Thursday, March 8, 2012

Creek Edge Press Task Cards (TOS Review)

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Task Cards Sets, created by Creek Edge Press, offer an alternative to traditional curriculum and pull together aspects of Classical, Charlotte Mason, and Montessori methods. They are non-consumable and are designed to facilitate discovery based, research oriented, independent learning. We tried out the Ancient World Task Card Set ($20.00). This K-8 course is comprised of discovery-oriented tasks designed to facilitate engaged learning about the Ancient World.

Each card has 6-10 assignments on it, which include reading about a topic, drawing or labeling maps, making collages, writing summaries about a topic, timelines, crafts, etc.

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I set up a study area for Emily with reference materials that she would need to do the assignments. Included on the shelf are an atlas, globe,  and various history books.  The Ancient World Task Card set came with a list of suggested resources, but any available resources may be used.  Nearby are paper and art supplies. I put the task cards in a small decorative box.

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I had Emily spend 1 hour a day working at her task cards. Each day, she chose which activities to work on, worked independently, then showed me her work at the end of the hour.

Emily enjoyed the independence and control over her day that Task Cards allowed her. We use a similar literature/activity based approach to history, but I usually read the books aloud, then assign her a task to work on independently—a report, chart, craft, etc. The Task Cards required her to work alone, budget her time,  and to make choices about which tasks to complete first.

Here are a few of Emily’s completed projects:

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I wouldn’t use Task Cards for every subject. I like to have more interaction with my student and the format would burn a child out if it was ALL he or she did. But…I do think it is a good way to do one subject, to encourage independent learning, and to work with many learning styles because of the variety of tasks assigned. Since we’ve been using the task cards, I’ve seen Emily show more creativity in coming up with assignments for herself that may not even be on the task cards. For example, I’ve been able to say, “Go read from some of these books about Egypt for 30 minutes, then do something (report, drawing, project) to show me what you’ve learned” and she’s able to think of a creative way to demonstrate what she learned.

I think that  Ancient History Task Cards could work well either by themselves or as a supplement to another history  curriculum. Just remember that you will have to gather together your own resources for each unit. If you prefer a pre-planned, scheduled, packaged curriculum, this isn’t for you. But if you are looking for a flexible, hand-on resource that promotes research and writing skills, this might appeal to you!

Task Card sets are available for history, geography, culture, science, art, music, and grammar. To read more reviews of Task Cards by Creek Edge Press, please visit the TOS Crew blog.

As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a free set of Ancient History Task Cards from Creek Edge Press in order to write this review. All opinions are my own.

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