Student Contributor: K. Nagamatsu
This classroom management tool relieves the pressure off of students when getting into groups of two during paired activities. It also eliminates that awkward feeling a student can experience when not being able to find a partner.
“Available & Awesome” is used for paired grouping. When calling out for students to find a partner during a class activity, some students automatically find a friend or call out across the room to whom they want to work with. This leaves other students left over who are less enthused about asking their classmates if they want to work with them. To relieve this issue, the only thing these students would need to do is raise their arm and give a “thumbs up”, showing they are available. At this point they would be approached by another student that needs a partner or they can see whoever else has their “thumbs up” raised and can be paired with them.
The preventative phase is where this classroom management tool stands. Using “Available & Awesome” prevents the student from feeling like they’re unwanted and cannot find another classmate to work with. It helps with creating a fun learning environment without the social anxiety and disengagement in class activities. Even though this tool is strongly preventative, it can also fit with the supportive phase because it’s supporting the student with finding another open classmate. When students are working together and finding available partners easily, this tool is supporting and building classroom community. This tool is student-directed, collaborative, and both student-directed/collaborative. It aligns with these theories because it’s clear non-verbal communication with each other; they’re self-directing and developing personal/respectful relationships and academic focus.
More Information –
Tool Source: Dr. Gus Nollmeyer