Thursday, February 9, 2017

Foolproof Ways to Partner Your Students

I don't know about you, but I have my students work with partners constantly. 

Sometimes partners are assigned strategically, based on data for intentional instruction.

Sometimes, however, I just need my students to find a partner or at least someone to turn and talk to during think-pair-share.

I was tired of my students taking forever to find a partner.
I was tired of my kids working with the same people over and over.
I was tired of saying "make a better choice" or "you aren't allowed to work together."

I have equity sticks and use them often, but the partnerships aren't planned and therefore often aren't great.

Thus, I introduce to you...

The Partner Wheel

I originally heard this idea from Amie Dean, The Behavior Queen. (Side note: SHE'S AMAZING!)

It's perfect for partnering your students. Put students that you don't want working together on the same circle… They will never figure out why they never end up as partners.  LOL! #teacherwin

I've been implementing more whole-brain teaching into my daily routines, so I've been using this partner wheel to determine weekly reading carpet partners. It may not be the prettiest thing, but it serves its purpose! 

Here's another tip: Search "circle segmented into __ parts" on Google images to find a circle that fits your needs. Print one smaller than the other, attach with a brad, and there you have it! 

Other Partnering Ideas 

Want to squeeze in a little more practice? Make your partnering academic! 

A perfect example is using one of my grammar puzzles. Pass out the pieces to your class, and each student has to find his or her match. Ta da, partners!

This works for vocabulary too. Put the word on one index card and the definition on the other. Laminate so you can use them over and over. 

Lastly, there are tons of options for cute partnering cards on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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Which one are you going to try? If you make your own, please send a picture my way on Instagram either @schoolandthecity or @theprimarypeach.