University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Mix it up

Mix it up

Key Points

This strategy will help you to provide opportunities for children in the class to interact with different peers in structured and unstructured settings

How is this tweaked for flex?

Children that flex is designed for may often end up working with the same peers each time, or working alone. This strategy aims to mix that up in a more formal way

  • Giving your students opportunities to work in different ways and with different peers in the classroom can help the toolkit student to feel included, make friends and engage with learning
  • It is best to think about this during your planning time to start with, and it should become part of usual practice over a few weeks
  • Identify the types of learning activities that you are planning for the week (e.g. lone work, working with a partner)
  • Identify places where you can mix this up, and the activity could be changed slightly (aim for at least one a day) using the suggestions. You can use a pen or highlighter to note where you plan to do this on your lesson plan
  • Use the mix it up menu or classroom mix it up sheet to choose an alternate option that means the toolkit student will be interacting with different students to normal. Feel free to add your own suggestions for ways that will work in your classroom
  • There is a classroom random mix up sheet as well so your students can input into how an activity is mixed. This may be useful for on-the-spot decisions or building in ways to introduce an element of chance in who interacts together
  • Use the reflection template to capture when you have used this tool, and the impact it has had on who the toolkit student has interacted with each day for a week, then review it
  • Do you have any concerns about using it more? Talk about these with others
  • How are you going to remember to keep using the mix it up method in your teaching activities? Make some notes about how you will build it in to your usual planning and routine using the prompts template