Are you looking for a way to continue center time in your class, but don’t know how to do it with social distancing and cleanliness requirements?
Independent and differentiated learning doesn’t have to stop during these unprecedented times. In this post, I’m going to show you how task cards can be used for safe and effective individual centers!
Getting all of your materials organized ahead of time is key!
First, you want to decide which box you want each student to practice. Every month has a wide variety of choices that allow for differentiation.
Depending on the number of students you have in your class you may want to print out multiple versions of a particular card.
Another option is to assign task cards that are a grade lower or higher depending on the needs of your students.
I made a task card tracking sheet that you are free to make a copy of to keep yourself organized. (Link below) It allows you to assign task card boxes by day and keep track of a student’s understanding of the concepts.
The video below shows you how to add in information, and how to add additional weeks.
Next, choose when and how students will access the cards. This will look different in every class, but one way is to have separate trays for each student to grab.
Finally, decide if you want a paper component to the task cards. My kindergarten companion worksheets are already completed and the 1st and 2nd grade ones are in the growing bundle stage. They are deeply discounted right now as each month is added.
These worksheets correspond with the task cards. Students practice a skill on the task cards and then show their learning on the worksheet.
If you are interested in more information about the worksheets, just click on the link below!
The nice thing about task cards is that they are easy to keep clean!
At the end of center time, hand each child a wipe. Have them clean all of the cards and the box as well. Give them a couple of minutes to dry as the students use the wipes on their desks and chairs.
I used to spend a lot of time cleaning everything myself. Once I gave the power of the wipes over to my students, I was a lot less stressed, and my classroom was a lot cleaner!
Unless we were doing a deep clean of the classroom, each student got 1 wipie at the end of the day for some group cleaning! In the first couple of weeks of school, we go over the BASICS!
- Where do they get wipes from? They usually got in a line to get one from me after they showed me that they had picked up 3-5 scraps of paper from the floor. (Wipes are HIGHLY motivational)
- How do you completely unfold a wipe to make sure you’re using the entire thing?
- What kind of things can you use a wipe on?
- What should the wipe look like what you are done?
- Where is the wipe disposed of at the end of the cleaning time?
I know all of this seems basic, but when you take the time to explain these little steps you will be amazed at how well the students do with it!
The major benefit to using task cards as individual centers is that you’re easily able to differentiate.
Students see everyone working on a task card box and have no idea that one student is working on letter recognition while another one is working on CVC words!
You can either walk around the classroom and observe their skills, or like I mentioned before, use an accompanying worksheet to assess at a later time.
While students work on the differentiated task card boxes it’s a great time to work with students in small groups or one-on-one.
You can use the Google Sheets form I shared above to track students understanding of each skill, and assign cards accordingly.
Task Cards for Life!
Creating these task cards totally changed the way that my classroom ran. Students knew what was expected of them, and were able to complete the tasks independently!
Since COVID restrictions have come into place, I’ve heard from a multitude of teachers who have found new ways to use the cards:
“I loved that this bundle had resources for the whole year this allowed me to differentiate for students and keep them engaged! These are also great for social distancing centers.” – Madison
“I was able to use these activities in small group via zoom, and can’t wait to use them in person once we return to the classroom!” – April
“I just purchased for my 1st grade centers/early finishers. THIS BUNDLE IS AMAZING! Everything is so clear and easily readable. I LOVE that there are not lots of little pieces/ additional resources. Everything can be done with the cards themselves, close pin, or a dry-erase marker. Each month builds on, and the CCSS standards are perfectly aligned. I cannot wait for my kids to use these! They will LOVE THEM and so will I! I highly recommend investing. They will last forever, and there are so many sets that students will not get bored!” – Miss Katie’s Kiddos
If you want to to learn more about the task cards just click on the link below!
- Early Finisher Task Cards for Pre-K
- Early Finisher Task Cards for Kindergarten
- Early Finisher Task Cards for 1st Grade
- Early Finisher Task Cards for 2nd Grade
If you are looking for more information about my early finisher task cards and how I set them up in my classroom, click on the posts below: