I love putting my students in groups! I believe that grouping students is an effective way to help students learn and it encourages student leadership. One of the easiest ways to group students is to use grouping cards.
I made a set of 48 cards with different names, numbers, shapes, and letters. This makes it easy to group students in 5 different ways with only one card.
Different Ways to Group Students
Pairs: The pairing cards have 5 different pairs on them. You can tell the students to pair by the center clue, top left clue, top right clue, bottom left clue, or the bottom right clue. I like having several options on the cards so the students cannot swap cards so that they end up with their friends! (I learned this at PDs… the teachers always did this so they could end up with their friends 😉 )
Groups: When I choose to have groups in my room, I have the students first find their pair. Then I tell the students to find an “odd” pair or an “even” pair. This will create groups of four. You could also have the students pair up and then tell them, “If you are a person pair, find a food pair.”
I laminated each card on cardstock so that they would last the entire year. My students like using the grouping cards especially when they end up in a group with their best friend. I like using the cards because I see so much growth! Not only do I see mathematical growth, I see students learn to work with a variety of different personalities.
You can download my grouping cards here.