Sunday, August 17, 2014

Clock Partners

My students buddy with their clock partners on a daily basis for a variety of reasons.  I love, love, love Clock Buddies.  

Follow these steps to ensure your students correctly fill out the “Clock Partner” form.

1. Copy “Clock Partner” form on BRIGHT color paper.  (You don’t want them to lose it.)

2.  Pass out this paper (along with a clipboard) and tell students to ONLY write their name in the box that says “My Name”.  You think this would be obvious, but not so much.  I also tell them to write their name on the back of the paper.  

3.  Play a little music.  After 20 seconds, stop music and tell children to find the person closest to them and stand back to back.  (If you have an odd number, then you will be partners with someone.  If you get a new student later in the year, then that new student takes your place as a partner.)

3.  At this point, MODEL how to switch papers with their partner.  I write my name next to 1:00 slot on my partner’s paper and my partner writes his name on the 1:00 slot on my paper.  

4.  Tell them to switch papers with their partner (the one they are standing back to back with) and ONLY fill in the 1:00 time slot.  

5.  Walk around and make sure students have filled out the 1:00 box correctly.  (I know this sound silly, but I promise it’s worth it!)

6.  Play music again for 20 seconds.  Stop and tell them to find person closest to them and stand back to back.  Tell them they are NOT allowed to stand next to the same person as last time.  (They will get a new partner each and every time!!!!  They will have 12 different partners when they are finished.)

7.  Once again- MODEL how to CORRECTLY switch papers.  Remind students to ONLY write in the 2:00 box.

8.  Continue until all boxes are filled out. 

********* NOW, I won’t lie.  It does get a little “confusing” a the end.  If they stop and find themselves back to back with someone they have already been partners with, then I tell them to come to the front of the room and stand by the Smart Board.  They are my “Lost & Found” kids.  I painstakingly pair them up one at a time.  Meanwhile, NOBODY is allowed to switch clipboards (aka- papers) until they hear it from me.  It looks like this:  

Bob, Mary, and Joe are standing at the front of the room.  (They have all been partners with each other, so I look at everyone else already standing back to back with a classmate.)

I say, “Who hasn’t been partners with Bob?”  Agatha raises her hand and I say, “Great.  Bob- go stand next to Agatha.”  Meanwhile, Agatha’s partner walks to the front.  HOPEFULLY, I can partner Agatha’s partner with Mary or Joe.  If not, I continue, “Who hasn’t been partners with Mary?”  Theresa raises her hand.  “Great.  Mary- go stand next to Theresa.”  Meanwhile, Theresa’s partner walks to the front.  HOPEFULLY, I can partner Theresa’s partner with Mary, Joe, or Agatha’s partner.  When I finally have everyone partnered together, then I announce, “Okay- switch clipboards and write your names in the ____ (time slot).”

I  recommend it to anyone and everyone.  :-)

At the beginning of the third quarter, I usually do this again and let them choose new partners. 

Common Question:

Do you choose different times at random (get with 1:00 partner/get with 6:00 partner…) or do you go down the line 1:00, 2:00, etc? 

I always choose random times.   Or, sometimes I’ll call on one student and let them pick what time we do.  (They like that one the best.)  If Im leaving plans for a sub, then Ill say- tell them to meet with their 6:00 oclock partner, etc. 

If somebody is absent, then Im partners with that kid. If you’re already partner with a kid- then those two kids become partner.  

I'm partners with Theresa at 1:00.
Mary’s partner is absent.
Now, Theresa and Mary are partners for that day.

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