Summer Task Card Organization Mission…Complete!

I have to admit, I'm a bit of a task card addict. I own at least half of Rachel Lynette's Store. Ditto for Teaching With a Mountain View. Throw in a set here, a set there, a set EVERYWHERE and you'll get the two giant boxes of task cards that I had at the end of the last school year. Thrown in plastic bags in no apparent order, they kind of drove me crazy last year. I can't begin to tell you how many times I printed cards that I already had simply because my cards were in chaos and I couldn't find anything. When the year ended, I turned to my friend Judy and said, "It is my mission to find a way to organize these task cards this summer." That is how my mission began.

This is what things looked like at first:

And yes, I like to create a bit of a mess as I work. Also, this didn't go as smoothly as I thought it would. I started off with the plan to do the following:

1. Place all answer keys in binders with the cover.
2. Place all cards in baggies in containers.

#1 was a good plan, though perhaps not yet to it's full potential. But #2: Not so much. Let's talk about why this simple plan didn't work: BAGGIES ARE A PAIN! There, I said it! Basically, I got everything organized and then realized that when my task cards were in baggies in a container, they were still unorganized and worse, they were all getting squished. I ended up putting everything away for awhile, forcing myself to take a "Task Card timeout" to rethink my strategy.

Then I saw a few people post that they organize their task cards not with baggies, but binder clips! Ah, what a genius idea! Without the baggies, the task cards would actually fit and they would be held together all nicey-nice! I also decided that I would need some sort of tab to organize the task cards by their skill/strategy/concept. So, here's what I ended up needing:

Materials: Card stock, sheet protectors, binder clips - use the small when the stack isn't too large and it saves space. I learned this the hard way, but can you ever have enough binder clips? No way! 

Also needed but not included in this picture, though you can play seek and find and identify these objects in the first picture:  containers (I found those awesome white ones at Target and they worked the best), sharpies for labeling, scissors for cutting, and binders. These are also known as the common sense items, but you know, I want to be sure that my post is clear! :-)  

So I cut card stock, I labeled card stock, I clipped task cards together, I put answer keys, answer pages, and covers in sheet protectors. I worked hard, covering every inch of our place with materials until we couldn't even eat on our kitchen table. But slowly, over the course of about a week, my project came together.

First, the math task cards:

I'm giving you two views here and thus you are getting two shots of my first reading container. So if you are thinking, "Why does she have two narrative elements sections?" I don't. I just shot those pictures at two different times during the process, but I think you get the gist, right?

I don't want to leave out how wonderful the binders look. I put the covers and keys in the binder in the same order that the task cards are in their containers. That's one of the things that I had not thought of when I first started this project, but I'm certainly glad I did! 

And with that, my task cards organization mission is complete and ready to go! Don't they look fabulous? 
You may be wondering about that container that has baggies, gasp! Those are huge sets of multiplication war that no binder clip on Earth would hold. That's also why those are in a separate, wider container.


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