I have each student's name written on an index card, I shuffle the cards, then randomly pair the students by picking two cards at a time. If there is an odd amount of students I will create one group of three. I have two different worksheets: One paper has problems on the front for the first student and the answers are on the back for the second student; the other worksheet has problems on the front for the second student and answers on the back for the first student.
I instruct the students to have one student do one problem at a time. Student A will complete problem 1 while Student B makes sure he is doing it correctly by using the answer key on the back of his paper. Then both students flip over their papers and Student 2 completes problem 1 on their paper while Students 2 monitors.
I like this activity for a few reasons:
- The students really end up doing twice as many problems. Half on paper and half while watching their partner.
- The students learn from their partner's mistakes.
- The students help each other. Rather than sitting their idol waiting for me to help them, they are asking each other for assistance.
- They are forced to work with new people. At the end of the lesson I asked the students to respond to my prompt poster. Quite a few mentioned that they enjoyed working with someone new.
I have a habit of using math-aids.com to generate worksheets. They look clean, provide answer keys, and generate a different sheet each time.