It doesn’t matter what grade or subject you teach, chances are high you have to deal with mandated state assessments and tests. So, if you’re looking for ways to keep your students engaged, this is a blog post you don’t want to miss

Stephanie K from A Touch of Class Teaching has put together a fantastic article on a new way to ensure her students are on track with state standards.

Testing, Testing, Testing!


As I was creating my lesson plans on day I realized that there were four required assessments that I had give to my students that week. Two were from the district, two were from my school.

All of them were standard “pencil, paper, fill in the bubble” type tests.

If you’ve been a teacher as long as I have you know that these are kind of tests that students loathe. What’s worse is continually giving paper pencil assessments is causing students to get bored and some to even exhibit behavior problems.

We know assessments drive instruction and it is important to evaluate how well the students are learning. But I also question how affective the standard “bubble test” is in determining a student’s understanding of the material being tested when they aren’t engaged.

So what should you do?

One of the most effective ways I have found is by using task cards. In this article I’m going to show you how to Use Task Cards to Formatively Assess Student Learning.

Task cards are a great way to assess student learning because each card has one question listed on it, and the students are given just one card at a time.  The way I have incorporated task cards in my classroom allows students to get up and move around the room while doing their assessment.  By doing it this way, students don’t even notice they are taking an assessment. It is quick, easy, painless, and the students actually enjoy it!


How to Incorporate in the Classroom


One of the task cards sets I use in my classroom consistently are my “Informational Text Structure Task Cards”.  After teaching students about the different text structures, I use these as a formative assessment to see how they’re doing. Here is how I incorporate these task cards in my class:


  1. Print the “Informational Text Structure Task Cards” set from Teacher’s Notebook.
  2. Cut the ten cards and place them around the room. (These are differentiated, so you can choose multiple choice as an option!)
  3. Print and copy the recording sheet. (1 for each student).
  4. Students begin working their way around the room answering each question by recording their answer on their answer sheet. You can even get creative with this step. Let the students have partners or print one set for each table, and have them pass around the cards instead of “scooting” around the room themselves. I also set a timer for each rotation.
  5. Once all task cards have been completed, you can take up to assess, or you can have the students self-assess their work.


Get Your Copy!


I hope these ideas sparked some inspiration for your teaching! To download your copy of these task cards, click here. You may also follow my shop to see my other task card products and upcoming task card uploads as well!

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