Questions your fellow teachers are asking students to build connections

Teacher2Teacher Team

by | 04.28.20

Teacher2Teacher is a community that shares effective practices and innovations so educators can connect and grow together.

At the heart of your practice as teachers, you prioritize connections and building relationships. Sure, it’s different without face-to-face conversations, and some of your students are tougher to reach. But your desire to be there for your students stretches across space.

So we asked your fellow teachers what’s working for them. What strategies and questions are making it possible to deepen connections with students – even now? Whether you’re looking for playful ways to learn more about students’ lives or practical approaches to deepening their learning, we hope you’ll find some inspiration to help you reach your students!

“I do a ‘question of the day’ on a Google form. It’s just a fun question like: 1) What song makes you smile and creates happiness when you hear it? Why? 2) What is your favorite movie? Why? 3) What is your favorite board game? (and if you don’t like board games, if you had to play a game, what would it be?) and why? I try to be uplifting with the questions.” —Teacher Elizabeth Stracener

I like to ask about their passions: music, sports, a team they follow, what books they’re reading, an article I read that made me think of them, etc.” —Teacher Ms. Gallagher

“We are trying to engage students with fun Instagram challenges and Flipgrid boards. We hosted a fourth grade Flipgrid talent show on Friday when our in school talent show was supposed to be.” —Teacher Amanda Jeane

I normally prompt them with ‘I wish my teacher knew …’ then give them a sticky note. I adjusted it by asking them the same question, in my story, on Instagram (on an account just for my students).” —Teacher Debbie Lewis

I love to hear them answer ‘would you rather’ questions I post. Eat bugs or old gum; have a picnic at the beach or go to Chuck E. Cheese; wear shoes or go barefoot; snow ski or water ski? These are just a few examples. They also have to tell me why. Sometimes they think outside the box. It’s always interesting and engaging.” —Teacher Kim Hahnenkamp

My favorite question to ask is: What is a story you’ve been wanting to tell? This question has transformed (and affirmed) my relationships with students, taught me about their interests and lived experiences, and led to amazing inquiry projects.” —Educator Kathryn Fishman-Weaver

“I just asked my students through Flipgrid: ‘What virtual vacation or field trip would you like to go on?’ Can’t wait to see their video responses!” —Educator Alexis

I ask a ‘question of the day’ to take attendance. Monday I asked students for one high and one low from the last week – circling up cyber style! Tuesday through Friday I’ve been using silly jokes for them to respond to. They are loving the goofy jokes.” —Teacher Donna Long

I take the weather – i.e., their current mood – using a weather forecast. Sunny = happy; cloudy = something blocking happiness, etc.” —Educator Ana Morales

We’d love to hear what strategies you’re trying to reach your students! Click here to read more ideas from teachers in the T2T community – and if you’d like to keep the conversation going, join in by following us on Twitter and Instagram!

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