Desk Chips

Lets chat about how it is August 8th. Umm.. where did time go?!?! I remember sitting in a training on August 1st and not even being able to finish my thoughts on how I can't believe it is August and now it is already the 8th and I never even finished my thought!! I'm still in disbelief. 

I have been cherishing every second of summer I can! Some of my best friends have been in town so it has been a blast getting to catch up and be around the people that I just adore and make me so happy. Plus I have been at wedding expos and went wedding dress shopping! So busy! Oh and did I mention I moved? Whew! No relaxing over here.

In the midst of a few busy weeks I did create one of my favorite crafts to date!

Do you use Kagan? I love and am slightly obsessed with Kagan structures. During my internship my teacher would call me a Kaganette.. it was pretty embarrassing. Point being, Kagan sets up table groups lettered A, B, C, and D then partners numbered 1-2. 

Last year I put circular colored stickers on student's desks so they would remember their letter (A, B, C, or D) but they came off and when desks moved all stickers had to changed. It was quite the hassle. That is why I created these desk chips!

Note: Your supposed to partner high students with high/middle students, and low/middle students with low students. So the high student and low student sit diagonally across and are not right next to each other. Well I do this and really strategically place my students in the classroom... probably think about it way too much actually.

Back to desk chips, first I painted the wooden circles (bought from Jo-Anne's) my desired colors. Then I printed the circles on white card stock then modpodged them to the wood circles. It was time consuming but I did it all while watching the Olympics each night so it didn't feel like a hassle or anything. Painting and modpodging are somewhat mindless tasks!

On the front of these chips contains a letter and a number. The numbers are mainly for think, pair share, partners (I say 1's go first or 2's go first) and the letters are for group assignments or discussions. This is helpful when answering questions and keeping students accountable. If I have students turn and talk, round robin, or any other Kagan structure I want, I can then use my spinner (I have a hands on one and the Kagan computer one) that will tell me which number or letter to call on. It is a fancy way to randomly call on students but the letters also come in handy when assigning jobs for assignments. A's are the time keepers, B's are the writer, C's are the proof reader, and D's are the presenter.. or any way you want to do it. 

So in order to keep my students from forgetting their assigned letter and number I made chips:

Each table will have a different animal that are the table names.

Do you notice how student's have different colored chips and different colored rings around the chips (some are solid and some are dashed)? 
This was done strategically so when I want to randomly assign students I just use the colors. I'll say 'Pair up with a student who has the same color chip as you' and then students will go find someone and sticky high five them. Or 'Pair up with a student who has the exact same ring as you.' 

Get the idea? You could say so many different things about these to chips to get students to pair up... someone with the same number (or letter), different number (or letter), different animal, etc. 

Also on the back of the chips is one of my favorite parts.. the question mark! 

The chips will be be velcroed (right above the question mark) to the desks with a circular piece of velcro (sold basically anywhere.. I get mine at Walmart). When a students are working independently and I'm walking around.. they don't have to raise their hand they just have to flip their chip over.  I'll see it, come over and help, then go walk around to find another chip that is turned over. 

Please tell me I'm not that only one totally smitten by this idea.

Since I can have up to 18 student in my class I created 20 desk chips with the flexibity of having 5 in a group if I needed to (thats why you see 5 in the pictures above) and I created two groups of three. 
As you can see this group is numbered 1, 2, and 3 so they will take turns talking with three people rather than just two. 

I cannot wait to use my desk chips with my kiddos to randomly assign them, see if they have questions, and serve as a reminder what table, letter, and number they are. Could you see yourself using these in your classroom?


  1. seriously, you are so smart and creative!! Can you come help me!!!

  2. Super ideas here. Just wondering what program you use to create your chops and calendar and other projects?

    1. I use Microsoft Powerpoint for everything and sometimes Microsoft Word. Hope that helps :)

  3. Oops. That should be chips. Crazy auto speller.

  4. This is seriously GENIUS! I am going to make some of these, blog it, and link back to you! I am so impressed! I was trying to figure out a system like this, maybe taping a picture card like this to the corner of their desks...I'll let you know! ;)
    Apples and ABC's

  5. Could you explain how you use these? Sorry,I'm a student teacher and trying to get as many fab ideas as possible. For some reason it's not sticking in my brain....tired/sick I think!

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