Solo, Partner or Group – It’s your Choice

Develop students independent thinking skills and allow them to make choices.


You have organised a great activity, all the resources are ready to use, the groups have been planned by you and read out, everyone has been told to get started but not all is going to plan.

Some students are reluctant to start, some groups have started, some are deep in discussion, some look lost!

Now what?

Try This:

Give the students a choice.

  • For this activity you may work solo, with a partner or with a group of up to four members.
  •  Choose an Optimal Work Environment
  • When you have decided and organised how you will work, and where you will work, come and tell me before you begin.

 Once the students have told you they may collect the resources they require and start the activity.

These Year 2 students chose to work together to complete the 'parrot of purpose activity during a Brand New Day session.

These Year 2 students chose to work together to complete the ‘parrot of purpose’ activity during a Brand New Day session.


  •  Students feel in control when given opportunities to make work environment decisions.
  •  Making choices promotes independent thinking.
  •  Recognising that everyone has different needs and preferences promotes feelings of well being.

What about the students who always choose to work solo or with the same partner?

Yes, it is important that students can work with different partners and in teams, as well as solo.

Their future in a work place is dependent on being a positive team member. Use ‘It’s Your Choice’ on occasions. Other times use partners and groups you have selected or partners and groups the students have selected.


Using the Learning and Life Tips explain the importance of ‘being adaptable’, trying new experiences and ‘making real, authentic and worthwhile decisions’.

Make ‘Partner Lists’ outlining different partners and groups students will work in at times. Explain to the students that they need to think about, decide and ask people they have rarely or never worked with. Add their names to the appropriate list. You might like to make one of the lists your self.

Here’s a few name ideas for the Partner Lists. Make as many as you want.

Like Minds Partner

Dare to be Different Partner

Getting to Know You Partner

A  New Opportunity Partner

New Thinking Partner

When can you use the partner lists? Anytime! During Maths, Inquiry, Literacy or whenever it suits and will be beneficial for students to work and discuss ideas and work requirements together.

Using ‘It’s your Choice’ or ‘Partner Lists’, students can make decisions and have opportunities to work with someone new, build new relationships and socialise with others.

That new partner just might become their next best friend!