Partners & Groups
Clock Partners or Buddies is meant to be a quick and easy way to create pairs for partnered activities while avoiding the problem of kids always having the SAME partners. Teachers can premake clocks and assign partners for strategic intervention. For instance, the teacher may know that a high and low student are paired at 3 o'clock. The process begins with a clock face, with slots for names extending from each hour on the dial. The basic idea is that each student has his or her own copy of a Clock Buddies sheet, with the names of 12 classmates on each hour's slot. Each of those other students, in turn, has this student's name in the matching hour slot on each of their clock sheets. How Does It Work? When the teacher needs to quickly pair up students without it always being the same partners every time, she can say to the class: "Get with your 4 o'clock buddy." Each student will pull out his or her clock buddies sheet, look at the 4 o'clock slot, and then join the partner indicated. This works because when the strategy is set up, it is done so that partners always have each other's names on their matching hour on the clock buddy chart. Simply do a google search for "clock buddies" and you will find lots of templates for this quick and easy activity. If you want a random clock partner generator look at these sites: http://clockbuddygenerator.com/ http://www.skillsconverged.com/TrainingTutorials/ClockBuddies.aspx .
Using a template of a cell phone students create a contact list. "Cell Numbers" have to match with a partner so when they "dial" the number two students end up with an exact match. There are lots of templates online. Check out this free resource: http://www.teachersnotebook.com/product/kismet56/speed-dial-partners
In this partnering up activity, the teacher places a word and its synonym on separate index cards. (If you have 26 studenst you will need 13 pairs of cards.) Students hunt the room for their match to partner up with. Words should reinforce vocabulary being taught through out the school year. This activity can also be done with antonyms.
Students are given a question with multiple choice. Students are grouped according to their responses. I typically have a piece of colored construction paper placed on each of my four walls with the letters A, B, C, and D. These stay in place all year and students go to the wall where their answer is. This activity can be reused throughout the school year to sort students.
Students are strategically placed in Monday's group, Tuesday's group, Wednesday's group, Thursday's group and Friday's group.
Students draw from a deck of cards to be placed in random groups.
Community groups are prearranged at tables by the teacher. Community groups (sometimes tribes) work towards group goals or points to achieve some sort of reward from the teacher.
Other Management Tools
A simple egg timer or an alarm on your phone will work to help manage time for groups or activities in your classroom. Noisemakers are great tools to help as attention getters. Some examples include a cow bell, hand clappers, whistles, etc. Be sure to prep your class before the activity so they knoow what noisemaker they need to respond to.
Call and responses have been around many years. Some of our favorites include: Teacher calls "3,2,1" and students respond with a clap. Another favorite for brain breaks: Teacher calls "Peanut Butter" and students respond with "Jelly Time". Another favorite for lining up: Teacher calls "Ready to Rock" and students respond "Ready to Roll"!