Fostering Competition with Random Selection

Looking for ways to randomly select teams for the day in the
classroom? This technique is a fun way to promote interaction among students,
while creating a safe competitive learning environment.

Items needed

  • Bandanas (Buffs)
  • Basket, bowl or bag

Go SURVIVOR on them. Go to the local dollar store and
purchase enough bandanas of the same color/pattern to form teams of equal


If you have 12 students, you would need four red, four blue,
and four green bandanas. Color doesn’t really matter, so long as each group is
defined by a different color/pattern.


  1. Fold and wrap each bandana in wrapping paper and
    place them in the basket, bowl or bag.
  2. As the students enter the classroom, have each
    student select a bandana from the basket, bowl or bag and be seated.
  3. Once all the students are in attendance,
    instruct them to open their packages and reveal their team color.
  4. Instruct students to arrange themselves in the
    appropriate color matching teams.

As team learning opportunities arise, have the students work
in their respective groups to complete the task. The team that finishes the
quickest or has the most correct answers for the task receives a predetermined
number of points. At the end of the class, the team with the most points wins a
prize. The prize can be anything from candy to just about any freebee you can
lay your hands on.

On the next day of class, repeat the process so you will
essentially have different team each day.

From the author

I realize this involves a little prep work for each class,
but no one ever said teaching a skill that saves lives was easy! Be safe