April 14, 2014

Task Cards...with a twist :)

I am about to let you all in on a deep dark secret......

I LOVE task cards!!!

It's true... I love them.  I really, really love them!  They are super easy to print, cut out and set around your room.  They get the kids up and moving.  They are superb for differentiation.  They let you focus on a particular skill.  They are fun for the kids--not another boring worksheet (yay!!).  AND.....the list goes on and on and on!

I know there are several ways to use task cards, and if you haven't visited Rachel Lynette's task cards site......you need too!  She has some great tips and tricks....and some great task card sets!

I am sure most educators know the standard task card procedures, so I won't really elaborate on that topic.

Instead--I am excited to share with you  a new way to use task cards.  A way that makes task cards EVEN MORE engaging (if that's possible....) Who knows--maybe this isn't a new way, but it is new to me....and my kids loved it!

It is called Task Card Risk!  Yep---you heard it here first....Task Card Risk!

Here is what you need:

  1. Any task cards of your choice & the coordinating recording sheets for student use
  2. Dice
  3. Blank index cards (used to make risk cards)
  4. Somewhere to record points (marker board, chalk board, paper, etc).
How to play Task Card Risk

1.  Set out your task cards around the room (For this particular activity I was using my PEMDAS Task 

2.  When students answer a task card, they come show you (aide, para or classroom helper) their answer.  If they get the answer right:
  • They roll the dice.  Whatever number they roll, is how many points they add to their score. (my students kept track of their own score on the marker board)

3.  If the student answers the task card incorrectly, he or she needs to return to the task card and rework the problem.  If the student gets it right on the second try..... he or she will move on to the next problem.  I didn't let the students roll for points if it took them two tries---but that is personal preference. You totally can if you want to!

4. Follow these same steps (student answers, student checks, student rolls for points)  for a set amount of time OR until students finish all the task cards. I personally set a timer for 20-30 minutes.....but that's just me.

5. The real fun begins when time is up or students get all the task cards answered!  Now students have a chance to risk it........

6.  On one side of blank index cards right the word, "Risk" with a question mark.

7.  On the opposite side of the "Risk" index card, write some risky options. Some should be good....and some should be bad.  Some of the options I wrote are:
  • Steal another player's points
  • Trade with another player
  • Give 5 points
  • Take 5 points
  • -10 points
  • -5 points
  • -2 points 
  • +10 points
  • +5 points
  • +2 points

8.  Give students a choice---they can draw a card----OR they can pass. If they draw a card....they MUST do what it says.   

9.  If they choose to take a risk card---have students draw and complete the risk card one at a time.  This gives a dramatic flair to the game. Ha!

10. The winner of the task card game is the person with the most points, after each person has chosen or passed on a risk card!!!

I hope this gives you another way to use task cards in your classroom.  Like I said....my kids loved it!  I think yours will too!!



  1. Awesome! What a fun idea to review previously used activities at the end of the year! :) Thanks for sharing.
    Creating Lifelong Learners

    1. Not a problem! I am always looking for ways to freshen up old ideas :).

  2. I love this! What a fun twist that keeps the students even more engaged! I definitely want to use this tip!

    1. I hope it works out well for you in the classroom. My kiddos loved it! :)

  3. Love this twist!! I, too, use task cards A LOT in math class. This will be fun to try!

    1. Task cards are great....aren't they! I hope you and your kids find it as fun as we did!!

  4. I LOVE task cards and I love this new twist! Thanks for the fun idea!

    Ms. Smith
    Adventures of Ms. Smith

    1. Task cards are pretty amazing....and there are so many great ones out there! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your kids enjoy this idea!!


  5. Hi Katie,

    I work for Teacher Created Materials and was wondering if you would to try out one of our new Vocabulary resources by literacy expert Timothy Rasinski. Here is a link to the Grade 3 resource: http://www.teachercreatedmaterials.com/estore/product/50863

    If you are interested, please feel free to contact me at specials@tcmpub.com.

    Meg Blessing

    1. Meg,

      It would be an honor to try out the vocabulary resource! I really admire and respect the research Timothy Rasinski has done for reading instruction...and I use a lot of his products. I will be contacting you right away! Thank you so much!!


  6. I LOVE this idea!! I use task cards/Scoot games or whatever you call them all the time - they get my little ones moving, which keeps them focused so much longer! I've never considered a twist like this, though! Thanks for the ideas! :)

    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

  7. So I am reading this awesome new idea to review in my classroom and I am reading, and reading, and...I see who wrote this awesome blog...Katie Orr!! Love it deary, using this idea next week :)