Hello there! I’m Danielle from Live Love Math and I am so excited to share my review of 4mulaFun’s super cool twist on using task cards in the classroom. About a month ago, I was on spring break and like many teachers, was thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the year. I remember being on Facebook when Jennifer posted this awesome product and just thought to myself, “I HAVE to have that!”
I may have actually said it outloud. Jennifer must have heard me, because she asked if I would try in my classroom—um, “DUH!” I said. After all, everything of hers that I have bought and used in the classroom has been a smash hit.
Here is the basic premise: You divide your kids into groups (I did groups of 3-4 students…any more than that and I think it would not have worked as well). Print out a set of task cards for each group. You can have them work on the same set or you can differentiate and give a different set based on the needs of that group. I chose to have them all use the same set since this was review for a test. I chose to use my Probability of Compound Events Task Cards.
The directions for both students and teachers are included in the pack as well as several versions of the dice that you can have the kids use. I used the standard 6 sided die, but I may try the 4 sided one next time. I had my 1st period kiddos put the dice together, but in hindsight, I probably should have done this myself—8th graders are not as particular as I am about taping! Then, all that was left was to give each kid a recording sheet (with the directions on the sheet for easy reference!) and a set of the cards. My recommendation the first time that you use this is to physically pass the cards out to each student. They were so excited to get started that they just started rolling and no one had any cards!
After giving instructions again and reminding students to FIRST deal out all the cards evenly, they were ready to go! I would recommend giving an even number of task cards to each group that is easily divisible. I used a set that had 24 cards so I could group them in 3, 4, or even 6 people and no one would complain that someone started out with less than another student.
I loved that they helped each other with the questions that they had to answer. This question was tricky for this student and the rest of her group jumped in to help! Even though they originally loved the idea of not having to solve every card, most groups ended up solving every card anyway since they all worked together. Cooperative learning at its finest!
I did have a few instances throughout the day where I saw a sheet like this. The student “just happened to” land on “left” or “right” each time, so I instituted a new rule that the die had to actually “flip” in the air before it landed on the desk or the floor. That took care of any intentional non-answering! Wouldn’t you know, the next roll, this student had to answer a question. Her group mates were overjoyed!
One thing I forgot to mention was how to keep the cards that have been answered separated from the cards that are still in play. There is this super-cute sheet called the “Task Card Graveyard” that the kids place the cards on. When all of the cards have been answered, the game is over. In some classes, the games were still going strong with 10 minutes left in class. I had those classes stop the game and answer any cards in their possession. This gave us some time to go over the answers before their test the next day. Overall, I
was so pleased with the result of this activity in class. I will definitely be
using this again! I think it would be perfect to review for semester exams with a larger set of questions…maybe 48 or so. It definitely kept my kids engaged and in middle school on a Friday, that is the ULTIMATE goal!
Thanks to Danielle for sharing how she used Left, Right, Answer in her classroom. Feel free to check out her blog or her Teachers Pay Teachers store to learn more about her and her middle school math classroom.
I am in the giving mood and would love to give away a copy to one lucky follower who leave a comment on this blog post.
Leave a comment on this blog post by Saturday, April 19th at MIDNIGHT about how you would use this in your classroom and I will pick a LUCKY winner on Sunday and send Left, Right, Answer your way!