Here are two random quick ways to make groups in the classroom. I used the first one for a while, but then, got even more creative to create some small laminated cards.
This post is inspired by Barry Hoonan, co-author of “What Are You Grouping For?” who shares his strategies on episode 539 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast. Listen to his strategies for grouping which are much more complex and helpful for reading groups.
Robert Marzano had suggested to get colored poker chips and write the letters on one side and numbers on the other. I did this at first but decided I didn't like the connection with poker.
So, I got cardstock and created them as follows with enough for 20 students (the maximum size of my class).
So, with five different paper colors, cut each into four small squares. This gives us five teams of kids with four students on each team.
With the letters A, B, C, D – I write each of these five times on one side of the colored tiles. Now, if I want four teams of up to five students each, I ask them to draw in letter groups.
For pairs, I write the letters 1-10 on the other side and use lettered groups to make pairs.
What about odd numbers?
Well, this is recent, but I used some stickers I had with emojis for the odd numbers. Of course, you would use eighteen and have three of the same stickers on each of them to make six teams. If you need to have 21, then that would be seven types of stickers.
Laminate and cut off the edges
I used a laminator to laminate these beauties, although I did have to cut off the edges.
Now, any time I need to make groups, I count out how many I need, figure out the size of the group and I have a quick and instant way to make random groups with a draw out of my Google cup in the classroom.
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