Nothing is worse than being the kid that is left without a partner. It's like being the last kid picked for the kickball team. Embarrassing, crushing, nothing I ever want to happen in my classroom. I had this brainstorm while sitting in a workshop this summer discussing group assignments. Popsicle sticks with a variety of ways to assign for pairs and groups.
I had a bunch of large colored popsicle sticks lying around and put them to use. I spray painted a few so I would have all the primary and secondary colors. I made a total of 24 (my 25th student in the door gets to pick whichever group!)
By color-primary & secondary (groups of 12-split a class in half), or by individual color to create groups of 4 (how I make random table assignments).
Then on every stick I put shapes, patterns and artists.
Because I am apt to forget my groupings, I made a label on my canister (decorated with Duct Tape).
Groups of 4-Color
Groups of 6-Pattern
Groups of 8-Shapes
Groups of 12- Primary/Secondary
Students enter the art room and grab a stick, they don't know how they will be grouped so color doesn't matter. I (quite successfully) used this to make random table assessments for the first art class. Plus, we add some vocab and artists to this as well!
This system works with all my grade levels and is great for a change from our assigned seats that we normally have.
What is your take? Assign groups, random groups or let the kids pick?