Solve ‘n Switch: Partner Activity for Math Task Cards

Cooperative learning activities are often designed for teams of four students. However, sometimes a team is just too big, especially in math. Sometimes the perfect number of students for a practice activity is just two. Partners tend to cooperate more and argue less, and kids are usually more actively engaged when working with a partner as opposed to a large team.

With that in mind, I created Solve N Switch, a new cooperative learning partner activity for reviewing and practicing math skills. Just add task cards that are appropriate for your students, and you’ll have an engaging math review activity!

Solve ‘n Switch Directions

Before you introduce the game to your students, decide who will be partners for the activity. It’s best not to allow students to select their own partners because you need to pair students of similar abilities. If your class is set up in cooperative learning teams, you can split each team of four in half or pair students with someone from an entirely different team. You might even want to differentiate the activity by providing different sets of tasks cards for each pair according to their needs.

To begin the activity, seat partners next to each other and place a deck of task cards face down between them. Then guide your class through the following steps:

  1. Each partner takes a task card from the top of the deck.
  2. Simultaneously, they each solve the problem on their own card.
  3. Next, they switch task cards and solve the new problem.
  4. Finally, they share, check, and discuss their answers.
  5. They repeat the steps with two new cards.

For more detailed directions, download my Solve ‘n Switch freebie. I included  three variations of the activity to help you modify it as needed for your class. This activity is intended for review and practice so it’s not meant to be graded. After students play Solve ’n Switch, you can follow up with an independent assignment or quiz for assessment.

Where to Find Math Task Cards

You can find math task cards for this activity in here in my TpT store. You’ll find links to sets of task cards as well as games that include task cards that would work well with Solve ‘n Switch.

What I love about Solve ‘n Switch is that it’s so versatile. You can use it in math centers, small groups, or even in a whole group setting with students divided into pairs. All you really need is a set of task cards and either dry erase boards and markers or the recording pages in the packet. Have fun with this!