I am halfway through the second week of the semester and so happy to be back in the classroom with a really great new batch of students.
Part of the reason it's so fun to be back is because my college courses almost always include an activity or two during class time. It's usually a lighthearted way to explore the concepts we are learning together, something like analyzing our favorite songs or brainstorming ideas while you draw with crayons.
For the last couple of years I have used sticks that I have been painting and stamping as a way for students to gather into different groups each day, but this summer I designed cards and had them printed.
The cards all have the same back (more stripes) and then I made forty different front designs. Students will pick up a card on their way into the classroom and whenever we are going to get in a group I'll let them know if it's by color, letter, number or symbol.
These cards get students into groups of five, which I have found to be enough minds working together that not everyone feels pressure to have to talk (in case they are more comfortable listening), however there are not too many people in case everyone does want to jump into the discussion.
While they work together, I continuously move from group to group, so my first trip around the room is to collect the cards back up for the day. It is extra awesome to get to consistently interact with students throughout the class time.
I had the cards printed through Moo since you can upload as many as fifty different designs in one batch of printed cards. They are just business cards that are thick and glossy with rounded edges so they stand up to being used by a over a hundred students.
If you would like to order cards you can get $15 off your order with this link (this is an affiliate link, so I would receive credit towards my next batch of cards). I am also happy to send you the file of the cards I designed. Either comment here (and make sure you've linked a current email address) or send me an email.