the ASK: I like to switch up groupings of students on a regular basis and am always wondering how do make those transitions as seamless as possible.

the TRY: Each student gets a magnet with his/her name on it. (For details on making these, see below.) I leave the magnets up on a white board in the room all the time and when they walk in and see the table tents placed on groups of desks, they know they have new groups and can quickly find out who they’re working with by going to the whiteboard.

the LEARN: Differentiating and grouping is part of the on-going cadence of the classroom and having a simple, clear way of implementing it helps us save time and keep our focus on the learning instead of the logistics.

Making the magnets…

Here’s my four-step magnet DIY.

  • Purchase business card size magnets from the local office supply store.
  • Collect business cards (often the school office has these) and place them on the adhesive side of the magnets.
  • Cover the business cards (now on the magnets) with black board spray paint.
  • Use a chalk marker to label with student names, making them easy to reuse the next semester!


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