Grouping Students in the Classroom

How many times a day do you group students in the classroom? Grouping students can take on different appearances for different purposes.

It is important that students work with different students of different ability levels to help foster collaborative skills. Keeping grouping patterns fluid ensures that students' readiness levels, interests, and learning styles are being addressed.



Looking for a quick way to randomly partner up students where no student feels left out? Partner Duo Cards might be a strategy to use. Think of things that come as duos or two things that go together. Ham and eggs. Batman and Robin. Spaghetti and meatballs. Bat and ball. Cookies and milk. Creating partner duo cards is a quick and easy way to match students with heterogeneous partners. The number of partner duo cards is adjusted to match your class size. Each student is given a partner duo card. Once given a partner duo card, students will walk-the-room to find their partner. And off to work they go!!

Scrappin' Doodles

Need students to quickly get into heterogeneous groups of three? Modify the Partner Duo Cards into Triad Grouping Cards. Triad Grouping Cards make creating random groups of three quick and easy. Create triad cards where three things go together. These cards can be created by choosing objects and then having them shown in three different colors. Or choose a category and create cards that have three different items that belong to that same category for each triad. For example, the category can be flowers and the triad can be created using a picture of a rose, a tulip, and a sunflower. Or use a picture of a car and change the color to red, black, and grey. Each student is then given a triad grouping card. Then students walk-the-room to find two other students who have the same item on their cards but in a different color or an object that belongs to the same category. Using the triad cards, heterogeneous groups  of three can be quickly formed.
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Clock Partners
 Sometimes heterogeneous groups don't necessarily fit the goal we want our students to achieve so using clock partners is another way to partner up students with a specific purpose/goal in mind. As with scheduling any appointments, time is needed to set up students’ clock partners. Once the clocks are created, you will have a variety of partners for students to work with throughout the year. You can have students set their clock partners with a specific purpose in mind like similar readiness levels, interests, learning styles, or student choice. Need partners for an activity? All you have to say is, “Meet with your 10:00 appointment.” Students check to see who their clock partner is and off to work they go!

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You can create your version of these grouping tips or check out the product below.

What strategies do you use to group students? 

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