This is a fun and engaging way to have children share their thoughts. I often use this activity at the beginning of a lesson as a way to have children re-cap learning from previous weeks quickly.
All the children stand up and put a hand up in the air. You say “mix mix mix!” and they walk around and circulate between each other. You say “pair!” and they high-five whomever is nearest to them. They then take it in turns with that person to talk about what we did in previous lessons. I generally have them mix and share two or perhaps three times before returning to their carpet spaces and sitting back down again. I then select a pupil at random to share what they heard during the activity.
This is simple to explain (with a bit of modelling) and requires no resources, and the children love to have the chance to get up and walk around and talk. Knowing they will have to feedback to the class after the activity helps ensure that children are discussing what they should be discussing and not chatting about their plans for the weekend! You can help with this by circulating as the class are talking and listening in; this is also a great way for you to get a feel for what the level of retention in the class is like.
It’s worth emphasising the first time you do this that you want the children to pair with whoever is nearest when you say “pair!” and NOT just pair with their friends. Saying this beforehand and also monitoring the children when they first do this activity pays off, especially if you emphasise that we might make someone feel bad if we ignore them. Also the first time you do this expect to have to pair up a couple of stragglers who couldn’t find a partner.
EXAMPLE: In History we have been looking at how beach holidays have changed over time. I started the lesson off by displaying some pictures that we had discussed in previous lessons to prompt the children. The class did this activity and discussed what they could remember. I walked around and listened in and supported or extended as needed. Finally we came back to the carpet and I selected pupils to share what they had discussed (I made sure to choose a few learners that had discussed some really interesting points). Five minutes well spent!