I’m always on the lookout for a handy student group work strategy. This one, Clock Partners, is one of my favorites! Sometimes when you prepare for group work, you stay up too late the night before making sure everyone has just the right partner. Have you been there? I have! And, honestly, even if it goes well- it leaves me dreading doing it again.
Feeling Prepared for Group Work
One way I feel prepared for partner work is to rely on a quick partnering resource sheet. My students keep it in their binder at all times, and since we use it regularly- it’s always easy to find. I call this strategy “clock partners” because the first time I used it as a participant- it was set up like a clock. Since then though, I’ve used so many variations! You can have fun with this. I used “transportation partners” when I was working science teachers who were diving into a unit on maglev trains. “Literary Genius” partners was a hit with some high school juniors a few years ago. And here’s my “Snack Partners” version- that works with pretty much everyone!!
Partners: Recipe for Success
- Early in the year, pass out the Snack Partners Resource Sheet. Direct students to walk around the room with their sheet and plan a snack with a classmate.
- Students should record the name of the classmate they are having a burger with near the burger on each other’s sheets. No one can have any student’s name twice on their sheet.
- You now have 6 different partnership groupings set up and ready to go. When you need students to have a quick meeting with a partner, refer to this sheet and instruct students to meet with their “veggies and dip partner” or their “ice cream partner.” If you use them often, you’ll find some work better than others and they’ll become your favorites. Students love the excitement and surprise of this strategy!
If you’re ready to tackle group work like a pro this year, and want even more tips and videos to support your success, join me inside Classroom Systems That Work today!