Q: How do you keep kids from picking the same partners for reading, revising, editing, etc.?
A: Allowing students to select their partners is motivating but often leads to poor partner choices and/or kids always having the same partners. Consider instilling a management system that allows you to call out the pairing/grouping method for the day. One strategy is to utilize the “Clock Buddies” approach. For example, in a single given day you might announce they are to work with their 3 o’clock buddies for peer revision. Later, small-group reading will be done within their 6 o’clock buddy-groups. During science, they are to pair up with their 10 o’clock buddy to answer the questions. And when it’s time for editing, they need to get with their 12 o’clock group.
The basic idea is that each student has his own copy of the Clock Buddies sheet with classmates’ names in different hour’s slots. Each of those other students, in turn, has the same students’ names in the matching hour slot on each of their clock sheets.