Monday, January 19, 2015

Task Cards 101 & a Freebie

I am so excited I discovered these bad boys! Let me let you in on a little secret - I literally just graduated - December 2014 - That's less than a month ago folks... and prior to 2 days ago I had never even heard of such a thing as TASK CARDS. Well let me tell you, my eyes have been opened, and I am in awe of these little wonderful tools.
After my first discovery I decided that I would need to do my research - AKA stalk the teacher blogs :) If you saw my last post on my TPT sale here you would have seen I was amazed by the collection of task cards Working 4 the Classroom had - seen in her post here. Also check out Pro Teachers and there task cards - there are SOOOO many at - you can get the compiled list complete with links here
Next to help me out was Task Card Corner - the name says it all ladies and gents - for information on task card everything this is the place to go! Mary's teaching blog is entitled, Teaching with a Mountain View - also some great stuff over there, but I was focused on her task cards so I didn't look much there yet.

So anyways, I was going through all the information on this site - all of which is great - but I stumbled upon the fact that Mary uses task cards for... wait for it... early finisher work! GENIUS! I do not think I dislike anything more than busy work - for those few students who always finish early I think this is a wonderful replacement to, "Go grab a book and read for fifteen minutes." Now, don't get me wrong - reading practice is a must - but being told to go read all the time gets old quick. These cards look fun and interesting - something the kids will be excited about.

Now here's where it gets tricky, the kiddos are going to be so excited to do these "fun" activities that they will rush through their work - leaving you with sloppy papers and students slacking on their effort. Here's the solution - Folders to push accountability. Check out Mary's blog post, Early finisher Task Cards: Beyond Busy Work! Here are her Incomplete Work and Early Finisher Folders - complete with a Work Log (the answer to our tricky problem)!

She has this available through her blog post linked above for free through a google document link. I went ahead and used this for inspiration to create my own that I thought would fit my classroom best. Now many people hang their task cards on flip flip flop holders like this one available on Amazon. You can get it by clicking the picture to the left. It's $10. Basically you put the task cards on rings and hang them up, flip the cards as you use them - pretty easy. 
Now, I'm not using this method. I'm not sure why but I just felt like I wouldn't like it - don't ask me, sometimes if I have an idea I just need to try it out. I will be using my task cards in a pocket chart like the one to the right, also available on Amazon, just click the picture - it's $10 also. Yes, I am aware that it is for scheduling but I think it will work as all the task cards I created are about 3x4. 

This brings me to my next piece of business - what I created thanks to Mary's inspiration. Here it is, folder cover, work log, folder pocket labels, and labels for task card topics for the pocket chart. You can get these for FREE over at my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. The task cards will also reside in the pocket chart when as we use them and you can see more about them here.

Last bit of information - Organization! Mary from Task Card Corner also gave me wonderful ideas for that. Head on over and check her out. The blog post that helped me out was Task Card Storage & Organization Coupon holders to the RESCUE! Check out Mary's b-e-a-u-tiful solution.

Isn't it just gorgeous?! You can pick up really cute coupon organizers in the dollar spot in Target or at the Dollar Tree - two of my most favorite places. Here is a link (click the photo below) similar to the container Mary found in Target, available online at Target for $7.99.
Check out my Pinterest Board - Task Cards for all of these links and more - and for continued updates on all things Task Cards (my new addiction!)

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