I have used many activities in the past to group students, but here's my favorite: Monster Partner Cards!
- a monster graphic- 8 different little guys
- a number- #1-8
- a color (the number is the color in this set)- red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, pink & black
First, I determine what cards I am going to need to fit the needs of my activity. Since there are 64 cards total, I certainly don't need all of them and I don't want one group to end up with 7 kids and another with only 1!
For this example, let's say I have 24 kids and I want to make 6 groups of 4 based on the monster graphics. I wouldn't tell the kids this, of course, but I would pull 4 of each of the monster graphics until I had a stack of 24 cards.
Pass out the cards randomly or pass them out to certain kids if you would like a bit of control. The best part is your students will not know how they are going to be partnered! Since there are three possibilities, it reduces the "oh man!" and "yes!" comments that can sometimes pop up and make others feel excluded.
As the kids find their groups, remember to collect the cards to make sure you can use them again and again :)
Remember how you group students so that you can do it differently the next time- this will keep kids guessing and make it much more exciting.
Depending on your class size, you could use these to group kids into groups of two to eight. I typically have around 24 kids, so I use these to make groups of three or more.
These adorable little monster cards are now available in my TpT Store at a discounted intro price! If you would like a set of your own, leave a comment below with your email and I will give them away to the first two people.
PS- Check out We Read, We Blog, We Teach for the Chapter 1 discussion of The Daily 5!