Compounding Conjunctions

Paper Game

This semester I’ve been teaching a new-to-me advanced grammar and writing course, and have been really enjoying it. It’s been fun to revisit some of the activities and materials I used in the Academic Reading and Writing course I developed a few years ago. Something that may surprise teachers who are unfamiliar with English language learners, is that advanced students often struggle with some “easy” grammar and vocabulary, especially prepositions and conjunctions. These generally small words cause no end of difficulty for many students of English, and require an inordinate amount of practice and review to master. This semester’s group of advanced students is no exception, and I’d already noticed they were in need of a review of conjunctions when we came to a unit about identifying and writing compound sentences.

I knew I could do a discrete review of the four main coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, so) using my Tie That Binds activity, but this is a very packed course and we don’t have time for any review topics. If I wanted to review coordinating conjunctions (and we most certainly needed to), I needed to find a way to do it while covering the required content and compound sentences provided the perfect opportunity. Besides, why create a game that practices only one skill when more than one is possible?

The Setup

The game, Compounding Conjunctions, is rather simple, both in its creation and play. I used a basic game board, one I’ve used many times before, with squares around the outer edge of the paper with the start and finish being in the same square. I simply added the four most common coordinating conjunctions (and the ones I find require the most practice), one per square, in a repeating pattern around the board. I then wrote six simple sentences, each expressing an opinion that could be expanded upon in some way. These are the sentences I used, though you could easily use sentences that were more interesting, or applicable, to your own students:

  1. The legal voting age should (not) be raised.
  2. The United States should (not) require a year of military service for every citizen.
  3. Students should (not) have to wear school uniforms.
  4. Sugary drinks and snacks should (not) be allowed in school.
  5. Internet access should (not) be free for all people.
  6. Teenagers should (not) have social media accounts.

I added some turn directions to the board and it was ready to print. I printed and laminated enough boards for groups of up to four students (our classes are capped at 20, but we often overfill them so I made enough for six groups–when I have more than 24 students I simply add a playing piece to the necessary sets and increase group size to five students). All that was left was to prepare the playing pieces: one number cube and four place markers for each group. I like to put everything in snack size Ziploc bags for easy distribution. What we use as playing pieces varies, depending on what I have available, but favorites include plastic counters, mini erasers, and milk jug lids.

Game Play

The directions for the game are simple. The first student rolls the number cube and moves his/her piece. He/she then uses the conjunction on the space to expand the sentence corresponding to the number roll (so if a student rolls a two and lands on a square that says but, he/she would say, “The United States should (not) require a year of military service for every citizen, but…”). If the student is able to state a grammatically correct compound sentence, he/she remains on the space and play continues to the next player. If the sentence is not grammatically correct, he/she returns to the previously occupied space and play continues to the next player. The first player to return to Start/Finish is the winner.

The Digital Version

Converting this to a digital game was easy. I simply made the game board the background of a Google Slide and added the “Dice” script my husband wrote for me. This script does not actually add dice, nothing moves or animates on the screen, but it does allow students to “roll” without leaving the game file. What it does do is add a menu item at the top of the screen that says Dice. Students click “Dice” and “Roll” to randomly generate a number between one and six. The number is displayed in a pop up box that says, “You rolled a X.” The box can be closed by clicking OK or the X, and students can then move their piece (circles I added) to continue the game. I always give my students the option of typing their sentences into the chat box, rather than speaking them aloud, because many of them are parents and don’t like to turn their microphones on due to background noise.


My advanced students have played this game twice thus far this semester. The first time was for its intended purpose: to practice creating compound sentences and review coordinating conjunctions. The second was to practice creating claims that could be argued (the first step in our lesson on writing a thesis statement). They enjoyed the game both times and deemed it a success. As is my custom during game time, I circulated, listening in, and gathering formative assessment data regarding my students’ strengths and weaknesses (one way I knew they needed to review conjunctions). It’s also always interesting to hear their opinions on various topics and the discussions that inevitably ensue between them–great unscripted speaking practice, another bonus! Happy teaching, everyone!

Don’t want to make your own game? Here’re the links to purchase mine, as well as the “dice” script and conjunctions practice activities:

Conjunctions: The Tie That Binds

Am I the only one who hears, “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function? Hooking up words…” every time someone mentions conjunctions? As we all know, conjunctions are the words that hold our sentences together, the tie that binds words, phrases, and clauses into compound and complex sentences. Since my beginning level students often struggle to choose the correct conjunction (and, but, or, so), I decided to make a fun practice activity.

The Tie That Binds: Conjunctions is a set of 48 simple sentences that can be combined using one of the four main conjunctions (and, but, so, or). I wanted this activity to be versatile and we have five (six if you count the new digital version) different ways of using these cards.

Scoot Recording Sheet

Scoot: I designed the activity so the 48 sentences can be printed as 24 task cards with a pair of sentences on each card (see image in physical sort version below), or as 48 task cards with one sentence per card (cut the dotted line between the sentences). When we do this activity as a scoot, I pass out the 24 task cards with two sentences on each. Students then read the two sentences and, on their recording sheets, write a single sentence that uses a conjunction to combine the original sentence pair. This is particularly good practice for slightly more advanced students since they actually need to combine the sentences, deciding which words to keep and/or leave out. Less proficient students can simply write the conjunction they would use to combine the sentences, rather than the entire new sentence.

Physical Sort

Physical Sort: To do a physical sort, all students are given a set of 24 task cards, each with two sentences on them. Each group of 4-6 students is also given four containers labeled AND, BUT, OR, SO (paper plates or small plastic baskets work well). Students then read the sentence pairs and place each task card into the basket representing the conjunction that would best combine them. Pro tip: print each set of cards on different color cardstock, this allows you to quickly sort out the different sets of cards after multiple students toss them into the same baskets.

Four Corners

Four Corners: In this activity the students do all of the moving. I place a large conjunction sign in each corner of the classroom. I then read out the two sentences from a single task card (for lower proficiency students I also put the card on the document camera and display the sentences on the board for them to read along with). Students then move and stand in the corner representing the conjunction that would best combine the sentences. The final step is to ask for a volunteer to verbally combine the two sentences using the correct conjunction.

Response Cards

Response Cards: This version of the activity is a great way to quickly assess the entire class’ use of the four conjunctions without having to look at individual papers or worrying about students simply following the crowd (as in four corners). I give each student a set of four cards (as pictured here). I then read/display a task card with two sentences on it. Students hold up the card with the best conjunction to combine the two sentences. This works best if you tell students not to hold up their card until you give the signal. Read the sentences, wait a few seconds, then give the signal. The wait time gives students time to think and make a decision, rather than just look at what card everyone else is holding up and follow suit. This can also be done using whiteboards: students can either write the correct conjunction on the board or write a single sentence that combines the original two.

Match & Join

Match & Join: My favorite way to do this activity takes a bit more planning, but it visually reinforces the idea that conjunctions join two sentences together. To prepare, I cut the task cards into 48 cards with a single sentence on each and punched a single hole into each card. I then created my conjunction rings by printing the conjunctions on address labels, wrapping them around binder rings, and sticking them together to form a flag. I gave each student (or pair of students, depending on numbers) a set of sentence cards and a supply of conjunction rings. Students then matched the sentences (a numbered sentence with an unnumbered sentence) and used the correct conjunction ring to bind them together. This version was the most work for me to create, but it is a lot of fun and the physical representation helps to reinforce the purpose of conjunctions.

Digital Task Cards

Digital Version: As with just about every other activity I’ve ever used, I needed a digital version for this past year. Since there was no way to get physical materials to my students I decided on a set of self-grading digital task cards (directions for making your own in this post). Each “card” has the two sentences, two pictures (one for each sentence), and a combined sentence that is missing its conjunction. Students type the conjunction into the indicated cell and it is automatically added to the answer sheet at the end. The answer sheet (can be hidden) is conditionally formatted to grade the answers and sends the final number/percentage correct to a grade sheet for a quick reference. These digital task cards are available in both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel formats.

As I said in the beginning, I primarily use The Tie That Binds with my beginning to low intermediate students. When working on conjunctions with my intermediate and advanced students I tend to play Compounding Conjunctions, a board game practicing forming compound sentences with conjunctions (and, but, so, because). I’m really excited to be using these games in person again this semester and am looking forward to hearing what this semester’s group of students thinks about them. Happy teaching, everyone!

Need some of those links again? Here they are:

English Skillology, Level 1

Level 1
Level 3

This past summer I decided to have an answer ready for the inevitable, “Can I do extra credit?” question. I created a choice menu of four activities for each of the five domains (reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar). I called my extra credit menu English Skillology, and it was a big hit. It was such a hit with my high intermediate students, that I decided to make one for my beginning students.  The level three English Skillology menu (available for free from the original blog post linked above) was based off of seventh grade Common Core Standards and the Core Competencies for the ESL department at the college where I teach. The level one English Skillology menu (also available for free by clicking the picture or this link) is also based off the Core Competencies of our department, but the Common Core Standards come from the third grade ELA set.

At the most basic level, English Skillology is a choice menu. It includes four activities for each of the five skill areas in ESL: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grammar. Inspired by a Monopoly-style choice menu of someone else’s, I decided to use a game board format for my own. Each skill is a side (grammar is in the corners), and has its own color. Students are then free to choose the number and type of activities they want to complete by the end of the semester. If a student were to complete all of the activities, he/she would earn 120 extra credit points.

​I designed this particular board for my beginning students. In creating the activities I consulted two different sets of objectives: third grade Common Core ELA and the Core Competencies for my department at the college where I teach. Here’s a quick overview of the 20 activities:

  • Main Idea and Details:  Students read a brief selection about the Statue of Liberty and answer five questions about the main idea and details.
  • Text Features Sort: This is a small part of a larger Text Features Sort activity (paper and digital versions available). Students match definitions and pictures to seven different text features by dragging and dropping them into the correct boxes.
  • Compare and Contrast: Students read the story of Little Red Riding Hood and watch a movie version of it. They then complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two versions.
  • Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement: One part of a larger pronoun activity pack (paper and digital versions available), students drag and drop the correct pronoun over the underlined noun(s) in each sentence.


  • Introduction: Students will use Screencastify, or another program of their choosing, to record a 1-2 minute introduction of themselves.
  • Informative: Students will use Screencastify, or another program of their choosing, to record a 1-2 minute informative speech about a topic of their choosing.
  • Narrative: Students will use OnlineVoiceRecorder, or another program of their choosing, to record a 1-2 minute story.
  • Tourist Advice: Students pretend their closest friend is going to visit their home country and give a 1-2 minute speech giving advice about what to see. This is a small part of a writing activity I have done many times.


  • Descriptive Writing: Similar to my Describe That Picture activity, students choose a beautiful picture and insert it on the slide. They then write a paragraph describing the picture.
  • Informative Writing: Students write at least one paragraph giving information on the topic of their choosing.
  • Myth or Legend: After reading the provided example, students retell a myth or legend from their home country.
  • Narrative: Students write a narrative, of at least one paragraph in length, on a topic of their choosing.


  • The Incredibles: Students watch a short clip from the movie and answer five questions about it.
  • The Blind Side: Students watch a short clip from the movie and answer five questions about it.
  • Pronoun Problem: Students watch a short clip from a Bugs Bunny episode and answer five questions about the pronouns used.
  • The Electoral College Explained: Students watch a TED Ed video and complete a graphic organizer about it.


  • Subject-Verb Agreement: A small piece of a larger activity Have or Has: School Supply Rush (paper and digital versions available), students drag the provided circles around the correct word (have/has) to complete each sentence.
  • Conjunctions: Another sample from a larger activity, Conjunctions: The Tie That Binds (paper activity and digital self-grading task card versions available), asks students to drag and drop the correct conjunction to combine the two sentences.
  • Possessive or Contraction: In this small piece of Possessive Noun or Contraction? It All Comes Out In The Wash (paper and digital versions available), students drag each t-shirt to the correct washing machine to indicate if the word/phrase on the shirt is possessive or a contraction.
  • Singular or Plural Nouns: Students drag and drop the nouns into the correct column, sorting them by singular or plural.

So how did I create this extra credit menu? In the most general terms, here are the steps I took:

  1. I designed the choice menu and each activity slide in PowerPoint.
  2. I then saved those slides as images that I uploaded as backgrounds for the various slides (I use the add-on Slides Toolbox for this). This was to prevent any accidental (or not-so-accidental) deletions or edits by students.
  3. I added text boxes. Once again, in order to prevent unwanted deletions and edits I took steps. This time I made use of the master slide. Under Slide, click Edit Master. This will allow you to add and edit various slide layouts. I simply created master slides that included text boxes in the locations I needed them.
  4. I added videos for the students. The listening assignments, and a few others, required students to listen to a talk, or watch a short video. I inserted theses on the proper slides by clicking Insert and Video. This allowed me to find the video on YouTube and put it directly on the slide. Having the video on the slide has many benefits but the three most important to me are: no need to go to an outside site (less chance of clicking our way to distraction), advertisements are eliminated from the video, as well as watch next suggestions (again, less chance of distraction), I can choose when the video starts and ends (so if the beginning or ending is not relevant I can tell it to skip those parts.
  5. I set up the hyperlinks so when students choose an activity (by clicking on it in the menu) they will be automatically taken to the correct slide to complete it. I did this by drawing a square over each of the boxes in my menu. I then made the square and its border clear (tip: don’t make the square clear until after you’ve done the hyperlink so you can remember which links are finished and which aren’t). To make the shape a hyperlink, I click on it, clicked Insert Link in the menu bar (looks like a link in a chain), chose “Slides in this Presentation,” the number of the slide I wanted, and apply. 
  6. Finally, I added a “Game Board” button to each of the activity slides so students could quickly return to the choice menu from anywhere in the document. To do this I inserted a rectangle, put the text “Game Board” in it, and then used the Insert Link tool to link to the first slide. Once I did the fist one, I was able to copy and paste it onto all of the other slides.

I’m really excited about this particular project. It was a lot of work to put together but I believe it will be very valuable for my students. I especially like how it allows them to earn extra credit by participating in meaningful learning activities. Don’t forget to download your own copy of English Skillology from Teachers Pay Teachers today–it’s free!

Digital Board Games

Last week I did a blog post about how to convert a paper PDF game board into a digital game that can be played during distance learning. Since then I’ve been working to convert the paper-based resources that I plan to use this semester to digital formats. This week I’d like to share with you the results of those efforts.

All of the games that I converted are things I obtained for free from various sources. Wherever possible I credited the original source and provided links to the original document. You can obtain your own copies of these games by clicking the pictures on the left. Most will open a template preview window. To use the templates, click the blue “Use Template” button in the upper right-hand corner. This will add the game to your Google drive. 

I think my biggest struggle when first thinking about creating digital board games was how to deal with the dice situation. There are a lot of options out there for virtual dice, but they all involve students having to have another tab open and switching between them. I can’t speak for your students, but I suspect they are similar to mine in that moving between tabs is not the easiest thing in the world. Besides accidentally closing them on a regular basis, there’s just something about having to work in more than one tab that proves distracting to my students. Inevitably they see something, click on it, and become lost in the black hole of the World Wide Web. My husband, a software engineer, solved this problem for me by writing some scripts that I can add to Google Slides, Google Docs, and Google Sheets. The scripts do NOT add dice that move and turn, but they do add menu items (where you see File, Edit, View…) that perform the same function. Honestly, my students are just as happy with the menu items and don’t seem to miss seeing the dice move and change at all. Some of the games (such as Sentence Scramble) require very specific scripts, but most run off of one of four different scripts. The four main scripts are:

  • “Dice” Script–adds the functionality of a D6 number cube; a box pops up that says “You rolled a…” and a number between one and six
  • Game Play Script–adds the “Dice” Script as well as a “Draw Card” function that randomly jumps students to another slide (the “card”) 
  • Alphabet “Dice” Script–adds the functionality if a letter die; a box pops up that says “You rolled a…” and gives a letter from A-Z
  • Alphabet and Numerical “Dice” Script–combines the “Dice” Script and the Alphabet “Dice” Script into one menu item called “Dice”

​Not all of the scripts were used in the creation of these games, but most feature at least the “Dice” Script, and Intonation Monopoly features the Game Play Script. You can obtain your own copies of the scripts, so you can make your own games, by using the links above or the buttons at the bottom of this post. Each script comes with step-by-step directions for installing it and a video demonstrating the installation steps as well as how to use it.

Sentence Scramble is unique because it has a very specific script to generate the type of sentence students must find. It’s also unique because it involves a magic reveal answer slide. I described the step-by-step process of creating magic reveal answers in a previous blog post, and it was the perfect solution to my answer key problem for this game. I knew students would need an answer key, but didn’t want to have to set up a hyperlink for every square on the game board. I also didn’t want to have a slide that just showed students every answer from the board. The magic reveal trick was perfect because students can drag the magnifying glass to reveal only the answer they need while the others remain hidden.

The final activity pictured above, Clip ‘Em Centers, is a set of self-grading task cards, not a board game. I gave the step-by-step directions for creating these cards in a previous blog post, but I’m rather enamored with them. Students type their answers into specific cells of a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet, those answers are automatically recorded and graded on a separate tab, and a final tab gives students their total results. While the activity doesn’t involve any scripts, it does solve my problem of not knowing what my students answered when they completed digital task card activities.

In short, the past couple days has been a kind of culmination of all my learning over the last few months. I’m excited that I’ll be able to use so many of my favorite paper games and activities this semester during distance learning. I hope you find them helpful as well!

Self-Grading Digital Task Cards

Much or Many: Sheets Version
Relative Clauses: Sheets Version
The Tie That Binds: Conjunctions: Sheets Version
Syllables: Sheets Version

Task cards are great, aren’t they? Students like them, teachers like them, administrators like them, there’s really no reason to not like them! Figuring out how best to create digital task cards has been a journey for me; but I persevered and was rather content with the digital task cards I had come up with, except one thing–I had no way of know what my students had answered, or I had to click through multiple slides for each student and check everything by hand. I missed the recording sheets and the relatively easy grading methods I had for paper-based task cards. Until last week that is! It took some thinking and experimenting, but I knew that if I could use conditional formatting to create games and mystery pictures, I should be able to use conditional formatting to create self-grading task cards. I was correct, it is possible, and I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it. But first, here’s a look at these cards in action so you can see why I’m so excited about them!

Cool, right? And they were extremely easy to make. This is possible in both Excel and Sheets, but I find it a little easier to complete in Sheets because there are fewer options. The good news is that Sheets can be downloaded as Excel (click File, Download, Microsoft Excel) and all of the formatting stays in place. These directions will be for Sheets.

The first thing I did was rename the first tab as “Directions.” To rename a tab:

  1. go to the bottom of the screen
  2. right click where it says Sheet1
  3. click Rename
  4. type the new name for the sheet

I then clicked in the first cell and started typing my directions. I chose to type one sentence per line in hopes the students will read the directions more carefully if they weren’t in paragraph format. To insert the arrow directing them to the tabs for the questions I did the following:

  1. Click Insert
  2. Click Drawing
  3. I chose the arrow I wanted from the shapes menu and drew it on the screen.
  4. Click “Save and Close” in the upper right corner.
  5. Reposition and resize the arrow to fit your needs.

After the directions are finished it’s time to add the question, answer, and grade tabs. I recommend that you add the answer tab first and you update it as you go. To add a tab click the + sign in the bottom left corner. Change the name to “Answers” using the above steps. I chose to label column A as “Question,” so I could easily see which question the answer corresponded to, and I went ahead and numbered down column A (type 1 into cell A2, grab the bottom right corner of the blue outline around the cell and pull down, the numbering will be done automatically). Column B I labeled “Answer.” Going back to my directions tab, I again clicked the + button and renamed this newest tab “1” for question one.

On the question tabs you are going to include whatever you would normally place on a task card. I chose to include a picture (click Insert, Image, Over Cells) and the sentence that I wanted them to complete. One thing you do need to be sure and include though is an easily identifiable place for them to type their answer. You need to know exactly where the answer will be typed in order for the conditional formatting to work. I took care of this problem by choosing a cell, resizing it (not necessary but I wanted it to be large and not easily missed), and coloring it tan. Now that your first task card is set up, it’s time to make the magic happen on the answer sheet. 

  1. Click on the answer tab.
  2. Click in the cell for the answer to question/task 1 (cell B2 on my sheet).
  3. type =
  4. Click on the answer cell from task card 1 (click on tab 1, click on the answer cell).
  5. Click on the Answers tab.
  6. Hit enter.

Now anything typed into the answer cell on task card 1 (tab 1) will automatically appear in the corresponding answer cell on the Answers tab. Next I need to do the conditional formatting for the self-checking part of the task cards. (This step is not necessary if you are not planning to allow students access to the answer tab but it only takes a moment and I think it’s worth it.)

  1. On the Answers tab click on the cell for the answer to question 1 (cell B2 on my sheet).
  2. Click Format
  3. Click Conditional Formatting
  4. Under Format rules, Format cells if… choose “text is exactly”
  5. Type the correct answer in the box labeled “Value or formula”
  6. Choose the color you want the cell to turn (I leave mine green).
  7. Click Done.

To test this out, click on tab 1, type the correct answer in the answer box, hit enter. Now click on the answer tab and next to number 1 should be your answer and the cell should be green. This in itself is cool, but now to make it self-grading!

  1. On the Answers tab click the cell next to the answer for question 1 (cell C2 on my sheet).
  2. type =IF (that’s equals sign IF)
  3. click the cell with the answer (Answers tab cell B2 on my sheet)
  4. type the correct answer in quotation marks (i.e.: “much”)
  5. type ,1,0 (that’s comma one comma zero)
  6. hit enter

The cell next to your answer for question one should now have a number 1 in it. You have now completed the set up for task card 1. 

To create the next task card you could start from scratch, but I recommend copying and pasting to save yourself a little setup work. 

  1. Right click on tab 1 at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Click Duplicate
  3. Rename the new tab 2 (or whatever number you are on).

Now you just need to change elements such as the picture (if you choose) and the question. The answer box is already formatted for you, as well as any static elements you may have included (i.e. a border). Once the card is designed to your satisfaction, follow the steps above to update the Answers tab. Continue repeating these steps for each of your task cards.

Only a few things remain to be done. The first step is to finish the auto-grading feature. 

  1. On the Answers tab click the cell below the points for the last question (the cell immediately bellow the last 1/0 cell, on mine it was cell C27).
  2. type =SUM(     (that’s equals sign SUM and open parenthesis) 
  3. click on the 1/0 cell for question 1 (cell C2 on my sheet) and drag down to highlight all of the 1/0 cells
  4. release your mouse button
  5. hit enter

You now have a total number of questions correct. To convert this to a percentage, be sure you are in the cell below your total score (cell C28 on my sheet).

  1. type =
  2. click the cell with your total score (cell C27 on my sheet)
  3. type /   (that’s a forward slash or divide sign)
  4. type the total number of questions
  5. hit enter
  6. click again on the cell with your percent (cell C28 on my sheet)
  7. click Format
  8. click Number
  9. click Percent
  10. hit enter

You now have a percentage grade for the activity. 

This next part is totally optional but I wanted it because I sometimes use task cards as an assessment. The Answers tab will now clearly show which questions are correct and which are incorrect. This is great if I want students to be able to go back and correct their work, but what if I don’t want to make it obvious which questions are right or wrong, and I still want them to know their final score? My solution was a grade tab.

From the Answers tab create a new tab by clicking the + sign in the bottom left corner. Rename the new tab “Grade.” I then inserted a picture (just for fun) and an encouraging message. I then chose a cell and typed “Number Correct” (cell H4 in my example). In the next cell over (cell I4 on my sheet) I told it to automatically populate from the Answers sheet.

  1. On the Grade tab click where you want the number correct to appear (cell I4 on mine).
  2. Type =
  3. Click on the Answers tab.
  4. Click on the box with the total correct (cell C27 on my sheet)
  5. Click on the Grade tab.
  6. Hit enter.

I then repeated this process a row or two lower for the total percentage, this time pulling in the percentage from the Answers tab (cell C28 on my sheet). I now have a sheet that will show my students their grade, but not which questions are correct or incorrect. On this tab they are still able to see that they answered N questions incorrectly, but they don’t know which ones.

The final step is to hide the Answers tab so they don’t have access to which specific questions are correct or incorrect (this step is optional but good if you want to use the cards as an assessment).  To hide a tab:

  1. Right click on the tab you wish to hide.
  2. Click Hide sheet.

To make the tab visible again (if you want to look at specific answers without having to click on every tab):

  1. Click View.
  2. Click Hidden Sheets
  3. Click Answers

Can students do this too? Yes. Are they likely to think about it and do it? Probably not. Unless they know the tab is there they have no reason to go looking for it. Add to that the fact that they’d have to be able to read the conditional formatting formulas we inputted to get the correct answers, and cheating is highly unlikely.

That’s it, you now have a complete set of self-grading digital task cards. To use them you will need to make a copy of the document for each student and give them editing rights (be sure you’ve deleted any answers you typed on the question tabs as you tested things out). The best way of doing this will depend on your learning management system. To do this on Blackboard I create a Force a Copy link and post the link in my assignment. In Google Classroom you can just put the link into classroom and choose “make a copy for each student.” The important thing is that each student have his or her own copy of the cards.

This truly is my new favorite way to do task cards. I like it so much that I’m planning to go back and recreate some of my other task cards (the ones where students move circles to indicate their choice and I have to check each slide individually) using this method. I hope you find it helpful as well, happy teaching!