In today’s student-centered, inquiry-based math classroom, students are most often working in pairs or in groups to solve problems. For the students, and for myself as a teacher, it often got dull just working with seat partners or letting them pick partners. Sometimes you want to group students up in a new and interesting way. There are a lot of great partnering ideas out there, but many are designed for elementary or language arts classrooms. As a math teacher, I wanted a mathematical but creative way to group my students.

So I created mathematical partnering cards. I’ve put them on my Teacher Pay Teachers site (actually it’s the only thing up there right now). They are in a Word document, so if you want to edit them, add to them, change them for your own classroom, feel free! Here’s how you use them once you download them:

So I created mathematical partnering cards. I’ve put them on my Teacher Pay Teachers site (actually it’s the only thing up there right now). They are in a Word document, so if you want to edit them, add to them, change them for your own classroom, feel free! Here’s how you use them once you download them:

*How to create the cards:*- Cut out the cards
- Mount each card on colored paper or cardstock (this just gives it a little more weight and helps it hold up longer, and look cuter)
- Laminate (if possible - again, holds up longer)

**:**

*How to use the cards*- Pick which set of cards you want to use (depending on how many students you want in a group)
- Mix them up in a hat / basket / etc. and let the students each blindly choose one
- Once each student has a card, they have to find their partner(s)
- Collect their cards once all the groups are set

*Math Partner Cards include:**Inverse numbers (for pairs)*- Example: 5 will match with -5
*Fractions - Decimals - Percents - Equivalent Fractions**(for pairs to groups up to four)*- Depending on how big of a group you want, use either part of this set up to the whole set
- Example: use fractions and decimals for pairs; fractions, decimals, and percents for groups of three; all four for groups of four
- Example: ½ will match with 50%, 0.5, and 2/4 to form a foursome
*One-step equations and answers (for pairs)*- Example: x + 1 = 21 will match with x = 20
*Complementary and supplementary angles (for pairs or groups of three)*- Example: 44 will match up with 46 (as complementary angles).
- If you want a group of three, 44 also matches up with 136 to make supplementary angles
- Note: This one should use color coding construction paper to differentiate between the original angle, complementary angle, and supplementary angle

This process of partnering has many benefits. First, it makes partnering quick and easy, and since the students draw cards at random there’s no opportunity to complain (“You always put us together…”). Second, you can reinforce mathematical concepts that students have recently learned, or learned in years past. Third, it encourages mental math and memorization of common math facts.

I hope you can find these useful! Do you have any other great partnering activities for your math class?