If I am ever giving directions to a game or center and I accidently let the word “partner” slip out of my mouth, my students no longer pay attention to me. They begin pointing at each other in hopes they will be able to select their own partner.
For several reasons, I do not usually let them select their own partners. The main reason is one of my precious babies always seems to get left out and ends up feeling sad. That is not the feeling I want my kiddos to have at the beginning of a game. Another reason is my students don’t always choose the best partner; a person that will help them stay on task. My final reason, if it was up to my students, they would select the same partner over and over. I want them to have a variety of partners.
I have created a set of cards designed to randomly assign each student a collaborative partner. They are fun to use. Simply, give each student a card, and then allow them to find the other student with the matching card. The two students with matching cards will be partners. For 1st and 2nd graders, you might want to add color to the cards, to make finding the matches easier. Click here to get your FREE set of Partner Picker cards!