During the Tabor training, we saw and participated many fun ways to choose partners to do a think-pair-share activity, or other discussions.

Below are some creative ways to partner your students up.

Find someone with similar shoes as you.
Find someone with the same hair color as you.
Find someone who has the same size thumb as you.
Find someone with the same number on their cards as you have on your card.

Shape partners: I taped a small strip of paper on each students' desk with 3 shapes we studied this year, and are usually more challenging for first graders. Inside the shapes I wrote a different partners name. If I had to make a group of 3, then some students had 2 partners names in a shape. This gave me control over how my students were paired up based on ability. They got to work with different kids to change things up, but I also didn't have to create new partnerships; it was already done and easy for me to call out, "Find your hexagon partner."

Clock partners: Tape a clock face on each students' desk, or in their math journals, and one each number of the clock, write a different person's name. So you can say, "Find your 4:00 partner." You can do only 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 to limit partners to 4 students, or fill the clock!
clock handout