Sanchez's Teaching Emporium
Circle Time: Thirty Questions
Objective: To help build intimacy and a caring classroom environment.
Sample Questions: 1. What is your favorite smell? Why do you think you are drawn to that scent? 2. What is your most recurring dream? What do you think it means? 3. What song do you kind of love, but you know that you’re probably supposed to hate? 4. What fragile piece of you do you most need your future mate to love?
Notes: Go beyond the basic "getting to know you" questions with these questions that range from the light-hearted and simple to the highly reflective and complex. They are mixed up in order to prevent traveling only from the simple to the complex with your students. Sometimes, the classroom needs a good shakeup in either direction. Students can pass, but they will still be expected to provide feedback to another student. I only allow one (occasionally two) people to provide feedback, otherwise the more vocal students will quickly “highjack” each person’s story. Hopefully, as the year progresses, everyone will look forward to this time and will be eager to participate. Choose from the questions those that you feel best suit you and your students. Some of the questions can be used as journal prompts, though I have used every one of them in my class’s Circle Time.