Pinterest. Instagram. Twitter. Quotations and snippets from thinkers, actors, teachers, pundits, politicians…we love them. We frame them in our homes. We retweet and repost them when they resonate with us.
Every year I choose a different back-to-school getting-to-know-you activity. I like to keep it current, for the students and myself. This year, it was quotations. Using an activity I adapted from the National School Reform Faculty, students were asked to choose a quote from a stack of cards at their tables that meant something to them. Each shared around the table to get warmed up, introducing themselves to each other and saying why they liked the quotation they chose. Then, they mix and mingle until they meet and greet with 5 others before returning to their seats. Although by the junior year many students already know one another, our class period mix is unique. We work hard to create a trusted culture within each class period, and that begins with names. An easy mingling activity that is low-risk with no embarrassing or silly questions. When you’re talking about what the quotation means to you and why you picked it you’re not having to talk too much about yourself. Yet, the active listener will learn so much about you.