Changing partners in class is useful for many reasons. Students may not want to work with the same partner all the time. Or they do, but you don’t want them to work with the same partner all the time. Certain activities may require students to change partners or you simply would like to move the students around to get them out of their chairs for a moment.
Changing partners the quick way
Go around the class and give students a letter A-B-A-B-A-B etc. A’s stand up and move one seat to the left or right.
Get the whole class up and change
Students have to line up in a particular order, e.g. for a lower-level group, in order of age; for a higher-level group, in order of how long they have been learning English. Once they are in line, check that they are right, then have the students sit down in that order.
Putting students into groups
Number students 1234, 1234, 1234, etc. Make sure students are paying attention and remember their numbers. Tell all the number 1s to sit together, all the number 2s to sit together, etc. Again, use pieces of paper but have groups of words which have a common denominator, e.g. run/walk/jump, do/did/done or write/draw/type.