Task Card Management

Let me start by saying that I really LOVE using task cards in my classroom. They are such a great way to practice whole group, small group, and independently.  I really enjoy creating them, too. I buy quite a few, but I like making my own so that I can have more than 24 cards.  Most TPT sellers make sets of 24, and my class size often goes past that many.  That makes Scoot harder to play.

Speaking of Scoot, my kids love playing Scoot.  New to Scoot? Well..... Imagine your classroom with 24+ cards available for your kids to visit and respond on an answer sheet.  I like having at least 4 extra cards than students so that there are always a few extra spots open- no waiting for the kids.  Thus, my sets have 28 in them. If you want extra spots and have a set of 24, set out a few post-its with a short task to check off.  Like, check your work, do 5 jumping jacks, etc.

So, you've played Scoot, now what? I like to take my cards and put them in a photo album from Dollar Tree.  I can access them quickly without losing any pieces, they are neatly stored for future use, and they can be set in a center for independent practice.

When you buy them, they will look like this:

I remove the outside cover and replace it with the title page label. I try to make one the right size when I create my sets, but not all sellers do that.  That is a super easy fix!  The large cover page of products is always so eye-catching and cute.  It's perfect....just too big.  All you need to do is select Print or Print this page.  Once you've done that, all you need to do is change a few settings and you are ready to roll.

On my Mac, I change where it says "Images per Page" from 1 to 4. On my desktop, it will print one smaller version.  On my laptop, it shows 4.  Not sure why, but my pictures are from my desktop.  I've done the same thing with my HP laptop at school.  Just a tiny bit different.  At least now you might know what to look for so you can do it, too!

Now that I have my covers, I can insert them in the front. I then fill in the pages.
Add caption

24 fit perfectly, so I tuck my extras behind #24.  Then, I flip the book around and add another similar set in the same way!

So, for $1, I can store two sets of task cards.

As you can see, the two sets will meet in the middle.  Now, I will be putting my Area set with my Perimeter set, but it is at school at the moment. Just giving you an idea.  And I will have to peel that pesky sticker off of the back, but it's pretty simple to do that.

I'd love to hear your tips for managing Task Cards!
See y'all next time!

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Using Task Cards to Asses Perimeter

Writing a quick post for my my link up with the awesome Tara and 4th Grade Frolics!

Here goes!
I've had a goal to have at LEAST one project a week.  We are heading into the home stretch of the school year.  AND 5 short days until Spring Break.  Yahoo!  This will be JUST enough time to complete the next Topic in Envision Math covering Perimeter.  Hard to believe in our OLD series that we had ONE day for Perimeter, ONE day for Area, and ONE day for Volume.  Common Core has been a game changer for sure.

I have front-loaded the the term "Perimeter" for quite some time.  Each time we cut out our pages for Interactive Notebooks, I tell them to make sure you have cut along 3 perimeters, etc.  Now, we are feet first into the actual chapter, and I am psyched.  Enter....a task card set I put together.

I knew that I wanted to test them on many levels, so I created cards that will show mastery in adding ALL sides given, using what they know about shapes to infer the length of other sides to find perimeter, finding the missing side when they are given the perimeter, and to create a shape given the perimeter.

Aren's these little pirates just precious??  I LOVE Melonheadz Illustrating!
These are on sale at my TPT store at a reduced price through Tuesday if you want to snatch them up!

I also have a FREEBIE at my store to create your own simple 7-lined poem using verbs and adverbs.  You can read more about it here!

Have a great week!  5 days....5 days...  I can DO this!


Who else is addicted to Bloglovin'?

I love keeping up with my favorite bloggers!  Great ideas when I need them...or even when I didn't KNOW I need them!  :-)

Trying to get my blog hooked in.

Adding the link below......fingers crossed!  (I'm not afraid of technology and am familiar with HTML, but all this Atom, RSS stuff is a little over my head.

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To kick off my personal triumph, I'm having a giveaway from products at my TPT store.
and my latest creation.....

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Writing Poems with Adverbs

There is a fact that we all have to admit as teachers. Not every lesson or idea was conceived in advance. I think we live with a secret bag of tricks ready to pull at any moment. But then there are those things you come up with "in the moment". How many of those end up as keepers?

Tons, right!

 I had one of those last week and decided to share it. Adverbs week. We all have it. We play "Lolly Lolly" for the kids and do various activities to make it meaningful. We were in the midst of Benchmark Testing & were plagued with computer issues that threw my schedule out of wack for the whole week.  I needed something on standby and went to my "go to" site.  When I need an extra filler or something fresh, I go to SuperTeacherWorksheets.com. It is a great $20 that I spend every year. So, I found this poem activity.

Printed out the sheet and displayed the suggested words on the Elmo.  I was ready for something extra....just in case.  It was a great review, but I didn't like the sheet once we got started.  My mind started racing about how to improve this activity THAT DAY!  So, I turned the worksheet into a planning activity and created a template for a cute one to display.

I whipped up a a few choices and sent them to the school printer.  Ran the copies during PE and finished up after lunch.  They did a super job and turned out precious!  I emphasized trying to use adverbs "creatively" and not the obvious choices.

Of course, NOW I am planning how to make this a keeper for next year.  Definitely an Anchor Chart to encourage more of the "when" and "where" adverbs.  I think I would let them pick seven of their OWN verbs to make each one more unique.  I think I will keep my eyes open for more poems like this at http://mrsdbooks.blogspot.com/2012/04/live-well-laugh-often-love-much.html to display as inspiration.
Yep, this one is a keeper, but it will be better next time.
Grab my templates and put your own spin on it!
Visit my TPT Store to grab this FREEBIE!

Have a great week!  Share your own ideas you've created "on the fly".


Differentiating Multiplication Activities for 2-3 digits

One of the biggest struggles I have in teaching math is trying to reach and extend all of my students.  The often have a large pool of students who already have a strong understanding of what I am teaching and are ready for more.  To add to the need is the pressure from the STAR tests we give throughout the year.  Students are expected to make growth on these tests based on where they began.  For example, if a student scores in the 4th grade 3rd month on this test in math, they should grow from there at the same rate as everyone else.  Kind of a daunting task when it takes the full 60 minutes to teach the 3rd grade skills!  I find that these high achievers reason well on these tests, but they cannot do the math problems as a 4th, 5th, etc would be expected.  Thus the dilemma!

Thank heavens for the Math Coach's Corner!  I follow her on Facebook and search her blog posts when I get stuck or need to be inspired.  Her Facebook posts are so timely!  She just KNOWS the timing for every grade level and what they may be teaching and will repost great ideas.  The posts have also helped me gain some insight into what has come before my 3rd graders reach me and what they will see in the years to come.

Enough of the blah, blah, blah!

It is time to go back to some previous skills that my kids might have gotten a little rusty with during the course of moving on to new standards.  While I was teaching the standard to teach multiples of 10 and 100 by single digit numbers, I saw this post.

I had this moment of clarity!  If my kids can multiply 20 times 6 fluently, they are ready to try 24 times 6! And maybe even 326 x 6!  We have used both the Partial Products and the Area Models.  I was amazed how well they did!  Many of my students looked at solving them as puzzles and challenges.  What a great attitude!  

We had some free time this week, and I permitted the kids to choose some free choice on IXL and spotted one of my kids multiplying 23 x 9 by adding 23 nine times.  That's a great strategy if you HAVE to!  So glad they have many bags of tricks to pull from, but I realized that their multiplying muscle isn't as strong as the ADDING one.  We need more opportunities....FUN ones...to build in the reflex to find opportunities to multiply!
So, I've put together this bundle to meet my kids needs.  Multiplying by Multiples of 10, 2-digit by 1, and 3-digit by 1.

I will probably start by playing a quick game of SCOOT with the first set.  That should be a great warm-up.  They love the freedom of getting up and moving, on a conquest to defeat the task cards!  It truly doesn't matter if we do ALL 28!  It's a warm up.  Setting a timer for 7 minutes, maybe.  Next, we will review using the Area Model.  Perhaps a week later, we'll play another game, but I will scramble sets 1 & 2 together.  I think 28 is way too many problems if we are building fluency!  I will probably put the 3rd set out as challenge cards for early finishers.

Now, I really like my Answer Sheets!  I made quite a few versions, and I think I will let my kids choose.  Having the area model ready to go will minimized time drawing pictures and getting to the task at hand.  I have the 2 square and 3 square model, and two different sized blank ones.

Hope you all have a great week!!