What to do with those Task Cards and Worksheets & Tunes Tuesday

Do you get tired of giving your student's worksheets?  Let's face it the kids get bored with them and we really don't like grading all those worksheets either!  Do you use your task cards for centers only or the same old routine? A recent pin I saw on Pinterest reminded me of my Kagan training.

The summer after my first year of teaching I had the priviellge to attend a Kagan Cooperative Learning PD in Disney World.  You read that right Disney World!  This was back when schools had money to send their teachers to professional workshops.  This was by far the best PD I have ever attentended. If you have the funds I highly recommend going.

Back to those worksheets and task cards!  It is super simple to use task cards or worksheets for any of the 100 Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures.

For Task Cards my favorite structures to use are Quiz-Quiz Trade, Team Showdown, and Numbered Heads Together.  For Quiz-Quiz Trade each student has a card card, pairs up with a partner, partner A reads their card to partner B and B answers, Partner B reads their card to A, and A answers.  Partners then exchange cards.  I usually have students complete this task for about 5 minutes, depending on how many questions there are and how rigorous the questions are.

My best friend and I created Common Core Math Pre-Assessment Task Cards which are perfect for back to school time and Showdown. Wendy, from One Happy Teacher, created a set for 3rd grade and I created a set for 4th, and 5th.  Click on the image to check them out :)

For worksheets my favorite structures are Find-Someone-Who, Pairs-Check, and Roundtable. For Find-Someone-Who I have my students write the title of the structure at the top of their paper and complete the steps.  I require my students to write their class number next to their answers on their classmates papers so when we check them I know who gave which answer.  When we check them as a class I call on one student to give the answer for number 1, the student who answered it provides the class with the answer of number 2, and so on.

When I use a work sheet for Showdown or Fan-N-Pick I have the team captain or myself cut the worksheet into cards. Students answer on their white boards. {See picture below}

I have always taught using Cooperative Learning Structures and couldn't imagine a lesson without using one.  When I taught in Alabama we used Saxon Math, this is a very reptitive curriculum.  My students were bored with the daily math worksheet, so we used Find-Someone-Who at least twice a week.  They LOVED it!

I HIGHLY suggest this Kagan "cheat sheet", its only $4 on their site.  I keep this in my Teacher Binder and reference it when I am bored with the structures I stick to.  You become comfortable with certain structures and this is a great resource to change it up a bit.

I am also linking up with Nick's new Tunes Tuesday linky party!  I must admit this was a challenge for me, but one I enjoyed.  We don't listen to pop music because I don't want my boys to hear some of the lyrics and when I would look up the lyrics to some of the songs they were inappropriate for school.  So after some digging and research I found Taylor Swift's song Eyes Open. This song was used in the Hunger Games movie so I figured most students would be familiar with it.

I would use this song to teach or review verbs.  I would play the song or video and have students jot down the verbs they heard.  I would then give each team/group a set of Fan-N-Pick or Showdown cards.  Students would read each card to their teammates and everyone would identify the verbs by writing them down on their white boards. I have created the cards here for you as a freebie :)


  1. Thanks for the task cards! Good song choice - the children will love it!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  2. Thanks so much for linking up! I love the task card twist to the Tunes Tuesday highlighting idea! Some popular songs definitely can't be used...it's amazing what lyrics are in some of these songs kids listen to...but Taylor Swift is usually a safe bet that kids will love.

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason
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  3. Ohhh...I love the task cards. Thank you so much!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  4. I love Kagan Structures! We were finally trained at the beginning of the year! And, I love Taylor Swift! Two for two! Thanks for sharing your task cards!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  5. The task cards are a really good idea. Great song, too! Kids will love Taylor Swift!

    Read With Me ABC

  6. Oh awesome idea with the task cards! Thank you! :)
    ideas by jivey
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