As an ESL teacher who co-taught in upper elementary classrooms, you can bet that I was frequently telling students to "turn to a partner and discuss...". Think-Pair-Shares were an everyday occurrence. (Read more about Think-Pair-Shares HERE.) The one downside to this partnering idea is that students were limited to the classmates who were sitting directly beside them.
A few weeks ago, I was paging through Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner by Persida and William Himmele (which is an excellent, teacher-friendly book, by the way!) and I found an intriguing idea! This would solve the problem of students always sharing with the same partners, and I am pretty sure kids would love the idea of the business-like atmosphere! I had never heard of this activity, but it struck me as so clever that I just had to share it on my blog, in case there are others who are looking for a new "find-a-partner" activity.
You begin by taking 5 minutes and having students fill out the following appointment page. (Click on the image to download it.)
When everybody's agendas are filled in, voila! You have a new pairing tool that gets students up and out of their seats and paired with different partners. Then, anytime you want students to discuss or share with a partner, you have the option of having everyone pull out their appointment sheet, find their 2:00 appointment, and share the response. I might have everyone tape it to the inside cover of a certain notebook for consistent, easy access.
If you decide to try this activity, I would love to hear how it goes! Have a great week!