If you’ve had your students in class all year your job should be so easy! Flawless transitions, no personality conflicts, 100% cooperation… Plus, by now they have learned a lot of language and can stay in the target language so much longer than they could at the beginning of the year.
Ok, let’s be real… it’s not always easy, is it? Do they all choose to speak in the TARGET LANGUAGE bell to bell?!? Students can be harder to motivate when summer is just around the corner.
It takes new strategies for me to keep them in Spanish at this time of the year. They are very comfortable with each other and love to slip into English. Mixing their groups helps a lot but it can be time consuming to do this in the middle of class… until now.
I saw a similar idea from an elementary classroom somewhere on Pinterest – and it worked great for me in class so I figured i’d share! Maybe it will help a few of you.
I collected paint samples from my favorite home improvement store. I have around 30 kids in each class so I used 6 different colors – 5 of each color. I numbered each color 1-5 and assigned 6 different shapes on the cards, too. All I needed was 10 mins and a sharpie and my cards were ready!
Now when I want to mix students up on the fly (without making enemies), I simply offer a card to each student as they come into class. They try to be strategic and switch cards and organize their buddies but it’s tricky!
When we’re ready to break into groups for speaking activities or projects I can call 1 of the 3 options… SHAPES, NUMBERS, or COLORS. It’s easy to do in the target language and it’s a good way to shuffle ’em up. (In Spanish I’ll say… where are those cards… show me the cards… Who has red? Where are the ‘number 2’s?’ Who has a heart? and it’s gets them used the the vocab and all excited about where they will be going!) Then I’ll choose… NUMBERS! and they have to find their group of kids with the same number.
If I can see that they need a new audience after a few minutes than I can call another option! If they are grouped by colors and I need a volunteer… I can choose either “circles” or “number 3” and either one will give me at least 1 person in each group.
I found that my students sometimes feel like the victim when called on in class, but the randomness of the cards made it fun and kept them paying much closer attention. Like anything you try – it probably would lose it’s effectiveness if I used it everyday but it’s a great little trick when you need to mix things up!
Download a set here. Print each page on a different color of paper.Download Now
How do you assign groups? Do you have a great strategy?
We’d all love to hear something that works well for you!
Enviado desde mi iPad
El 30 Apr 2014, a las 11:17 am, “The Creative Language Class” <email@example.com> escribió:
Megan posted: “If you’ve had your students in class all year your job should be so easy! Flawless transitions, no personality conflicts, 100% cooperation… Plus, by now they have learned a lot of language and can stay in the target language so much longer than they cou”
This is great! Quick simple and versatile! Free too! I do use an online application called TRIPTICO to make student groups/[airs etc. Again the randomness of the computer choosing eliminates negativity or argument! Check it out!
I have done the same thing with the colored tongue depressors… they try to trade but don’t know if it will be by color, number, shape, or word. I’ve also used cards but they weren’t as durable.
I am sure you get this often, but I just have to say that I love your blog!! As for grouping, at the beginning of the year, I get a deck of cards for each class that I am teaching. Then, I write each students name on a card. Whenever I need to make groups, I shuffle the deck (just the cards with their names) and then “deal” out the groups. It is quick and easy. Also, if you want the groups to be a certain way, you can stack the deck before class, put the cards back into the box, and then deal the cards/create the groups without shuffling. (They still always think it is random!)
I also use these cards like many teachers use popsicle sticks (when there is poor participation).
Works for me!
I like the idea. Takes some prep. I use a Clock Buddies page. At the beginning of the year, students make appointments w/each other. All I have to say is Clock Buddies a las 3 and the students work w/their 3 o’clock buddy.
I have my desks set up in 8 groups of 4. I just number my students off 1 – 8. They do try to switch their numbers sometimes, but I don’t find it that big of a deal, especially for how quick and easy this makes it.
I trick mine into learning a little geography when I want them to pair up. I give them a map of Central and South America with lines to each Spanish speaking country. They sign up for “amigos de país” (I have them do this one at a time so they can make sure not to work with the same person twice). Once that is done, I’ll call out “amigos de Uruguay” and they look on their sheet and work with that person. It only works for pairs though.
I love this idea though! I am totally going to steal it so I can make groups easier. I’m also going to try out Jan Chalmer’s suggestion of the TRIPTICO app to see if I can do it electronically as next year I will be teaching at a brand new school with state of the art technology (I can hardly wait!)
I’ve still been loving the Pikme app you mentioned in a blog post once! At the beginning of each trimester once class shuffling has settled down, I pass my ipad around the room while they’re working on their “aperitivo” (warm-up) & have them put their names in. This is also the ONE time in class I allow them to take selfies! 🙂 They have fun with it!
Great ideas for group picking that does not involve popularity and favorites!
Another way I work with this in my classroom is when we ask survey questions. I have each student write their own survey question about the skill we’re working on and then number their paper 1-8. Then I have them choose a row (we’re in rows of 8) and write down the name of each person in their row. They then ask each person on their list their question. I like this activity because it is quick to set up, low prep for me, requires students to know and interact with a larger variety of students in the class, but still gives them some choice. And I have to confess, it warms my heart when the dance-team girls holler out the name of one my awkward boys, seeking to ask him their questions : )
Love this idea! Thanks so much! What I usually do is have them draw slips of paper and match up by country and capital (always a good review!) or sometimes I have them find their “partner/sidekick/enemy” (Bert and Ernie; Phineas and Ferb; Kim and Kanye, etc)
I love your ideas!! I purchased the reading comprehension worksheets but I did not get the readings. I was wondering do you put any. This was my main goal is to get authentic readings.
Authentic resources are usually copyrighted so we do not include those in any downloads. There are two ways we share them: 1) We have videos, articles, infographics, photos and more organized by topics on http://www.creativelanguageclass.com/chispas-authentic-resources/ or 2) On the home page on the right side, click on “Search the Topics.” In the drop down menu, choose a topic, and then that will pull related posts. Most of our posts include an authres and an activity that we have done and we include examples. Hope that helps!