Posts tagged differentiation
Why I Love Task Cards

I have to be honest, I had never heard of task cards before this school year.

I know, I’m way behind on this one!

I found out about task cards as a necessity, I had a student who was struggling, and I needed a way to find extra practice for him on that particular topic.

A little bit of googling led me to ... task cards!

What are task cards?

For those unfamiliar, task cards are cards (4-6 usually fit on one 8.5”x11” piece of paper) that have educational ‘tasks’ on them.

Task cards can be created for all subjects.

A set of math task cards would usually come in a pack of  about 20, and would be geared for a particular subject.

They might have questions for a student to solve, things for them to find around the room, or mental math problems for them to figure out.

The great part about task cards is that the cards themselves can be re-used for years to come!

I have to say, I am now one of the biggest advocates of these teaching tools as a method for easily differentiating learning in any classroom.

It is so simple to put together a series of cards for any subject, and then to give them out to different students, as they need to work on a subject.

In my room, we do this most often with math.

(Above: 3D Shape Task Cards easily used with our unit on geometric shapes!) 

Need some extra practice with geometric shapes?  No problem, grab those cards! 

Having difficulty multiplying with tens... no problem, grab the cards and work on that with a buddy who already understands the concept! 

I can easily divide my students into small groups and tailor the lesson for exactly what each one needs, without having to continuously photocopy worksheet after worksheet.

I love that once task cards are laminated, they are reusable and kid-friendly.

I keep mine in a colourful bucket on the carpet and my students have been known to grab a pack in their spare time just to “see if [they] can do it!”

Have you ever used task cards in your classroom? Do you have a go-to pack?

- Rachel

Check out PART TWO of this series, “What to do With Task Cards” for more ideas of how to creatively incorporate task cards into your classroom routines.

The Easy Way to do Subtraction

Subtraction in Third Grade is not always as easy as it looks! 

There are parts I love about teaching.  Reading? Writing?  Speaking?  All over those!  Creative centers and integreated learning? Check and check!

But math?  Sometimes I feel like I am totally 'rocking it' and other times it seems like my lessons go in one ear and out the other!  I have to work extra hard to make sure that my students are getting the best possible math education.  Finding strategies that work for everyone in my class is a constant juggling act! 

Am I alone in this?

I spend my evenings on Pinterest, and reading other blogs about strategies that work for other teachers, and I try to implement them in my classroom.  I desperately want my kiddos to succeed.

Recently, our math curriculum introduced subtraction with missing numbers.  Boy, were we lost.  Do we add?  Do we subtract?  What is the question even asking.  There are so many times when the materials we have (especially the text book), are just not enough!

So I started from scratch.  I made new worksheets, new posters, and a new "cheat sheet" to help guide my confused bunch of third graders.  After a bunch of repeated practice... I think we have it!  Praise the Lord!

So, I am sharing it with you.  Use it, try it, let me know if it helps your kids to master this concept.  Although this is available on Teachers Pay Teachers blog readers can have it for FREE as part of my Free Resource Library (See the link at the top of the page that says 'Resources') when they sign up for my mailing list.  

Once you sign up, the password to the library will come straight to your inbox. PLUS there are other great units and printables in there as well!  

I promise not to spam your mailbox (nobody likes multiple e-mails a month, or even a week!), but it's a great way for us to stay caught up, and for me to send more free lessons and units your way.

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- Rachel

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