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Saturday, August 1, 2015

A NEW Task Card Storage Idea and Early Finisher Activities

Sometimes, inspiration comes to us in the most unusual places.  For me, my latest task card storage inspiration was at an antique mall!  I was spending the afternoon perusing the booths with my favorite girls and kept seeing those beautiful library card catalog chests.  Oh, how I swoon over those!  Someday one will adorn my home office!  But another little goody I kept seeing were card holders!  At first, I was eyeing them for my girls' library.  I thought they would love putting board books and their little first readers in them.  But then it dawned on me: TASK CARDS!  So, I picked one up for $15 and it. is. perfect.  Like, you guys... I absolutely can't believe I have not done this sooner.

The half page task cards fit in perfect and so do the quarter page cards.  At first, I just thought it would be great to display the cards we were using for various units of study, but then I realized I had the perfect use for it... Early Finisher Task Cards!  With all the openings, it was a great place to put all my early finisher activities so that students could easily access them in one place and I could easily rotate them throughout the year.

I have blogged about my early finisher task cards before.  If you want to see my old system for using the cards, you can read about that HERE!

Now that I have this fancy card display, I'm thinking about doing things a bit differently.  I am going to get a 70 page notebook for each student.  You can get these VERY inexpensively at BTS time.  Less than .25 per notebook.  Then, I am going to have the students split up their notebook into different sections for each of the different early finisher task cards I have them use.

The first section will be for the Creative Thinking A to Z cards.  They will need one page for each letter.  There is one card per letter with four prompts on each card, so they can put all the activities for one card on a page.  They will need 13 pages to do all the cards.  Here is a sample title page:

Then, here is an example of how each page will look in their notebook.

I decided to leave about 20 pages for the Math Early Finisher Task Cards.  The prompts take a variety of space, but they can label the card on a page and use as much room as they need to.  I plan to have the kids try to do more than one task per page, if they can.

 You can't see it in the picture (oops!) but I cut the corner off of all twenty pages in the notebook for the math cards.  That way, it will be easy for kids to flip right to the math section and get started.

Behind the math pages will be a space for their Language Arts/Reading Early Finisher Task Cards and then another section for their Monthly Reading Skills Task Cards.  I have a lot of other early finisher/critical thinking task cards, too, so they will leave space for that in the back.  By the end of the year, they should have a really incredible journal full of all the creative things they have done when they have had a bit of spare time!

Here is how my display looks.  I love that there is quite a bit of space for different task cards.  Each student really only needs one card at a time, so there will be plenty to go around.  They aren't attached with rings so that they can just take one.

My card holder can display twelve (or more if you want to put more than one in each space) sets of cards for students to be working on.

Now, even though I'm planning to use the display for early finishers, you can use it for ANY task card sets!  Seriously, they fit in perfectly!  If you can't find one at an antique mart, you can buy them on Amazon for about $30.  BUT, check your antique stores first (who doesn't need a good reason to stop by an antique store?)!  I found TONS of them, and then had my husband spray paint it with pink spray paint! :)

If you are interested in my Early Finisher Task Cards, look no further!  They have been an absolute sanity saver for me as a teacher, and I'm looking forward to using them again this year, especially with this new set up!

^^This bundle includes my math, reading, and writing prompt early finisher task cards!^^

^^These are my Creative Thinking A-Z Task Cards.  They are always a favorite!^^


  1. I bought one of those several years ago for $5 and never have found a good use for it. This is awesome I love it! You are such a great teacher to follow!

  2. I bought one of those several years ago for $5 and never have found a good use for it. This is awesome I love it! You are such a great teacher to follow!

  3. I love this! I am adding your Creative Thinker and Early Finisher Task cards to my wishlist. I like the idea of how you are going to give every student a notebook for these activities....I'm thinking I want to do the same thing!!