Task cards are one of my favorite types of activities to use in reading/math centers, small group, early finisher tasks, and whole group activities. They are shorter texts and give students meaningful practice in a short amount of time. You can use them to retarget specific skills your students are having difficulty with or enrich students who need more of a challenge.
They are so versatile and there are so many ways to use task cards. And now, there is yet another way! As a digital activity! 💻 Let’s talk about how you can use digital task cards in your classroom.
What are Digital Task Cards?
Task cards are cards usually the size of a photo and have a question or short task on them. They tend to be much more engaging for students than your standard worksheet or printable. Digital task cards are like the regular task cards, except they are delivered through your web-based learning management system such as Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Canvas, etc. After a year+ long pandemic, virtual learning, and 1:1 devices in many classrooms – it just makes sense to make this shift over to digital task cards to have yet another way for your students to learn interactively.
How Can I Use Digital Task Cards?
There are so many ways to use task cards in general, but let’s talk specifically about ways to use task cards digitally. (If you’d like to read about different ways to use printable task cards, head to this blog post!)
You can present the Google Slides presentation to the whole class and work through the answers together. This is a great way to review for test prep or retarget skills.
Whole Group Warm-Up/Spiral Review
You could use an entire set of digital math task cards to review one skill, while teaching another. For example, let’s say you are teaching division in Math, but you KNOW your students still need continuous review with multiplication. You can use a set of digital Math Task Cards as a warm up each day. Then move on to use the division as a warm up while you have to move on to another concept. You are creating your own spiral review based on your students’ needs. This same strategy can be used for ELA skills and strategies.
Students can work together to solve the problems in one Google Slide presentation. They will both be added as collaborators. They can either work inside the same presentation and write down their answers on individual paper answer sheets. Or students can have their own computers and share the problems. For example, one student can do all the odd questions and the other can do all the even questions.
You can also assign an entire slide presentation to groups in Google Classroom. Students can work together at reading or math centers and stations to complete the task cards.
Collaborative & Interactive Learning
Keep in mind that using digital task cards doesn’t have to mean that your students are sitting in front of a computer on their own working in an isolated way. You can use digital task cards to have students:
- Move around
- Work in pairs
- Set up in stations
- Have a choice (!!!)
How do I set them up?
You can upload the task cards that you want your students to complete to your Google Drive. Then, you can assign the activities inside Google Classroom, Canvas, or whatever learning system that you use. Once you have the task cards inside your Google Drive, you can decide how you want your students to complete them:
- In groups
- Differentiated by assigning certain task cards to certain students
- Individual pace
Giving Feedback with Digital Task Cards
The Math Task Cards and the ELA Task Cards Bottomless Bundles are available in both Google Slides and Google Forms. They are set up in a way that you can assign all or just some of the full set of each Math Task Cards. Each set has a total of 36 task cards (most, if not all). They are divided into 3 parts so that you can just assign #1-12, #13-24, and #25-36 or the full set depending on your students’ needs and how you want to use them.
In Google Slides, if you are working in Google Classroom or you are added as a collaborator in the slide presentation, you can access the students’ work in real time. That means that while students are working on the assignment, you can comment directly into the document. This is helpful if you notice students need help or are having a hard time with the assignment. Once students have completed the assignment, they can submit it to you for grading.
Because Google Forms are in quiz form, there are some benefits and drawbacks. One benefit is they are self-grading (Yay! 👏), so task cards can be used as a formative assessment, homework, or classwork and be submitted for grading – saving you tons of grading time! They can even give students instant feedback (if you set it up that way).
One issue you might run into is that students cannot save their progress so they have to be completed in one sitting. Although, I hear there is a new solution for that if students are logged into the domain. To avoid this issue, I divided the full sets of task cards in all my task cards into 3 parts. (I usually include 36 task cards in each set.) That way there are fewer questions to complete in one sitting. This also gives you more activities to pull from and the ability to use them in different ways. (i.e. homework, centers/stations, extra practice, extra credit, etc.)
I only have a few computers. How can I use digital task cards?
While many classrooms are going digital, technology costs money and we all know that money is an obstacle in education. You can still get your students used to using technology besides just computer programs that your district has purchased. Here are some ideas for how to use the digital task cards if you only have a few computers in your classroom:
- Literacy or Math Stations: During your small group work time, set up a station in your classroom for students to work on the digital task cards. You might have a different set of task cards printed out for a different station for variety.
- Use a paper answer sheet: This is one of my favorite and easy ways to blend technology into regular paper and pencil. If your students don’t have their own account to log in and save the digital task cards, then you will want them to have somewhere to record their answers. They can use the digital task cards to read the text and then record their answers on the sheet. They are still using technology AND paper/pencil. To me, this is a win-win for elementary grades! They can keep the answer sheet in their folder so they can complete at their own pace. Once they have completed the task cards, they can self-check their answers. This is one of my favorite ways to keep students accountable for their learning when it comes to both print and digital task cards.
- Use a notebook to record answers: You can also skip the answer sheet altogether and just have students record their answers in their notebook.
Bonus Benefits of Digital Task Cards
- Early Finishers: I love a good early finisher task! And task cards do the job!
- Self-paced: Task cards are easily self-paced by you or students because you set the due date.
- Less Prep + Organization: No need to worry about printing, cutting, laminating, storage, or the annoyance of losing that one card.
- Extra Practice: Digital task cards are an easy way to give students extra practice or when students are looking for an extra credit option. (You know – right before the marking period ends. 🤣)
If you are looking for digital task card resources to try out with your students, I’ve got a freebie for you!
- Click here for a free set of ELA Task Cards for Grades 3-6
- Click here for a free set of Math Task Cards for Grades 3-5
Or if you’d like to have ELA + Math Task Cards for your entire year, you might like these bundles:
Math Task Cards Bundle for the Year