I remember when I was in the classroom three years ago there was this great desktop application that helped you generate groups. Returning to the classroom, I was on the hunt for this application again. I couldn't find it. That's okay, though! I discovered the app Make My Groups.
I have just started to play around with it, and like the features. First, I had to create my class list. This didn't take any time at all. Then I was able to start making groups! You can determine which students should most likely not be in the same group, how many groups you need, and eliminate students that may be absent that day if you are generating groups on the fly. There are three features of this app that I really like.
One is that I can click on student names that most likely should not be in the same group. What is even better is that I can set up to three different groups of students that should not be in the same group! So perhaps Dylan and Nasir shouldn't be in the same group. That is one setting. But then perhaps Brooke and Trevor should not be in the same group, but it's completely okay of they are in the same group as Dylan and Nasir. That is a different set of clicks. And then I can do that again for another group for students! This takes out the time that I usually take to separate them out by hand.
The second feature that I really like is that if I'm not too crazy about the groups that were generated all I have to do is shake my phone or click Make Groups to regenerate the groups. The last feature that I really like is that I can save the groups that were generated. This makes it easy for me to keep group lists for reading partners, writing partners, math partners, etc.
The app also allows you to give points to groups. That is not a feature that I am interested in. I know one of grade four teammates would be though! What are you using this school year to make generating groups easier for you?