Free Random Grouping Cards For Visible Random Groupings & Building Thinking Classrooms

Teaching with problem-based tasks like the ones found on our tasks page will help to spark curiosity in your students as well as fuel their sense making.

In our teacher resource guides we often recommend the use of random groupings. Peter Liljedahl’s research suggest that students in visible random groupings will help students feel valued in a group setting. Since the group is random they can’t tell themselves that they are the weak one in the group or the strong one.

In the past we used playing cards to group students but we found after time we wanted a bit more flexibility.

We build our own deck of cards that help group our students randomly in multiple ways.

Ready to download these free printable random grouping cards?

There are three copies of the cards.

one designed for only groups of two, one with equations/expressions and one without (groups of 2 or 3 – 36 cards). 

The cards have different ways to match. Just tape the master grouping card to a group of 3 desks (or pairs will work too) .

Then For example, today we may decide that we are all matching by colour. So when you grab a random grouping card from the teacher at the door, students will go and sit at that colour. But tomorrow we may decide to match symbols so if a student chooses this card

They would go and sit at the “gear” table! And maybe the day after that we’ll say to match expressions, then the student will have to evaluate the expression on the card to discover what table to sit at.

Pretty easy! There are 12 colours, 12 symbols, 12 shapes, and 12 numbers that match expressions. So 36 cards in total (or 24 cards if you choose that set).

If you’re like us and have only 24 kids then you can get rid of a few colours and it’ll all still work out. So grab them below here and have fun mixing it up!!

Click here to grab the cards.

Resources Related To The Video




Want to Run Problem Based Lessons Without a Hitch In Your Classroom?

Head over to the Make Math Moments 3-Part Framework page to dive right in or click below to download the guidebook to take with you!


Why not bring the 3-Part Framework Guidebook with you?

Download the PDF so you can share with your professional learning network via print or email!


Each lesson consists of:

Each Make Math Moments Problem Based Lesson consists of a Teacher Guide to lead you step-by-step through the planning process to ensure your lesson runs without a hitch!

Each Teacher Guide consists of:

  • Intentionality of the lesson;
  • A step-by-step walk through of each phase of the lesson;
  • Visuals, animations, and videos unpacking big ideas, strategies, and models we intend to emerge during the lesson;
  • Sample student approaches to assist in anticipating what your students might do;
  • Resources and downloads including Keynote, Powerpoint, Media Files, and Teacher Guide printable PDF; and,
  • Much more!

Each Make Math Moments Problem Based Lesson begins with a story, visual, video, or other method to Spark Curiosity through context.

Students will often Notice and Wonder before making an estimate to draw them in and invest in the problem.

After student voice has been heard and acknowledged, we will set students off on a Productive Struggle via a prompt related to the Spark context.

These prompts are given each lesson with the following conditions:

  • No calculators are to be used; and,
  • Students are to focus on how they can convince their math community that their solution is valid.

Students are left to engage in a productive struggle as the facilitator circulates to observe and engage in conversation as a means of assessing formatively.

The facilitator is instructed through the Teacher Guide on what specific strategies and models could be used to make connections and consolidate the learning from the lesson.

Often times, animations and walk through videos are provided in the Teacher Guide to assist with planning and delivering the consolidation.

A review image, video, or animation is provided as a conclusion to the task from the lesson.

While this might feel like a natural ending to the context students have been exploring, it is just the beginning as we look to leverage this context via extensions and additional lessons to dig deeper.

At the end of each lesson, consolidation prompts and/or extensions are crafted for students to purposefully practice and demonstrate their current understanding. 

Facilitators are encouraged to collect these consolidation prompts as a means to engage in the assessment process and inform next moves for instruction.

In multi-day units of study, Math Talks are crafted to help build on the thinking from the previous day and build towards the next step in the developmental progression of the concept(s) we are exploring.

Each Math Talk is constructed as a string of related problems that build with intentionality to emerge specific big ideas, strategies, and mathematical models. 

Make Math Moments Problem Based Lessons and Day 1 Teacher Guides are openly available for you to leverage and use with your students without becoming a Make Math Moments Academy Member.

Use our OPEN ACCESS multi-day problem based units!

Make Math Moments Problem Based Lessons and Day 1 Teacher Guides are openly available for you to leverage and use with your students without becoming a Make Math Moments Academy Member.

MMM Unit - Snack Time Fractions Unit


Partitive Division Resulting in a Fraction

Shot Put Multi Day Problem Based Unit - Algebraic Substitution


Equivalence and Algebraic Substitution

Wooly Worm Race - Representing and Adding Fractions


Fractions and Metric Units


Scavenger Hunt - Data Management and Finding The Mean


Represent Categorical Data & Explore Mean

Downloadable resources including blackline mastershandouts, printable Tips Sheetsslide shows, and media files do require a Make Math Moments Academy Membership.

Use our OPEN ACCESS multi-day problem based units!