I LOVE task cards, and to be honest so do my kids. I have center time every day in my class and you can be sure one of those centers will have some type of task card. There are lots of reasons people use task cards and here are my top 5.
#1 The kids are independent. Task cards are designed for kids to be able to complete the work by themselves. The work I add to task cards is generally review and practice. Although the kids don't think they are practicing. There's something about squeezing those clips that makes the kids happy.
#2 My kids will take risks. No one wants anyone to know when we make a mistake and kids are no different. We are always assessing them and it must become exhausting to them to be constantly under the microscope. With self checking task cards no one will know if they make a mistake. They can check their answer and make the adjustments by themselves. I think the kids are willing to take more risks if no one will know if they made a mistake.
#3 They are hands on. I use a variety of task cards. Some require clothespins. My kids LOVE clothespins, I'm not sure what it is about clothespins but when they see them they want to go to the center. I also use paper clips, and dry erase markers and brads. The kids get a chance to manipulate the cards and somehow it's WAY more fun than answering with a paper and pencil.
#4 I can differentiate easily. Task cards are perfect for differentaiting instruction. I can have kids working on a variety of cards. Each child can be working on completely different skills.
#5 It saves time at the copymachine. Sure you have to print them out and laminate them. But once you do the little bit of prep work you have the cards for a whole month, unit or even year. Grab a recipe box and you have a perfect storage compartment. They can be used year after year.
Check out my favorite task cards from traditional to a little bit more fun.