Skip to Content

Question Stack Explanation Card

I’m currently in the process of making more question stacks for my Algebra 1 classes. Every year, students are a bit confused when I introduce the practice structure. Often, they are talking or daydreaming when I am giving the crucial instructions, and they end up wasting a lot of time.

question stack intruction page

This year, I’ve decided to make a template for students to use with their question stack cards that has the instructions printed on it.

Question Stack Explanation Card - Instructions for Question Stacks

Here’s are the directions I have come up with for walking students through working on a question stack activity.

Question Stack Directions

  1. Lay out each of the ten cards with the answer side facing up. These cards are your “answer bank.”
  2. Choose one card to begin with. Flip that card over and place it on the space to the right with the question side facing up.
  3. Find the answer to the question shown on the card.
  4. Search your remaining answer cards for the correct answer.
  5. Place the answer card on top of the card to the right so that the correct answer is facing the original question.
  6. You should now have a new question showing. Find the answer to that question.
  7. Continue until you have no  more cards remaining in your “answer bank.”
  8. Flip the stack of cards over to reveal your last question. The answer to this question should be the answer card on the other side of the stack. If this is not the case, you have made a mistake somewhere!
Question Stack

I’ve printed these question stack explanation cards on peach paper and laminated them.


drawing of laminator machine with text "laminating recommendations"

A laminator is a MUST-HAVE for me as a math teacher! I spent my first six years as a teacher at a school with a broken laminator, so I had to find a way to laminate things myself.

I’ve had several laminators over the years. I currently use a Scotch laminator at home and a Swingline laminator at school.

I highly recommend splurging a bit on the actual laminator and buying the cheapest laminating pouches you can find!

Now I can use them over and over with various question stack activities throughout the year.

Make Your Own Question Stacks

Want to make your own question stack activity? I have created an easy to use printable question stack template that works perfectly every time. All you have to do is add your own questions!

make your own question stack template.

Blame the unicorn

Monday 20th of November 2017

Oh these are awesome! Too bad you don't teach 5th grade math. ?


Friday 27th of October 2017

I only had one issue, two questions with the same answer! So it messed up the flow and the students needed the final answer card prior to the end of the stack. Other then that issue (not sure if I missed that) the kids were engaged and enjoyed the activity.

Simplifying Radicals

Thursday 28th of September 2017

I love your question stack idea. I too have issues with students understanding how they work. So this year I made an introductory question stack where the math was so easy, all they had to do was focus on the directions that I was giving. The questions were simple one-digit addition. After that, the students were fine with the 'real' activity.

Kelly Fischer

Monday 25th of September 2017

I love this idea! Is there a secret way to organize my answers so that it works out, and I'm guaranteed to have my answer left for every problem that I do?

Shelly Hebert

Sunday 24th of September 2017

Love this! I made my first question stack last week using the template you posted on a different blog post. The kids loved it! So many great comments that day - "that was so fun!", "this math is great!", etc. I'm looking forward to making more and will definitely be using this explanation card! I look forward to your blog posts every day. :) Thanks so much for sharing!

Comments are closed.