Top 10 Best ways to pick groups

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by h2omane, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    Jun 12, 2007

    The Top 10 best ways to pick groups

    I want to compile a list of the 10 best ways teachers choose groups in thier classrooms. I've been in, like all teachers, situations where I need to make a group in a matter of seconds without warning, (special guest speakers, Travelling lab coats science activity, etc.)

    I've got tongue depressors with each kid's name on it, drawing one randomly at a time to make the groups, and I've formed groups based on desk arrangement.

    so...

    1 - draw from a hat
    2 - closest neighbor(s)
    3 -
    4 -
    5 -
    6 -
    7 -
    8 -
    9 -
    10 -

    What are some others that really help you in a pinch.

    Thanks, merci, gracias.
    Mr.Skinner :D
     
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  3. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I went to a workshop that gave each student a blank clock. They had to put one person's name in the class beside each number (1-12) or the even numbers, or the odd, or 3/6/9, whatever you want.

    When the teacher would say, "Okay, move to your 2 o'clock partner!" the kids would move to that partner. The kids kept their clocks in their folders all term or all year (again, depending on what you want).
     
  4. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I have mine in desk groups and editing groups, and reading groups. You could have a "home" group where kids already know who their "home friends" are and then when you need to split up, all you have to do is say.
     
  5. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I group mine with buffer kids and problem kids usually, especially this past year. Then every so often I feel sorry for the well behaved kids who have to be buffers, so I let them pick their own partners/group. If someone has done something extra special, I might let that kid choose his own group. Depending on what we are doing, I sometimes group them by putting a variety of abilities together so they can help each other.
     
  6. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Seating arrangement is probably the number 1 because hopefully you have put some thought into which students compliment each other and which ones are like oil and water. But, if you are out and about the old number off method always works.

    Letting the children pick and rounding up the kids that don't jump on the oppurtunity right away and split those ones into groups of x many.

    If it is two large groups there is always girls and boys, there is also a-m and n-z last or first names.
     
  7. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Hope these help. :)

    Set of cards: one half have the states, other the capitals. Have to find their partner by matching state to capital.

    Playing cards match up for groups of 2, 3, or 4.

    Cards using math facts:Groups of 3:
    I am 8. Where is 3X7?
    I am 21. Where is 5X7?
    I am 35. Where is 8X1?

    Cards with something in each corner:
    Numbers in one, Letters in one, colors in one, subjects, stickers, etc.
    Can program them to form different size groups:
    Numbers might be groups of 2 (2-1's, 2-2's, 2-3's, etc.)
    Letters might be groups of 3 (3-A's, 3-B's, 3-C's, etc.)

    Somewhere I saw where they give each student an index card and then ask them a particular question geared toward their interests, learning modality, intelligence strengths, etc. The answer to each question is written in a specific corner and one is written in the middle of the card. Then, depending on the activity, groups are formed from the cards. This is pretty general-sorry. Wish I could remember where I saw it. :)
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I sometimes have the students count off in Latin. All uni work in a group, all duo work in a group, and so on.
     
  9. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    Jun 13, 2007

    I love it. Cool idea.
     
  10. knittingbec

    knittingbec Comrade

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    Here's a special treat one... get a variety bag of mini-sized candy bars. Pass it around the room and let each student pick one, but not eat it yet. (If you need certain numbers in your groups, you'd have to count them out ahead of time) Then, all the kids who picked "Snickers" (for example) are a group, all who picked "Mr. Goodbar" are a group, etc. If you have students with nut allergies or something, you could get a variety pack of some other candies, like Sweettarts, etc.
     
  11. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    I have a list of groups on laminated construction paper (8 1/2 x 11) on the board. The kids always know what group they are in and who the members are that way so they can just quickly get together. The laminate makes it so that I can quickly make changes to the list when I need to, for example if a student is not able to work well with a group for various reasons, or changing captains, taking out students who have left the school, and writing in students who have come in. For sports or times when you only want two teams I just have them line up and start dividing them one-by-one, you here, you there. It takes about two minutes.
     
  12. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    Jun 25, 2007

    So I guess this would be the top 10 list for groups

    1 - draw from a hat
    2 - closest neighbor(s)
    3 - clock partners
    4 - desk groups, reading groups, etc
    5 - a-m n-z, boys/girls, numbering off
    6 - states and capitals cards
    7 - playing cards
    8 - interest inventory cards
    9 - colours of clothing / paint chips
    10 - learning ladders

    thanks for all ideas and thoughts,
    Mr. Skinner :D
     
  13. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Is it just me, or isn't that what you said to start with?....
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I've done the drawing sticks with students numbers on them before. I also set up reading and math groups. We always do tons of testing at the beginning of the year to see where students are. Since mine are lower elementary, I use stations (centers) and use this information. Each group has 4 students (maximum), and includes at least one high level student and one low level student. I also use these groups for other things besides stations.
     
  15. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    At least half of my kids never remember their numbers, and don't remember each others' last names! What's your secret?
     
  16. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    These are all great ideas. However, you're inspiring me to start a new thread about this topic... those kids who are cliquey.
     
  17. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    yes but It was blank at first like it is now.
     
  18. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    That sounded like a smack down...I thought you got some really great ideas there?
    :)
     
  19. beachteach

    beachteach Rookie

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    I've got a really fun one! My kids LOVE this!!!
    Ok you know the paint chips at Home Depot? They have Disney ones in the shape of Mickey Mouse. I pass out colors and the kids have to group according to the color they have.
     
  20. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    no smack down, I'm just overtired and underpaid. Anyone else like that?

    :D
     
  21. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    Yes, most of us. But really, you don't think those were good ideas?

    I just want to know how Tigers gets his kids to recuerda their numbers and last names. Mine are bigger and they can't do it. I tried it once, it was total chaos. :)
     
  22. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    Neat-how fun!! :)
     
  23. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    I assign each child a number in the beginning of the year by ABC order of last name. This is their number all year.

    I write the numbers on tongue depressors and randomly pick out the numbers to call on them in groups or answer questions or read.
     
  24. stlchica

    stlchica Rookie

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    I saw that too. I attend the University of Virginia Academic Diversity Institute in the Summer of 2006. I'm going to use that in my classroom this year.
     
  25. stlchica

    stlchica Rookie

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    Where is a good place to get those tongue depressors?
     
  26. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    I am pretty sure you can get them at a craft store next to the craft sticks.
     
  27. Jame

    Jame Comrade

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    I do the same thing, but also use clothespins. I like how I can just clip them to the edge of the container. I use them many times to make sure that I call on everyone. :)
     
  28. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Clock Buddies- I am sure someone already said it...
    Also I use a deck of cards with their names on them and draw two or as many as I need in the group. Works well...
    Elbow Partners
    Eye Brow partners (across from each other)
    Stand up, hand up, pair up
     
  29. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    stand up hand up, pair up?

    I'm not seeing it clearly in my head, can you explain?
    Thanks,
    Mr. Skinner :D
     
  30. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Sorry about that. Yes I can. Kids stand, put one arm/hand up and then find a partner quietly when they have their partner they put their hands together. It works really really well for me... and they like it. Takes modeling and practice at the beginning of the year but it's well worth it when you can say okay stand up, hand up, pair up and they do...
     
  31. adellesmama

    adellesmama Companion

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    I just bought a box of 300 "jumbo" craft sticks at Wal-Mart for a little over $3. They're pretty much the same thing, I think. :)
     
  32. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    stand up, hand up, pair up, good idea, thanks
     
  33. srh

    srh Devotee

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    I like (for grades older than Kinder!) to have students line up in birthday order. It gives them practice in the months of the year (if they need it) but also helps them learn to organize chronologically.
     
  34. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I have those!! I like that idea. :)
     
  35. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I write all of my students names on popsicle sticks. Sometimes I pull them out randomly and that is who their partner is.

    Next year, students will sit at a table that has a color, and each student will have a number at the table 1-4. I made sticks that have the table group colors on them, and numbers on them. If I pull out the stick with a color, they will work with their table groups, otherwise they will work with their number groups. This would be for groups of 4.

    Last year, I had a couple of low status students (code word: unpopular) for whatever reason. No one wanted to work with them. I would do a take on letting them choose their own group, by calling on a child (usually the low status first) to pick a partner. Then, the person picked would pick a partner. The child who chose first felt good about getting to work with someone he liked, and the person he picked got a partner he liked. It generally worked pretty well. This would be for groups of 3.

    Other times, I would let kids each pick one partner, then I would group the two's into foursomes. This worked well also, as each child in the group had a buddy they liked to work with. This was a great way to mix the gender up in my groups.

    Because I have a small class, the clock doesn't work quite as well. We are going to have mini-world maps and do continent partners instead. This will be something new for me. I made popsicle sticks with the continents on them as well.

    I also have assigned partners for some things, like spelling practice and math. Each child had a math partner that they would work with on games and other partner activities in math. They were paired homogenously. Same with spelling practice.
     
  36. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I like every single one of those ideas. Maybe if you want to try the clock partners, you can have the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 places on the clock to fill in. Yet I may have to try the continent partners... :)

    I like how you had the students who were less popular choose groups. That worked in their science lab special. Only once or twice in three years, I had a snide remark of "I don't want to work with her!"
     
  37. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    I agree with the upopular student getting to choose first. Brilliant, as my college prof would say.

    Thanks for taht post, my wallflowers will feel more like roses.
     
  38. sundrop

    sundrop Cohort

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    Ok, I can't believe I never thought of this idea because I am a huge Mickey Mouse fanatic. All of my students know this about me. I read this post a while ago and went to Home Depot for a whole other reason. I decided to get some of the Mickey paint chips and I just have to say I felt really silly :blush: taking so many of them in order to have enough for a whole class. My daughters were enjoying seeing me stuff more and more in my purse. Anyway it gave us all a giggle and now I can make some awesome groups! Thanks for the idea!
     
  39. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    Yes, thank you all for your ideas.
     
  40. MrsBinTX

    MrsBinTX Rookie

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    Love these!

     
  41. MrsBinTX

    MrsBinTX Rookie

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    One other option. . . if you are dividing kids into teams and you need to break up "BFF's" for the moment, you have each kid quickly pick a partner. (I give them like 15 seconds.) Then, I have one kiddo in each partnership sit down and one stand up. The sitters are one team and the standers are another. It only works once though. :)
     

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