Do you hear groans throughout the room when you hand out another worksheet? While worksheets are important reinforcement tools, mix things up with a different way of delivery for that same worksheet!
Have you ever tried task cards? I love task cards, and using task cards has become my favorite reinforcement tool. Best of all, my students love them too! Next time you get ready to print another worksheet, give task cards a try. Task cards are my go-to teacher tool for everything from reinforcement, inquiry, review before tests, review before state exam, quizzes, assignment, practice, lab practicals, and so much more. Read on to discover how this incredible tool can revolutionize your teaching approach. Particularly beneficial for high school chemistry educators, task cards are versatile, engaging, and adaptable resources that can help deliver content and assess student learning. In this post, I will highlight eleven innovative ways to incorporate task cards into your classroom using the ‘Chemistry Task Cards for the Year’ bundle available at Chemistry Corner. This five-star-rated bundle, loved by educators who have used it, offers both print and digital task cards, perfect for all teaching and learning styles.
These eleven methods include:
- Individual Learning
- Group Activities
- Differentiating Instruction
- Homework Assignments
- Lab Stations
- Warm-Up & Exit Tickets
- EOC, Mid-Term, & Final Exam Reviews
- Use as Part of a Lab Experiment
- Flipped Classroom
Task cards are a phenomenal tool for facilitating individual learning. As one educator has found, “Task cards are a great way to keep the students working, while I go around and give individual or small group help”. Task cards cater to individual learning paces and styles with the option of color, black and white, or digital versions.
Task cards are not just for individual learning – they’re also outstanding tools for group activities. My favorite way to use task cards with group or partners is with white boards. This is my students’ favorite way also.
I have my students divided into lab groups for labs and community groups for non-lab activities. This would be a community group activity. I have 32 white boards in my room. They are large (4 ft. x 4 ft.). They can be used as one per group for presentations, one per pair, or one per person.
White boards can be bought at Home Depot. They are called “shower board”. They come in 8 ft. x 4 ft. boards. I have Home Depot cut them in half there at the store. They aren’t as nice as “real” white board. But they do the job and last for years. If you treat them with a light layer of “Turtle Wax”, they will last longer. Also, if you know someone with a router, you can have the edges softened up and even cut handles in the top.
For group practice with task cards, I have community groups go to the lab benches, and each student has their own board and marker. Each student has their own task card. Sometimes I’ll give every table the same four cards, or use two sets of cards, (8 cards), with every other group getting a different set. Once students are finished with their tasks, they change places with their partner and grade their partners work on their partners white board. They love writing in red as they grade—just not when we use red. Next, have the partners in the same group exchange cards and start again. I monitor students as they work. Then groups can exchange task cards.
It is so much easier to see what they are doing on the whiteboards rather than looking over their shoulders at the desks. It’s like having wall-to-wall whiteboards! From quizzes to partner work, task cards can foster collaboration and teamwork among students. They promote interaction and peer learning.
How often do we teachers hear those words? Task cards are the easiest way I have found to help learners of different ability levels. By making customized sets of cards, you can give a student exactly what they need to be successful. Students can complete the cards you have given them and never know that other students have different sets of cards.
With the option of editable task cards, you can customize the learning material to the specific needs of your students. This ensures every learner is engaged and challenged appropriately, catering to different learning styles and abilities.
Task cards make focused and effective homework assignments. The digital option on Google Slides allows students to engage with the material outside the classroom, reinforcing lessons and concepts learned during school hours.
Task cards can serve as a form of formative assessment. By evaluating student performance on these tasks, you can gain insights into their understanding of the material. The ‘Chemistry Task Cards for the Year’ bundle includes a custom student answer sheet and task card key, making it easier to track progress and identify areas for further instruction. Task cards can be used as quizzes with students moving around the room while filling in their answer sheet. Try using task cards as an in-class assignment with cards passed around the room. Or finally, I have used them for “races”. This involves students finding the task cards that have been hidden around the room and completing a certain number of tasks first.
I use task cards for game activities. They can be used as a scavenger hunt, with board games, jeopardy style games, and group competitions.
This is another of my favorite ways to use task cards. Students of all ages get tired of sitting in a desk all day. My students really enjoy being out of their seats and moving about the room. That’s why I enjoy using task cards with groups and with lab stations. I place 2 to 3 task cards at each station and have the students rotate through the stations. This saves paper and printing since you will only need one class set of task cards.
Warm-up and Exit Tickets
Task cards can be used as warm-up activities at the start of class or transition activities at the end of topics or lessons. The bundle covers a wide range of topics, from “Introduction to Chemistry” to “States of Matter & The KMT”, making it easy to segue from one lesson to the next seamlessly.
EOC, Mid-Term, & Final Exam Review
When reviewing end of course tests, mid-terms or finals, I place different sets of task cards in plastic boxes and arrange them around the room. Students select a set of cards and review through them in small groups. When finished with one set, they select another. During this time, I will be able to monitor students that are struggling, or even pulling a small group to work with a particular subject.
Use as Part of the Lab Experiment
When setting up a lab, include a couple of task cards at lab stations for students to answer and add to their lab report. This is a great way to keep students focused during the lab, and lead learning and conclusions.
In a flipped classroom setting, task cards are invaluable. Students can prepare for the lesson at home using the task cards, allowing classroom time to be used for discussion, application, and deeper exploration of the concepts.
Because task cards can be used in so many ways, they have earned a permanent place in my teaching arsenal. They are fun and engaging, and provide excellent opportunities for students of all ability levels to master the subject matter.
From individual study to group work, differentiated instruction to formative assessment, task cards can bring a new level of versatility to your chemistry teaching. And the best part? Once they are printed, laminated, and cut out, they will be a resource that you can use for years to come. They truly are a worthwhile investment for both you and your students.
Ready to transform your chemistry teaching? Purchase the ‘Chemistry Task Cards for the Year’ bundle today and explore the myriad ways you can incorporate task cards into your classroom. Remember to check back for updates, as more task cards and digital task cards are being added to the bundle over time.
Here are just a few of the task card sets available in my TpT store:
- Introduction to Chemistry Task Cards
- Introduction to Chemistry Lab Task Cards
- Measurement Task Cards
- Sig Figs Task Cards
- Mole Conversions Task Cards
- Atomic Structure Task Cards
- Chemical Bonding with Lewis Structures Task Cards
- Let’s Talk Lewis Structures Task Cards
- Nomenclature Task Cards
- % Composition, Empirical & Molecular Formulas Task Cards
- Balancing Chemical Equations Task Cards
- Balancing Chemical Equations II Task Cards
- Stoichiometry Task Cards
- Stoichiometry Scavenger Hunt Task Cards
- States of Matter & the KMT Task Cards
- Gas Laws Scavenger Hunt Task Cards
Or you can just click this link to view all of them!
Here’s to creating empowering and engaging learning experiences in your chemistry classroom!