I've written and spoken before about 2x10s. If you're not familiar with the strategy, either read this quick article or watch the quick video below.
(Not seeing a video? Click here.)
But something I've never done is give a list of prompts you can use to start eliciting conversation from these challenging kinds of students.
Without further ado, here's a list:
- What's something you like to do in your free time?
- Do you have any hobbies or interests you're passionate about?
- Are there any books or movies you've enjoyed recently?
- In your opinion, what is one of the best movies or shows of all time?
- Have you ever been some place that you really liked?
- What's your favorite type of music? Do you have a favorite song right now?
- Do you have any pets? Tell me about them.
- Are there any sports you like to watch or play?
- Do you have any favorite types of food?
- What do you do when you need to relax or de-stress?
- Are there any video games you enjoy playing?
- What's something that you and your friends have fun arguing about?
- Have you ever volunteered or been part of a community organization?
- What's the most exciting adventure you've been on?
- Do you have a favorite quote or saying that inspires you?
- Are there any apps or websites you find really interesting or fun?
- What's a skill or talent you have that not many people know about?
- Is there a subject or topic you'd love to learn more about someday?
- What's your favorite thing about yourself?
- If you could make a positive change in the world, what would it be?
- Are there any historical events or time periods that fascinate you?
- Who are your role models or people you look up to?
- If you could go on a dream vacation, where would you go?
- What's the most interesting thing you've learned outside of school recently?
- Do you have any plans or goals for the future, like a dream job?
Sometimes, I need to work through a handful of these before I sense a spark in a student's eyes. When I sense that, I keep asking more questions along that spark-inducing thread.
For example, I once had a student named Ruby who didn't much want to talk to me during 2x10s… until I asked her about TV shows. Her response made it clear she liked this topic. In subsequent 2x10s, I started asking her for show recommendations. I didn't have time to watch these shows, but I did make a note to watch the trailer or a clip on YouTube and let her know what I thought.
The key with 2x10s is to just gain some ground somewhere, anywhere, that a student authentically values. Keep exploring that territory, and as the days add up, the student will start associating you not just with the class you teach but also with this thing they value.