September 13, 2014

Spark Student Motivation: Task Cards

Happy Saturday everyone!!  This Saturday has pretty much been the absolute best.....and I can basically attribute that to the GORGEOUS weather we are having in Kansas right now!

66 degrees.....slight breeze....sunny.....on September 13th?!?!

This is pretty much unheard of in Kansas for this time of year.  Typically it is still scorching hot....and every. single. person is ready for summer to be over......but not is PERFECT!

Now that my beautiful weather rant is over.....the real point of this post is to link up with Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Linky. She typically has the linky every if you are looking for fresh ways to motivate your students...hop on over and check out some of the posts!!

In my way I motivate my students is by using task cards.  The kids love that they are able to get up and move around the room....and I love that they are getting practice with various skills.  In the past, I have written posts on task cards and their powerful impact.... if you want you can read that here

Anyway, As you know (well some of you) my husband is a teacher too.....and I recently introduced him on to the idea of  task cards.  When he peaked an interest in this strategy......I barely could contain my excitement.  I mean...I LOVE task cards!

So he tried it out this week in his 6th grade math class......    

The kids loved it so much.....that they actually begged him for more task cards!! husband loved it so much....that he happily agreed!  

In fact his exact words to me in an email said:

"Those worked AWESOME!  The kids worked like crazy the whole time and were even talking about how fun it was!!"

So his sixth graders did task cards this week.....not once....but twice!!  

His kiddos are working on division and order of the used the task cards pictured below. 


The hubs used his task cards two ways.

For the first time he used the "Magic Number" way of using task cards:

  1. Give each student a specific starting number.  Example: Johnny started at 6, Baylee started at 9, etc.
  2. After the student completed a problem, they had to check their work with him or a para.  If they got it right they could move on, if they got it wrong they had to re-work the problem with his help.
  3. The kids worked and worked until the time was up.
  4. He picked a "magic number" and if the kids got that many questions correctly completed they got a jolly rancher.  Example: Mr. Orr picked 5 as the "magic number" so whoever got at least 5 candy.  He did not tell them the magic number until the end....this made them work harder!!!
For the second time he used the "Scoot" way of using task cards:
  1. Give each student a specific starting number.  Example: Johnny started at 6, Baylee started at 9, etc
  2. Students got 1 minute and 15 seconds to work each problem (or more or less time depending on the needs of your students)
  3. Timer goes off.....and students scoot to the next problem.
  4. Repeat until students have worked on all problems, or class time is over. 
Well that's that folks.......Task Cards Rock....and they are definitely a way to spark student motivation!!!  


  1. I love task cards too! I usually use them with Scoot and my favorite part is that they're still working just as hard as they would if we gave them a worksheet, but now they're up and moving so they don't feel like they're working! (Don't you love the way we trick them?!?!) It's a win-win. I like the magic number trick too, I think I'll add that to my Scoot game! Thanks for sharing and linking up Katie!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

    1. I do love that task cards trick them....haha! Thanks for clicking over to read my blog post!!


  2. Task Cards work for just about every age!! My students beg for them. Funny how they don't realize they are working!! Yours look great! We can't give non-healthy treats in our district any longer due to obesity and sugar rules!! But there are other ways to still make that magic number work!


    1. Ya my kiddos think that task cards are more of a game....and there is no part of me that is going to tell them otherwise! If they like it....AND they are getting practice on various skills ...then I call that a win-win!! Thanks for stopping by my blog!!


  3. I've used task cards for Scoot, but I've never tried the "Magic Number" version! Going to try it out very soon...I'm sure my kids will love it! Thanks for the idea! :) I also love taping task cards around the room and having the kids go on "scavenger hunts" to find and solve each card! Great post!


    1. A scavenger hunt sounds like a fun activity!! :) I am trying to design something that takes them from one card to the next.....sort of like I have, Who has?? Anyway...the idea is up in my brain...if only I could figure out how to do it! Ha! Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

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