Fork and Spoon

Student Contributor: S. Byrum
This tool is a great activity that can be used in the classroom to encourage students to work as a team. For this activity, students will attempt to pass a fork in one direction, and a spoon in the other, keeping the chain going in each direction. This activity helps build positive relationships in the classroom, which benefits their overall learning.

For this tool, the teacher will lead the activity, but the rest is done by the students. The teacher will gather all students into a circle. To start the activity, the teacher will turn to the student on their left, and say “this is a fork.” The teacher tells the student to reply with “a what?” The teacher will then answer back and say “a fork” The teacher will then have the same student reply with “oh a fork”, and have the student take the fork from their hand. That student who now has a fork will then turn to the student on their left and do the exact same thing. They will say “This is a fork”, and that student will reply with “a what?” The student with the fork will then turn back to the teacher and ask “a what?” The teacher will reply with “a fork”, and that student will then tell that student “a fork”, in which that student will say “Oh a fork!” This creates a chain, and it will repeat until the fork gets all the way around the circle. At the same time, the teacher will do the exact same thing with a spoon in the opposite direction. This activity is very challenging, but fun! This tool helps build relationships in the classroom, and helps teach students to work together.

This tool definitely fits in the supportive phase. The point of this activity is to help students maintain that prosocial behavior. This activity is very fun and gives the students a lot of laughs, which ultimately helps them make better decisions. Fork and Spoon keeps the learning engaging and challenging, which is exactly what takes place during the supportive phase. This tool is student directed, and slightly collaborative. This activity is led by the teacher but entirely relies on the students, which makes this very student directed. The students are in charge of their own behavior during this activity, and are given the ability to make their own choices. It requires high levels of student involvement, as the activity will not be a success unless everyone participates correctly.

More Information –
Tool Source: Gus Nollmeyer

2 thoughts on “Fork and Spoon”

  1. I am placed in a 6th grade classroom with 22 students in a suburban area in Spokane, Washington. The tool I prepared for and used was Fork and Spoon. I had seen this classroom management tool in action prior to using in the classroom as my professor Dr. Nollmeyer demonstrated it in class with us. The preparation for using this tool was not so difficult. Other than remembering the vocal queues, the preparation consisted of bringing a fork and spoon to class. The success of this tool was high. In my classroom we held morning meetings with our homeroom on the carpet in a circle, so the structure was already in place. I used this tool on a Friday before a long weekend as I knew the students were going to be coming into class excited for the weekend. This tool allowed for my students to not only get out any of the goofy behaviors they were holding in, but also, I found this tool did a great job getting my students into a learning and preserving mindset as they had some fun struggles getting through the task. The students did a great job of understanding their role in the task and tried the best they could to complete the fork and spoon task effectively. I do not feel as if there were any large adjustments, I would make with this classroom management tool as it is already highly effective because of its simplicity in instruction and how easily it can be added into the daily routine of my classroom, and I will use this tool in the future.

  2. For this tool, I was working with a group of about 70 7th grade students in a school in an urban area. This tool was easy to recreate and the students had plenty of fun playing the game. The supplies needed are very simple which is a plus for any classroom management tool. I noticed that the days I did this activity I received more engagement from my students as well as better teamwork and cooperation throughout the class period. Without realizing, the students were building relationships with each other that they may have not beforehand had it not been for this activity. I don’t think the students realized that it was a team-building exercise because they were having so much fun. Next time, I would lecture more about how this activity helps us create friendships with one another and build teamwork so students are more aware of what is happening during the activity. I would also like to play this more times and incorporate more rules to make it harder as students do this activity many times.


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