In my previous post, I confessed that I NEVER take home math papers to grade anymore. The reason is that I have, over time, worked hard to develop ways for all of my math practice work to be self-checked by the students.

Here are my 10 favorite ways:

**#1 Coded Joke Worksheets or Task Cards**

Is it just me, or do you hate to grade task cards where the answer key looks like this?

No offense meant to those who have created task cards like this (I have, too), but I prefer to use task cards with some sort of coded answers. Joke and riddle answers are my favorite - I can check these with a glance and students love the jokes! Way easier and more fun, too.

4th graders love "dad" jokes, but honestly, who doesn't?

**#2 Crossword Coded Task Cards**
** **My wife and I love to do puzzles, especially when we travel. One of our favorites is the 4 by 4 crossword puzzle found in the *USA Today*. I had the idea to create some task cards that could be filled out in a similar way. Once my students figured out how these puzzles worked they really liked them and asked me to make more! When they are completed they look something like this:

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**#3 QR Coded task cards**
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I was amazed at how much my students enjoyed practicing problems like this! I have recently started including not just text based answers, but images showing the correct work. This helped students spot their errors more quickly. Try out the QR code below to see what I mean.

**#4 Give students a calculator**

If I am doing something that is just straight calculation, I sometimes have students practice checking using a calculator. It's funny, but because my students so rarely get to use a calculator they get really excited when I give them them chance to use them.

The activity below is one of my favorite calculator activities to practice place value using expanded form. Students LOVE this!

**#5 "What's the word" style games**

This is one of the products that I am most proud of creating. This is an activity that works well for sorting numbers from least to greatest. Students love trying to guess the mystery word before they flip over the cards. Here are 3 examples from my TpT store:
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**#6 Interactive Google Slideshows**

This
is something new that I started doing just last year and it has
worked really well. Most of these slideshows that I have made have focused mainly
on problem solving. My reasoning for doing this with math word problems
was simple. It was one of the hardest assignments to give to students
and have them complete with independence. After a math period of students doing math word problems I was typically exhausted from providing help and
answering student questions. (Often the same question 15 times!)
These activities allow students to click for
a hint (or two) and then click to check their answer.
See below for examples:

Unfortunately, I haven't posted many of these activities to Teacher Pay Teachers yet. Be sure to follow me there as I'll probably post them for free or half off when I post them sometime this year.

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**#7 Put the answers on the back of task/scoot cards**.

This is obvious, I know. But a lot of times I need to create an activity to practice a specific skill and I just don't have time to add QR codes or add a secret code or whatever. I need it ready to go __now__.
If I have all my questions or task cards prepared, sometimes I'll simply answer the questions on sticky notes and put it on the back of the cards. Easy-peasy! Or, if the task cards are something that I've made myself, I'll sometimes print them full size and just put them in clear sheet protectors.

This saves time from having to laminate and cut, too.

**How to make a quick answer key**

Sometimes, once I'm done making and printing the task cards, I then print the slides 9 or 16 to a page. (see below how this looks with Keynote on a Mac)

After they are printed I put the answer on each "mini" task card. Then I cut them out and slide these into the
back of the sheet protectors. It's fast and easy and it just get the job done.

**#8 Use Accelerated Math **

Many, many schools and teachers use Accelerated Reader, but it is surprising how few people are aware of another great product from Renaissance Learning called Accelerated Math.

This is a product which I have used with great success for probably over 10 years. Once a week, I assign a worksheet of problems for objectives that I have chosen as Math homework. Students bubble in their answers on a scan card like the one shown at the right and then score their assignments as they turn it in in the morning.

After students scan their card, they get a report that shows what was answered right or wrong. It also gives a breakdown of how they did on each skill.

Students who get 100% get a sticker or star on their paper and it goes in their take home folder. Students who miss any questions do corrections, hence the CAR (correct and return). During work time the students and I go over anything they are unclear about from the assignment and go over what was missed.

No more waiting until the next day or after the weekend for students (and me) to get feedback on how they did. And for me, no more lugging home stacks of papers to grade each night. A win-win.

**#9 Post the answer key**

Again, this is almost so obvious I didn't include it. A lot of times I'll have the students do the work at their seats and just look up at the answers posted on the smartboard when they are done. If you want the students to move around a little, you can also post the answers around the classroom.

**#10 Play a game where students must check each other**

I Have... Who has... cards is one example a fun, and effective game to quickly review a concept with your class. It encourages teamwork and active listening skills. It works great for vocabulary but can be adapted for almost any skill you can imagine.

Here's one I designed for reviewing algebra expressions. Get it for free here.

To further gamify this activity, I set out timers for each group of 4 or 5 and have them race to complete the game as fast as possible. Each day, they can try to beat their best time. I also like to post a leaderboard of fastest times in each of my classes. This really gets their competitive juices flowing!

**I hope this post got your creative juices flowing as well. If you have you own ways for students to self-check that I failed to mention, please add them in the comments. **

**Thanks and have an awesome week!**