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Create Task Cards with POWERPOINT™

Task cards are one of the best math activities. Using task cards in your classroom is so easy! You can use them for a review activity, math station, whole class activity, and so much more. Are you ready to learn how to create task cards in 5 easy steps!?

Step 1: Start with a blank slate

In order to create your own task cards, you are going to start with a blank presentation. Or, better yet, you can use the template we started in Create Math Activities with PowerPoint™ Part 1.

Once you have your page completely blank, you are ready to begin adding the elements of a task card!

Step 2: Add the outline

You are going to want to insert the outline of your task cards at this point. I like to use a simple rectangle outline. It is easy to cut out and looks classic in my opinion.

  • Select “Insert” to insert the rectangular shape. The bright blue is the default color of the shapes but don’t worry, we will change that in a bit.
  • When adding the shapes, I like to use the “Guides” under the “View” tab to make sure I have a rectangle in each quadrant of the page.
  • You can right click the rectangle and “Duplicate” the shape to make sure they are all the same size.

Step 3: Change the settings of the rectangle

You just want the rectangle to be an outline for the task card so you want to change the settings of the rectangle. I recommending pressing “ctrl” on your keyboard and highlighting all the rectangles at the same time so you only have to change the settings once!

You can either have “No Fill” for your rectangle or change the color to “white” – either way, you will get a center of white that you can build on. Next, you are going to want to change the color, style, and weight of the outline. Look through the “Line” settings and try a few out!

Step 4: Add your title

At this point, you are going to want to name your activity so you can keep track of all the task cards you make! You can add a simple title to each task card to reflect the activity you are creating. Generally, you want the title on the top left but you can center the title as well. Change the font and the sizing for your title.

Step 5: Number your task cards

You want to number your task cards so you can keep track of the question your students are on. It makes it easy to check the answers with the answer key! You can put the numbers in the top right or bottom right, whichever you think looks better. I like to add a shape around the number to make it stand out and so it doesn’t get confused with the math question.

Bonus

I like to work smarter and not harder so once I have one page complete, I duplicate it as many times as I need! If you right click the slide on the side when your presentation is in “Normal” view, you can right click and duplicate any slide! This is a game changer, especially if you want all your task cards to be uniform.

Now, if you would like all the setup done for you, check out this FREE MATH TASK CARD TEMPLATE. All the setup is done for you 🙂

Create Math Activities with PowerPoint™

Have you looked for math worksheets and were unable to find one that fit your needs? Have you searched for math activities only to find mundane or boring activities? Are you ready to make your own math activities and make your math class more engaging? If any of these questions describes you, you are in the right place!

FREE Template to follow below!

Before we create some resources, let’s start with the basics – Setting up your page in PowerPoint™.

Step 1: Open a blank page to create your math activity

Now, you are going to want to start with a blank page in order to build your activity.

Step 2: Select the slide size of your choice

At this point, you can decide whether you want your resource with a Portrait or a Landscape orientation. Here are some resources that I would create with each orientation.

Portrait: math worksheets, coloring pages, scavenger hunts, sort activities, and so many more…

Landscape: maze activities, task cards, puzzles, chain activities, and so many more…

Step 3: Delete any text boxes on the slide

You want to start by deleting anything on the page. You want to do this so you can add text boxes, shapes, and anything else in the order and place you want.

Step 4: Add text boxes for your title and header

  • In the main menu, select “Insert”
  • Then, select text box and create the title of your worksheet. Extend the lines of the text box lines to fit the page. Center the text.
  • Add another text box for your header where the students put their names. I use the underscore to make the lines after name and date.
  • You can change the font and size to fit your needs!

Step 5: Add a border

An easy way to add a border on your page is to insert a shape. You can add a rectangle and drag the corner of the rectangle to fill almost the whole page. You can use the ruler view to make sure your rectangle is equal distance from the edges of the page.

Then, right click on the blue rectangle and select “Format Shape.” Here is where you can adjust the border to fit your style. I start by changing the “Fill Color” to be “No Fill.” Since I like a simple border, I just change the color of the border to black and change the weight or thickness of the line to fit what I need.

Now, if you would like all the setup done for you, check out this FREE MATH TASK CARD TEMPLATE. All the setup is done for you 🙂

Ready for the next step? CLICK HERE for Part 2!

If you are ready to learn more and excited about creating your first activity, CLICK HERE for a FREE template to create your first matching activity.

3 Tips for Setting Up Math Stations

Transform your math block and include math stations! Math stations are a great way for students to practice skills, engage in their learning, and give you an opportunity to work with smaller groups of students. The days that I use math stations are some of my favorite days. I want to share with you some of the tips that I have learned with utilizing math stations in my classroom.

Tips for Math Stations in Your Classroom

1 – Activity Choice Matters!

When I choose or create activities for math centers, I like to choose a variety of different types of activities. With the various activities, your students are more likely to stay engaged and stay motivated during the stations.

Activities that Engage your Students

Some of my favorite activities:

Always Keep Answers Handy!

2 – Keep the Answer Key with the Station!

I have started laminating the answer key when I laminate the resource! Why? To save my sanity. I used to have to look for the answer key or pull it up on my computer while they are in stations and it was annoying to say the least. Now, I laminate it as I get the activity ready. Sometimes, I let the students check their own answers if it is a sort and a very trustworthy class. Other times, I collect the answer keys and walk around with them as I circulate and assist.

Prepare for the Inevitable Question

3 – Be Prepared with a “Done Early” Activity

Inevitably, not all the stations will be done at the same time. Different learners and different activities take different amounts of time. To make the stations go as smoothly as possible, I always have a “Done Early?” station ready to go. My favorite activity to use in this station is a coloring activity. Students love to color and I like that they still are reviewing an important math concept! Check out the 6th Grade Math Coloring Activities HERE.

If you are looking for Math Review Stations, I am always adding more. Some of my favorites right now are:

Questions? Am I missing any important tips? Leave a comment below and let me know!

March One-Step Equations Classroom Transformation

One-Step Equation Transformation

Do you want to change it up and review solving one-step equations in a fun way? I have put together some review stations for my 6th grade math class that will be sure to engage your students too! These stations involve adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing to solve one-step equations. The answers come out “nicely” and are positive whole numbers.

If you teach 5th or 7th grade, I have a set for you too!

Let’s get to it! I am going to share with you about each station and how it went over with my classes…

Rainbow Chain One-Step Equation Review

Station 1: Rainbow Chain

Supplies: Enough rainbow station sets for each group, recording sheets to show student work, glue sticks or a stapler.

How to complete the chain:

  • Cut out all the strips of paper.
  • Students will start with the “START” link.
  • Place the letter in the square on the recording sheet and solve the math problem.
  • Search the other strips to find the answer.
  • Place the next strip with the answer and glue on top of the “PASTE HERE” from the previous strip.
  • Continue until you reach “THE END” strip. All strips should be used in the chain.
  • Write the letters on the strips in order on the bottom of the recording sheet
  • Check out your completed chain!

How it went: The students loved this station. It was relatively easy for them to understand how to complete it. The one thing they complained about was that my glue wasn’t sticky enough.

One-Step Equation Sort

Station 2: Gold Coin Sort

Supplies: A set of the gold coins and pots of gold printed and cut out. I laminate these so I can use them year after year!

How to complete the sort:

  • Cut out the pots of gold and the coin strips.
  • Set up the pots of gold on a desk.
  • Solve each of the coin strip equations on the recording sheet.
  • Sort the coin strips and place under the pot of gold with the answer.
  • Continue until all the coin strips are under the pots of gold.

How it went: This was one of my students’ favorite stations. I don’t think they have done too many sorts before so it was something new for them. They end up solving a lot of equations with the sort so it is great practice.

One-Step Equations Mazes

Station 3: Pot of Gold Maze

Supplies: Maze puzzles printed. You can add highlighters to the station. This station also has a digital version if you wanted a digital station!

How to complete the Maze:

  • Find the START hexagon.
  • Solve the math problem inside the START hexagon.
  • Then find the answer linking to the next hexagon.
  • Draw a line or color in the path as you move through the math problems and the correct answers that link them.
  • Solve the next math problem and continue to link the hexagons until you reach THE END.

How it went: My students that enjoy coloring thought this was a hit. I let them use highlighters to find their way through the maze and just using a different tool makes this station exciting.

One-Step Equations Puzzle

Station 4: Gold Coin Puzzle

Supplies: A gold coin puzzle per group. You can either print them out and have the students paste the completed puzzle on a larger piece of paper or you can laminate the pieces and use them year after year!

How to complete the puzzle:

  • Cut out each hexagon.
  • Match the equation to the solution.
  • Double check that each side of the hexagon is matched to its solution.
  • Watch out! Some expressions DO NOT have a solution, those are the end pieces.
  • Your final solution should look like a pyramid.

How it went: This was the most challenging of the stations. I felt like it as a good station for the students that need a challenge and found the topic of one-step equations pretty easy. This station also takes the longest. For some groups, I gave them a hint by telling them which piece was the middle piece and that seemed to help them!

One-Step Equations Coloring Activity

Station 5: Pot of Gold Coloring

Supplies: Pot of Gold question sheet and coloring page, colored pencils, markers, or crayons.

How to complete the coloring sheet:

  • Solve the math problems on the “Pot of Gold” page.
  • Find the solutions in the table on the right of the page.
  • Fill the color in the chart.
  • Color the pot of gold coloring page with the solutions!

How it went: This is always a hit in my classroom. The students love that they get to color at the end of the math part! I make them for lots of topics throughout the year so they enjoy seeing what theme is coming up! (CLICK HERE to see the other coloring activity options)

March Motivational Bulletin Board

You can add to the theme with the March Motivational Bulletin Board too! My whole classroom is decorated with these activities now! I added a rainbow above my white board, their coloring is on another wall, and the finished puzzles have their own bulletin board. Overall, it was a fantastic review! Let me know if you have any questions or you do the activities in your classroom by leaving a review.

The hats, gold coins, and little pots of gold are from The Dollar Tree. The tables are covered in bulletin board paper!

Classroom Transformations in Math

Who doesn’t love a good theme day? Keep your students engaged in learning with a classroom transformation or two! At first, I was hesitant to incorporate transformations in my classroom because they honestly looked really expensive when I saw the transformations other teachers did! I am here to tell you that transformations to do not need to be expensive to be fun!

Classroom transformations can be done using materials you have at home or you can engage the students in the process! For example, I had a football classroom transformation that I used to review addition and subtraction of decimals.

I used the school’s bulletin board paper as tablecloths for the table and some of the football fanatics in the class brought in their helmets and footballs to add to the décor. I had students come in with their favorite football jersey and I dressed the part with a jersey too! The only thing I purchased was the football paper plates to tape the scavenger hunt questions to.

To add to the fun, I went on YouTube to find an old football game to project on mute to add to the ambiance. It was super easy and it was a day that my students won’t soon forget!

Other easy classroom transformation ideas include:

  • Beach Theme – you could use this escape!
  • Any sport you love (or your students love)
  • Glow Day – though this one would require black lights in order to make the colors glow!
  • Seasonal themes like Valentine’s Day
  • Circus
  • Boardwalk Games
  • Backyard Games
  • The possibilities are endless!

5 Ways to Add Movement in a Math Classroom

Are you ready to get up and moving in your math class? It seems that math class gets a bad rap with just sitting and listening and it being boring. Well, what if we change that? Let’s get up and moving and having fun in math! Here are some ways that we can add movement into math class.

1. Scavenger Hunts! You can use scavenger hunts in a variety of ways. You can use the task cards you already have and place them around the room for your students to solve. I like to give students a clipboard so no matter where they are, they have something to write on. You can also use premade scavenger hunts like THESE where the students solve a problem and hunt for the answer!

2. Escapes! This may be similar to the scavenger hunts but they are still worth mentioning! I love having the students complete the escape challenges all around the room to spread the students out and keep them moving!

3. Multiple choice questions where they have to travel to their answer! I put an A, B, C, and D in the 4 corners of the classroom. I project a question and the students then have to travel to their answer. I like it when the questions are more survey based, so not all the students end up in the same corner 🙂

4. Simply incorporate stretch breaks or brain breaks between activities! My favorite is a dance party; I put on a song and we all just let loose!

5. Boot Camp Review – Use your whole classroom as stations. Each station can be a different topic or task. Set an amount of time for each station and then for 30 seconds in between the stations, have the students complete an exercise. Check out this Boot Camp Review.

What is another way to add movement? I would love to hear!

5 Ways to Promote a Positive Math Mindset

Do you want to create an environment in your classroom where students take risks and feel confident? Here are 5 ways to promote a positive math mindset in your classroom.

1. Display a math affirmation mirror. Students love to look at themselves in the mirror, right? Well, why not use that as a way to shift their mindset? Students can visit the mirror when they are struggling and pick an affirmation to recite. You could have students recite one of the affirmations when they come into your classroom as a way to start class off on a positive note as well. No matter how you use it, just having the positive affirmations on display shows that you are a teacher that wants the students in your class to succeed.

2. Be mindful of the words you use to communicate mistakes in front of class. Students are very focused on how they are viewed amongst their peers. Use your words as a way to encourage students and not embarrass them in front of their peers.

3. Create a classroom culture that recognizes mistakes as a way to grow. I love this one because I make SOOOO many mistakes and I want use my mistakes as a way to show students that it is normal and it is a way to learn and grow. I even go as far as to let the students point out my mistakes and we count them! I put the count on a prominent place on my board so it is always visible. I use the quote, “Mistakes help us grow” and count the mistakes as seen in the picture below. It helps the students recognize that no one is perfect, not even the person teaching them! Have

4. Utilize feedback frequently! Don’t rely on the end result or test to be the only way for students to demonstrate their knowledge. The more feedback that you give students throughout the process or learning, the more students will have an opportunity to show their knowledge and learn from their mistakes.

5. Create math lessons that are engaging and worthwhile. If students are invested in a task, they will be more likely to take risks and persevere through challenges and mistakes.

Middle School Math Back to School Activities

Are you struggling to find engaging math activities for the beginning of the year? I have you covered! These 3 back to school activities require little to no prep and will help you get to know your students! There is a FREE one at the end 🙂

My all time favorite activity is the Math All About Me Activity! You can use this activity to help teach routines, transitions, and procedures. First, I review the routines and expectations of groupwork and stations. Then, I give the students the page that they have to fill out. I divide the class into 8 groups. Each group will be at a specific station. I place the task card directions at each station. I set a timer for 5 minutes at each station. If students finish early, they can color their page. If they did not complete the station, I leave time at the end to finish the paper.

I love this activity because students are able to talk to one another in the small groups, it showcases what students know or struggle with in math, and it makes a great bulletin board display when they are done!

Another fun activity to start the year is the Real World Math Project. This will help you answer the question…. “When will we use this in real life?” Students find out how math is used in the world around them and describe the scenario with a picture and explanation. This makes a great beginning of the year project to practice sharing and speaking in front of class.

Here is a quick (and FREE!) Math About Me activity. I like this one page activity to leave on students’ desks when they first come in to let them know I mean business! It can also be used as a station in the first few weeks of school if you utilize math workshop. Check it out HERE.

Virtual Beach Day Theme Plans

Are you as ready as I am to celebrate the end of the school year? I am starting our final countdown with a FREE BEACH DAY! Below is a full day of plans just for you! I am going to have the students dress up in some summer gear, wear hats, sunglasses and whatever else they would like to get into the beachy mode.

Beach Day Plan:

  • The day starts with a few STEM activities. I put 2 different ones in the plan so students could see what materials they already have at home. When they create their tower or castle, they can take a picture and add it to the slideshow.
  • Next, the students will write a bucket list of all that they want to accomplish over the summer. This is a great writing activity. It also can be extended into an art/design project by making a bucket list poster!
  • For math, I will be using my Escape to Summer activity to review 5th grade standards. The students will be working on the escape on Google Slides. For the answers, they will be typing them into a self-grading Google Form. Perfect, no prep, no grading activity for teachers!
  • For science, the students have a choice board of summer videos where they can learn about the science of summer. They will write 3 things they learned from the videos. You could have them in breakout rooms and assign a certain video to each group. Then, they can come together and share what they learned!
  • For reading, I am going to play some ocean waves and let them enjoy a good book “on the beach.”
  • Just for fun, I have included some summer coloring directed drawings.
  • In the Done Early? section, I will be putting the June, July and August Project Morning Menus for my class. These include some more summer fun activities! See all the PROJECT MORNING MENUS here.

That is what I have planned! If you wanted another morning meeting activity, you could include the End of Year Would You Rather Activity which makes a great bulletin board!

I would love to hear your feedback on the activity and let me know if you want any more theme days like this in the comments.

Math Talk Bulletin Board

Let’s talk about math! Creating a classroom environment where students talk and discuss their math thinking is so important to their deeper understanding of math! Using math talk prompts can foster those math discussions and help students learn how to explain their mathematical thinking! These are great discussion prompts as well as questions students can ask themselves when they are explaining their answer in writing.

I love to have the math talk prompts displayed in the classroom so students can refer to them as they are having discussions or during our math talk class discussion time. It helps eliminate students talking down to one another or looking at you with a blank stare!

How do you use math talks in your classroom? I would love to hear! Leave a comment and let me know!