Do you ever need to pick students to work with partners or in groups, but get tired of pulling sticks or having them find their own partners with a handful never being able to find someone to work with? I have three fun ideas for you that my students love!
I think you won't have a problem figuring out why my students like to be partnered with candy. I use Dum Dums because I got this tub with 16 different flavors and it has enough to put my students with a partner. I take a few minutes before school and select 11 different flavors and when it's time to get the students a partner, I pass one randomly to each student. They have to find their partner by matching their flavors without talking. While they work, they are allowed to eat the candy. I have also done this by taping Starbursts to the bottom of their seats while they are out of the room and when they come in, they look under their seats for their flavor and then find their partner. Taping it under their chair allows me to teach for a bit without them knowing they have candy waiting for them.
My next example is of Inside Outside circles. I select half of my class to stand in a tight circle facing outwards. The next half stands in a larger circle facing inwards so they are facing another student. Now, I can do two different things. I can have them meet with each student to share something they wrote by rotating the inside or outside circle one student at a time. They will be able to share their idea with each student in the opposite circle. I also will use this to group students by practicing clockwise and counterclockwise movements. I will have the inside circle rotate ____ students clockwise, then the outside circle rotate ____ students counterclockwise. I keep doing this a few times mixing up the direction and number of students. Then, whoever is in front of them after the last movement will become their partner.
This last grouping strategy is one I use most often because it is so easy and quick. Go to this Random Student Generator and enter your students' names. You only have to do this once since the website saves this information. Then you can select to put the students in groups. The generator will create the amount of groups that you selected. My students would actually rather have me find them a partner this way instead of picking partners themselves. What I like about this website is that you can also just choose one student at a time. I use this in class to call on students if I see they are starting to zone out at the end of the day. It keeps them on their toes and encourages them to listen because they don't know when the computer will choose their name.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about grouping, or have other ideas that you really enjoy using, please leave them in the comments. I'd love to read them!
Now for your next stop on the hop...visit Tara's blog, And They All Fall Down, to read about some easy art ideas for your classroom! If you'd rather search by topic, you can browse them in the link up below. Have fun!