Friday, April 19, 2013

Decimal and Money Task Cards: Common Core Aligned for Grades 4 and 5

My fourth graders have just finished up their unit on decimals and money and as a treat for the day before spring break, I made them a set of task cards all about decimals and money.  They had a great time!

We played the scoot version of this game where the task cards are set out around the room and kids move around the room in any order they choose and complete each task card.  They don't have to go in order and the task cards are not laid out around the room in order.  (I have tried doing it in order and it creates a mess because kids work at such different paces!) For my very early finishers, I have a few blank task cards and I hand them one of these and have them create a task for their peers.  They also have to show me that they know the answer!  This helps to assure it is a task at a doable level for the kids in the group.

When more than a few students finish, I start pairing kids up with other kids who are done.  They then get to have a "math talk."  What that means is that they go over their answer together and on any where they disagree, they go back and find that task card and solve the problem together.  They do this until they agree on all of their answers.  Occasionally, I will need to step in and help them with a problem that they can't come to an agreement on, but it is pretty rare.  I also created an answer key so I can quickly check students work as they finish their math talk.

 The papers of 2 of my students involved in a math talk

I love task card days because kids get such great independent practice and they think they are doing something really fun!  All the kids were very engaged, even though today is our last day before spring break!

Here are a few other ways I use task cards
- Track math: When the weather is nice, I love to head outside with kids and use our one eight mile gravel track for math.  Check out this post for more information.
- Warm-ups or transitions.  Put one of these task cards under your document camera and students can solve it as they are getting settled down for math class
- Formative assessment: Give one, two or more of these task cards to students to see how well they understood the concepts in your lesson.  This is a quick way to check in with kids and one of my favorite formative assessment strategies.
- Print and give for homework.  You can print one page at a time and give for homework as you move through your unit or send the whole pack at once with a longer due date.
- Review/games/test prep: These are a fun way to review for local and state assessments

 Blank task cards for early finishers.  Having some of these on hands gives your early finishers something to do and kids LOVE creating things for their classmates!

These task cards are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Click here to go check them out!

1. I like that there is time for the math talk between students. Thanks for this idea on how to use task cards.

1. Hi Krislinn,
Thanks for the comment! Let me know how to contact you and I will send you these task cards

2. I love this idea of MathTalk among the students. It is really a great activity for students to learn from each other through collaboration. The activity demonstrates the 80/20 rule of slowing students to do 80% of the work and teacher completes 20% of the work.

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2. Hi Rhonda
Math talk is so powerful! I love the 80/20 rule. Let me know how to contact you and I will send you a set of these task cards

3. Love this idea!

4. Thanks Danielle!

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6. I just started having students check their work against one another. It is interesting to hear them try to convince their partner they are right! Just found your blog today. Does the offer for the task cards still stand? :) Can't wait to read more!

1. Hi Jenny,
So glad you dropped by! The offer for task cards still stands! What I can't figure out is how to get them to you without having you post your email for the world to see. I don't want you getting tons of spam but want you to have the task cards! If anyone can help me out with how to do this, I would appreciate it!

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9. I can't tell you've had five comments for the free cards or not, but I'd love them if you haven't given away the free sets! I just found your blog tonight and I'm so excited about it!

10. Fantastic idea! I'm going to adapt them for 3rd grade. I also really like the scoot idea -can be used in many subjects. :)

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12. I do friendly competitions with task cards. Usually I have the kiddos pair up with one of their pre-arranged "clock buddies". Then they get to work. Each pair checks in with me once they complete a card. If correct, they move up a ladder that I draw on the board. It's a "race" to see who can get all cards finished or get the highest during the alloted times. We use magnets to track how far up they go. Great data and I can redirect or offer help as needed. When they do work alone, I record data for each problem. And they always ask me when we are doing task cards again!! :)