I created some cards as a resource for letting student pick partners in class. These cards can be used much the same way as you would use cards in the Kagan cooperative learning structure, Mix-n-Match. There are 50 cards. Just laminate and cut apart. You can store them on a ring or keep them rubber banded in a safe spot for easy access. I am having a sale on these cards on TpT - you can get them for $1 until Wednesday 7/25/12 at 11:59pm. See the last paragraph of this post for some other ideas on how you could use this same idea with general classroom objects you might already have in your classroom! If you'd like to see these cards, click HERE to go to my TpT store and purchase them. You can also click the preview picture(s) below.
You could just pass these cards out to the students and have them find their match. However, I have students use these like they would in the Kagan cooperative learning structure “Mix-and-Match”. This allows students to not only choose a partner randomly, but it also allows them to get up and move around (very important in the primary classroom)! To use, pass one card to each student (if there is an uneven number, place the extra card in the “unmatched area”). Have the students spread out in the room. Then, play some music or say a chant or something as a class. While the music is playing, have students walk around and trade cards (I always go over my expectations when it comes to this – students are to be constantly moving and constantly trading). When the music stops, students freeze. When you say, “Go!”, the students will try to find their match. When students find their match, you can either have them sit knee-to-knee, hand up/pair up, or stand back to back. They can then go do whatever it is you want them to do as a pair! If you have an odd number of students, and a player’s match is in the “unmatched area”, you can then just have him/her join a group or be your helper/checker.
I created these cards just to have something fun for the kiddos, but you certainly do not have to have set cards. In the past, I've used a regular deck of playing cards (partners have to find a number or symbol matching their number or symbol), colored puff ball (partners find their same color), pattern blocks, regular number cards (like we use in math), unifix cubes, or even sight word cards (you just need a double set and students match the sight word). You could also use rhyming word cards, vowel cards, addition/subtraction flash cards (same sums or differences), etc... This activity can be fun, educational, or both, and it allows students to interact in a positive manner that makes finding a partner an easy thing. I hope your kiddos have as much fun with this as mine do! :-)Pin It