Sunday, 7 August 2016

Never Let Your Students Pick Their Own Partners

Some things just have a way of sticking with you. When I was getting my B. Ed., I had a fantastic behaviour management prof. A lot of what she said has stuck with me, but the thing I remember the most is when she said she NEVER lets her students pick their own partners. Not in university, not in elementary school. As she explained her reasoning, I was probably nodding my head without realizing it because it made so much sense. To paraphrase her...

Isn't that the truth? As soon as you talk about working in partners, you've got a class full of this...

with a whole lot of this mixed in…

Either way, it is very likely that most of your students are no longer paying attention. That's why, from the beginning of the year, I set the tone with this rule…

Image via Snapshots by Amy

This alleviates the worry and stress that most students face when asked to work in partners.

So, if your students can't pick their partners, how should you manage it? There are lots of great ideas from drawing popsicle sticks to using an electronic random name generator. Another great option is to use "Find Your Partner" cards.

To use, just choose a set of cards that best suits your students, shuffle them, and hand them out to students. Students are then responsible to find their partner based on how the cards are meant to be organized.

Each card set is labeled and color-coordinated to help keep them organized.

But wait…what about making groups? Don't worry, I've got you covered by including "Find Your Group" cards, too.

Truthfully, I've found that as soon as you start making choosing partners and groups random, students jump on board. These cards help you take the stress out of it, and allow you and students to focus on learning. Plus, once you've got a set (or few) of these cards printed and laminated, they are ready for repeated use, making your job that much easier!

If you're interested, you can check the cards out by clicking {HERE} or the picture below.

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