Perfect Partner Pairs

If you spend a day in my classroom, you will see a lot of partner discussions. 
Working in partners allows students to become much more engaged in your lessons.  Even in small groups, it’s sometimes easy for a quiet student to “hide” in the crowd.  With partners, each student is much more likely to participate.  For an introverted child, a partnership is also much less intimidating than a whole group or a small group.  I also find that partnerships allow for students to work on their listening skills.  I often have a student report on what their partner told them.
My favorite way to have students get their partners for the day, is to have them find their pairs by matching skill cards.
 Every morning, I place a card on the corner of my student’s desks.  Before Morning Meeting, the students walk around the room without talking, and find their partner for the day.
 The skill cards change each day to keep it interesting.
Once my students have their partners for the day, (or week if you want them to keep the same partners for an extended period of time) they have a seat on the carpet, and I collect the cards to use again another time.
My students sit by their partners on the carpet, so they can have directed discussions throughout our learning.  I may have them turn to their partner and tell each other what they did last night, or have them tell their partner the answer to a question before I call on someone.  This keeps everyone involved, and not just those couple of students that always have their hands up ready to answer.
The other day, we were practicing CVC words.  I had partners write the words on each others backs with their fingers before calling on someone to write it on our easel.
The students loved this, and it kept them all engaged during our lesson.
I created this Perfect Partner Pairs packet, which includes 40 sets of partner cards.
{Just click on the picture above to check out this packet.}
I will be printing these on different colors of paper, laminating them, and then placing rubber bands around each set.  Every morning, I can just grab a set, and we can have partners for the day.
How do you use partners in your classroom?

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  1. Jodi, I love the idea of putting the partner pair cards on the student's desks and having them find their partners. This way you can control who the partners are and they get changed up regularly. I think I'll keep the same partners for a week before switching. Thanks for sharing!


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