Over 2000 Debriefing Statements/Questions

by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

 

Perhaps you just taught your kindergarteners how to respect the crayons. Or, perhaps your high school students needed a lesson on how to respect the lunch room employees. Maybe you needed to teach the sixth-graders how to respect the microscopes. You then gave them an opportunity to practice the behaviors you just taught. The final and most important piece, the piece that holds it all together, comes next: debriefing. If you want application, students applying the skill in other places in their lives, debriefing is the activity that will get you there.

The Voice of Debriefing chapter in The Teacher Talk Advantage lays out the “how to” method of debriefing clearly. A comment we often get from workshop participants and/or readers of this book is, “I have trouble coming up with debriefing questions/statements. I wish there was a list of them so I didn’t have to think them all up.”

Here is that list. What follows are well over 1000 debriefing statements for your use. They are organized by type, including Forced Choice, Continuum, Fill in the Blank, Specific to Individuals, Open Ended, List, and Questions.

Notice that all 46 of the possible debriefing questions/statements contain the words respect or responsibility. You will find those words highlighted in bold. That was done because all of these were designed to debrief a respect or responsibility skill you just taught.

So that accounts for 46 debriefing questions/statements. How do you get 1000? Each of these statements can be slightly altered to ask about you as an individual, we as a classroom, or we as a small group. So that makes 108.

Now, maybe you didn’t teach about respect today. It could be that you had to teach your students how to ignore distractions. You can turn every one of these statements into a question about ignoring distractions by changing a few words. “How did your effort to act self-responsibly compare to your effort yesterday?” can be easily altered to “How did your effort to ignore distractions compare to your effort yesterday?” So now you have 216 debriefing statements/questions.

The same altering process can be done with any of the following skills you might teach.

  1. Disagreeing politely
  2. Staying on task
  3. Asking for help
  4. Asking for makeup work
  5. Sharing materials
  6. Owning your behaviors
  7. Speaking up if you don’t understand
  8. Attending physically and mentally
  9. Checking your work
  10. Reading and reacting to written comments
  11. Responding to a fire alarm
  12. Responding to a tornado drill
  13. Reacting to a peer’s mistake.
  14. Reacting to your mistake
  15. Making an effective transition
  16. Setting a priority
  17. Budgeting time
  18. Walking with the scissors
  19. Initiating
  20. Sharing appreciation
  21. Many other possibilities depending on what your students show you they need to learn.

With 108 possibilities for debriefing each of those twenty items we are now well over 2000 debriefing statements/questions. They can keep you going all year. And yes, please feel free to add your own debriefing statements/questions to this collection.

Debriefing Question/Statement No. 1: Forced Choice

1. Mark your level of responsibility in your group today.
    ___ I was very responsible.
    ___ I was somewhat responsible.
    ___ I was not responsible.

2. Concerning respect, our class is:
    ___ Getting better.
    ___ Staying the same.
    ___ Getting worse.

 

Debriefing Question/Statement No. 2: Continuum

1. My level of respect at the assembly today was:

_____________________________________________________
   0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10
Low                                                Moderate                                                  High

2. Rate your committee's ability to respect the class creed:

_____________________________________________________
   0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10
Low                                                Moderate                                                  High

3. My level of respect when the guest speaker was here, as compared to others in class:

_____________________________________________________
   0          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10
Low                                                Moderate                                                  High

 

Debriefing Question/Statement No. 3: Fill in the Blank

1. When I said _________________________________, I was respectful.

2. When I did _____________________________________________. 
           
    I respected  _____________________________________.
                                                 (name)

3. I wish I had done ___________________________ to increase my level of

   responsibility.

4. Tomorrow I will ________________________________ to be more respectful.

 

Debriefing Question/Statement No. 4: Specific to Individuals

These are designed for one student to say to another.

1. ____________________________________, you helped me feel respected when you
                          (name)
    ___________________________________.

2. ___________________________________, I would give you a score of
                           (name)
    __________________________________ on responsibility today because

    ______________________________________.

3. I believe you did a responsible thing, ____________________________, when you
                                                                           (name)
    _______________________________________________.

 

Debriefing Question/Statement No. 5: Open Ended

1. We could do better following the class norms if ____________________________

    ________________________________________.

2. Next time, I think we should _________________________________________

   to respect materials more.

3. I agree or disagree (circle one) with the feedback provided on responsibility because

    ____________________________________________________________.

 

Debriefing Question/Statement No. 6: List

1. Make a list of all the ways our class members respected one another.

   a. 
   b.
   c.
   d.
   e.

2. List the good things that happened because of the respect we showed.
           
   a.
   b.
   c.
   d.
   e.

3. Make a list of what might have been different in your report had you taken less

    responsibility.

    a.
    b.
    c.

 

Debriefing Question/Statements No. 7: Questions

  1. What did you hear in your group that sounded respectful?
  2. What evidence did you see that respect was being shown?
  3. What did you notice about your body language before and after you listened with respect?
  4. On the whole, what can you say about people who are responsible?
  5. What did your individual experience of responsibility have in common with others?
  6. What pattern do you see in your own behavior regarding responsibility?
  7. Sum up what happened in your group that was not respectful?
  8. What procedures did you follow to make sure everyone felt respected?
  9. How did your effort to act self-responsibly compare to your effort yesterday?
  10. How is the respect you received today the same as, or different from, respect you get in other situations in your life?
  11. What was the most responsible thing that happened in your group?
  12. What grade would you give our class on its efforts to respect the classroom environment today?
  13. What are some ways you can remember to respect one another more often?
  14. If you were ranking the ways to remember to respect each other from most to least effective, how would you rank them?
  15. Can you sum up in one sentence what you learned about responsibility today?
  16. How could you reduce what you learned about responsibility today into one phrase?
  17. In your opinion was the data I provided on respect accurate? Explain your answer.
  18. How would you evaluate the self-responsibility of your group today?
  19. What options exist for improving the quality of respect in your group?
  20. What are some ways you can explain the importance of respect to others?
  21. What goals will you set for next time in terms of respect?
  22. What ideas do you have for getting others on your team to act responsibly?
  23. What would happen in class if no one respected one another?
  24. What effect do you think it will have if you put your self-responsibility plan into operation tomorrow?
  25. What parallel patterns do you see between the respect shown by the main character in the story and the respect shown by your group members?
  26. What action are you going to take to improve your respect for others in your group?
  27. What can you do to be more responsible with the class tools?
  28. How can you create an environment of respect in your group?

Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the coauthors of The Teacher Talk Advantage: Five Voices of Effective Teaching.They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for educators and another for parents. To sign up for the newsletters or learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today: www.chickmoorman.com and www.thomashaller.com

 

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