Have you ever spent valuable class time having students count off for groups, only to find that your groups are uneven once everybody moves? Or have you ever given students cards or other objects to organize them randomly into groups, only to have them change items so they can be with friends? Looks like its time for rGroups.
rGroups cards are designed to make group sorting purely random and give teachers the flexibility of having students move into multiple random groups in a single lesson, without wasting time having students “count off” or giving students the chance to lie so that they can be with their friends.
Each set of cards we offer contains a different amount of unique cards (no two in a single set are the same!) that divide equally into 5 groups. Each card in this deck has 5 unique identifiers that prevent students from collaborating before a lesson to end up in the same group – with 5 ways to break into groups, you’ll always keep them guessing!
Here’s how it works:
• If your class size exactly matches one of the card sets, use the entire set and call whatever identifier you’d like!
• If your class size DOES NOT exactly match one of the card sets, select an identifier before the class begins and make sure you pull out enough cards to match your class size. Make sure you have relatively equal groupings of that identifier.
o Example: Using “Letters” in a class of 19, you could have 4 As, 4 Bs, 4 Cs, 4 Ds, and 3 Es. Mix them up before you pass them out so it’s truly random!
Why use the cards instead of a computerized generator?
One of the benefits of this card set is that students have something tangible to hold onto as they get into groups. Oftentimes, I like to use the card as their “ticket”, or proof that they’re supposed to be in the group they’re sitting with.
Also, these cards allow you to break students into different groups multiple times within a single class period without having kids work together more than once (in most cases – note that there are a few cards that overlap).
I often use these cards at the beginning of a semester to break students I don’t know into random groups. We do an icebreaker activity in groups using one identifier (such as number), then move into different groups for the second activity, and so on. By the end of the hour, they’ve met 3 or 4 different groups of people, and I usually keep them permanent so that later in the semester I can say “get into your letter groups” or “today we’re in our shape groups”, and they know where to go.
Hopefully this helps make group management a little easier – please let me know if you have any questions/feedback!
This file contains 1 card set for 5 groups with a class size of 25 or less students.
Each card set contains the following:
• A master copy indicating which identifiers are on each card (no two are the same!)
• Printable cards
• Table signs to help the groups find each other (can be folded into tents using directions below)
• Flat signs to help the groups find each other (can be taped or pinned to walls, bulletin boards, the ceiling, etc.)
To set up the tent signs:
1. Fold the paper in half as indicated by the folding line.
2. Fold each side inwards near the bottom (indicated by folding line).
3. Staple or tape the bottom flaps together to create the base.
Note: The identifiers on the cards include numbers, shapes, colors, letters, and animals.