I’ve been using circles with my Year 9 and 10 Spanish classes. At the start of class, we form a circle and start off with a ‘well-being’ or ‘personal interest’ type of question (in Spanish). Each student asks the person next to them the question, and the other person answers it. One person speaks at a time.

Questions:  eg How did you feel yesterday? Today?     (In this case… then followed up with a brief chat from me about how emotions and feelings change, so when having a bad day, the wisdom of knowing ‘this too shall pass’!!! I think they get it :0)   OR What did you do on the holidays?   OR just plain How are you?

Tomorrow, the first day back, we’ll do How do you feel about being back at school?  or What do you like about school…dislike? OR What did you do on the holidays? Something like that!

The idea is to get those speaking Spanish, but almost more importantly to connect us as a group and actually care about one another. Also, we do this to break up the usual groups they tend to normally gravitate to and give everyone a voice. I have reminded them of that at the start, as well as the importance of HEARING (as opposed to passively listening to) what each person is saying… eye contact, empathy, looking at one another with interest.  They are now asking at the start of class, ‘Are we going to do a circle?’  It’s really interesting! I kind-of think that they like it!