow me at: Counting on Words.