Primary Chalkboard: MVP - Most Valuable Partnership

MVP - Most Valuable Partnership

Hi, friends! It's Blair from One Lesson at a Time, here with an easy little strategy I use to make the most of student partnerships!

I think building a strong classroom community is just about the most important thing you can invest your time in during the school year. Obviously, the ability to work well with others is not only a critical skill in the classroom, but in life. I use TONS of grouping and partnership strategies to help my students maximize their learning potential. 

I think partner work is particularly powerful because each student has an equal opportunity to contribute to the team. Everybody brings certain skills and strengths to the table, and I love seeing students working together in ways that complement one another. 

Here's my TOTALLY blog-worthy partner work display. I KNOW. Contain yourselves. It's PRETTY FANCY. 


I write each student's name on a piece of colored card stock and slap it on a business card magnet. (Side note: If you have not yet discovered the beauty of business card magnets, allow me to introduce you to your new best friend. They are the jam.)

I love using the business card magnets because it allows me to easily change up partnerships often. Knowing how often to change 'em up is probably a whole different blog post in and of itself, but I like to give students opportunities to work with different partners as much as possible. Again, life skills and all that. 

At the top of that BEAUTIFUL picture (again, I apologize for how stunningly amazing my half-erased, crooked lettering is - I know it must be pretty intimidating to try to recreate such a fab-o setup), you can see I have a little spot for "Today's MVP". 

In this case, MVP stands for "Most Valuable Partnership". Each day, I am on the lookout for two students who really demonstrate WHY collaborative work can be so powerful. I am looking for more than just the students who are quietly working, behaving, etc. I am looking for partners who contribute equally, listen intently, and push each other to achieve at a higher level than each individual could reach on his or her own. 

Being the MVP means....

• Speaking respectfully
• Listening critically
• Sharing work equally
• Staying on task
• Being responsible to one another
• Valuing each other's perspective

I LOVE this system for a bunch of different reasons. For one thing, it is so, so easy on my end. It's a great way to recognize and reward students in a meaningful way. It encourages teamwork and allows students to share their success with one another. And it's an easy way to recognize each student in due time. I've found that it is very motivating for ALL my students...even the ones who may not always *love* working with a partner. I've seen students who normally butt heads really making an effort to work well together because they are more tuned in to what the expectations are. 

Some years, all I did was move the MVP magnets into the "special" spot on the board. For some groups, that was all the recognition they needed. For other classes, I printed out some simple MVP awards to distribute each day. 

If you want to download the awards to use with your own students, you can grab them for free by clicking {HERE}. I've included several different versions in both color and black and white because making choices is not my strong suit. :D 

For more ideas, here's where you can find me:

Thanks so much for stopping by today! 

Blair Turner

1 comment:

  1. I love that this is so simple and I don't have to cut out owls, glue on Google eyes and dip the wings in glitter while hand drawing little nests on my whiteboard with semi permanent ink. I remember being real pleased with myself when I wrote in sharpie on the nice shiny magnets until my buddy came along and pointed out that was the backing that covered the sticky. ;)