I love it when my kids work together to solve problems. You can really see the thought processes they go through, not only when solving problems themselves, but when determining how to help someone else. However, there’s always a tension that fills the room the second you say the word “groups.” There isn’t a single kid in the room still listening to your instructions! I rarely let my students choose their own groups. However, I don’t really have a great way to choose random groups.
I recently found an idea that I’m definitely going to use next year. Creative Language Class posted an awesome idea for grouping students. The picture caught my attention right away – I’m always up for something bright and colorful.
Those cute little colorful cards up there are nothing but paint color samples. In order to randomly assign groups, randomly hand each student a card. Then, ask them to group up based on colors, numbers, or shapes. A lot more fun than just drawing names out of a cup, and the students never know which category you’ll call. It’s also a great way to partner up students of varying ability levels, thereby allowing peer scaffolding to take place. I can’t wait to use it next year!