Craft sticks are so useful in the classroom! I love how easy it is to keep track of information and ASSIGN PARTNERS and SMALL GROUPS. My students like them too because they know that it’s FAIR.
I set the expectation, at the beginning of the year, that there will be no rude comments or impolite gestures, when the partners or groups are assigned. The students know that sometimes they will be with partners they really like, and sometimes they won’t. They also understand that I EXPECT them to and that they NEED to be able to work with all kinds of different people.
The only time I will reset the groupings and try again, is if there are students who are absolutely not getting along or have some kind of conflict that day. When that happens, I just say something like, “I’m going to change this group because I don’t think you will benefit from working together today.” I say it quickly to get on with it and move on, and it works well.
If you would like a helpful FREE download summarizing some ways that I use craft sticks in my classroom, click here.