So I decided I wanted to stop this problem before it escalated into an unmanageable issue. I had seen the "Clock Partners" before, and I thought that doing something like that would be a good solution. However, I have 30 students. The clock only has space for 12, and I knew if I kept it at that, there would be the same "I only pick my friends" thing going on. I created my own simple chart with 30 spaces on it, and set the kids off to find partners.
The actual filling out and finding partners was a tad bit tricky. I passed out one chart to each student and then explained the rules. Everyone had to seek out everyone else to fill in a number space. If I wanted to be partners with Kristi, we would look at our charts. We both have #3 open. So I write Kristi's name on my #3 slot and she writes my name on her #3 slot. Then I go find Debbie. We both have #27 open. She writes my name on her chart and I write here name on my chart, all on the #27.
You can see how it worked with the two pictures below. Gigi and Katie are #6 partners. They both have each other's names written on the #6 slot.
Once I explained the rules to the kids, and modeled it a few times for them, they were off. I was really surprised how calm and collected they were while walking around the classroom. They really did seek everyone out to partner up with.
As the slots started to fill up, it became a bit more difficult to find people who didn't have the exact same numbers open AND who weren't already paired up with them at one point. So I allowed double pairings. If you look at Katie above you can see she is paired with Jeffrey twice, once at #8 and once at #15. That is ok. (and, if you do the math, that was going to happen anyway with 30 slots)
Today we used the charts for the first time and, I have to say, it was FANTASTIC! The kids were all paired with different people...and I didn't have to MAKE them. I said, "Everyone find your 10 partner." and they all did. There was no groaning, no hesitation. What's more, since I didn't force them pair up with anyone, they all actually worked together.
There were a few instances of partners who were absent or someone who didn't find a match. I called them to the rug and we sorted it out very quickly.
|You can see that Siomara doesn't have a #23 match. When I eventually call for 23 partners, we will see who else doesn't have a 23, and match them up. Easy Peesy.|