Monday, April 8, 2013

Finished Early Work in Math {Mixed Review Test Prep Task Cards}

There is nothing I LOATHE more than wasted time.  I can't stand seeing notebooks close when students are finished with their work.  With most classes, I spend a few days at the beginning of the year reminding them of all the things they should be doing when they "finish" early and they are independent for the rest of the year.  This class is different.  It's April and I'm still reminding them that there is no such thing as "finished" in school.

After thinking on this over the Spring Break, I decided to make one subtle change to my math workshop.  Instead of keeping the task cards on the back table, I decided to move them to the table bins, along with the recording sheets.  Instead of having to get up and move across the classroom, now the cards would be right at their fingertips and they can work on a few cards while waiting to move on with the rest of the class!

My students worked on the cards in little spurts throughout math workshop.  Today we worked on algebraic thinking and when they finished their work, they took a few task cards to review the major content for fifth grade.

I just posted these Mixed Review Test Prep Task Cards on TpT.  The cards help students review operating with decimals, fractions, algebraic expressions and volume concepts.
There are 36 cards, but I am pretty certain that I am going to be adding to the set and updating them throughout the month.  Most of the cards are word problems with different skills embedded, so students have to practice the same skills they will have to apply on their State tests at the end of this month.  But these task cards are a little cuter and a little more fun than a page of test prep!

I'm going to share these cards with the first three people to comment, so tell me, what do you have your students work on when they finish early in math?   {Be sure to leave me your email!}


  1. I teach second grade, but I am DEFINITELY with you on "loathing" wasted time! Students have a few options of "finished" work depending on the time of day and subject. My number one "go to" is reading a book quietly at their seat. Students can also finish unfinished work in their folders, or complete math center buckets during math time. It is so important to provide meaningful "finished" work to help keep behavior in check!

    The Applicious Teacher

  2. My kids work on sudoku puzzles when they finish early but I love your idea of having task cards right at the table


    1. This is my first year teaching, and I try to make sure we don't finish early! However, if we do, they may get started on their homework or do a math war game with a buddy. I just found your blog and I'm glad I did!


  3. Awwww, I'm one too late!

    Well, I love this idea!! We have centers and other things that are in different places in our room and maybe if they were up close and personal they'd actually use their "free time" to do what they are supposed to be doing!!!

    Great idea!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  4. These are great! I think I'm too late, but I would take the chance.