An Easier Process: Small Group Assignment Cards
You will need to create card sets on colored stock paper. Each set will consist of the largest number of group you ever break students into. For example, I never did any groups larger than 5, so I made sets of 5. That’s 5 red cards, 5 blue, 5 green, etc. Next you will randomly place different things on each card to make it easy to shuffle the groups.
For example, on 1 card from each color you will print and glue a picture of something such as a smurf for example. Then another picture, another, and another until all your cards have different pictures (in sets of 5). So you would have 5 smurfs, 5 spongebobs, etc.
Next, in the top right corner write letters (also in sets of 5). Then do the same with different numbers (in a different corner). Then do shapes. Then do something on the back of each card if you like. Everything is in sets of 5. After you are all finished, laminate the cards so they will last for a while and you will use these over and over.
Now, on the day you are doing group work, decide in advance how you are going split them up (by the shape on their card, by the number, by the picture, by the color of card, etc.) If you are going to work in groups of 3 and you are using shapes, you will need to make sure you only pass out 3 of each shape. This way, when you tell students to get into groups by the shape on their card… Presto! You have groups of three.
Hopefully this all makes sense. Below is a picture of what your cards may look like just to give you a visual. In the example below you have 5 different groupings you could do. Students could get into groups by letter, number, shape, picture, or color of the card. There is plenty of room on the cards to add more options, just use your imagination.