Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Getting to Know Your Habitually Disruptive Student: Questions that Open the Door to Communication

What follows is a list of questions that you can ask children to learn about their preferences, opinions, beliefs, and experiences. If your students can manage this task independently, ask for their written answers. For a child with weaker writing and expressive skills, have him or her answer the questions orally while you write notes for future reference. Alternatively, just ask one or two questions at a time, and take mental notes. This “All About Me” kind of activity helps in bonding with children and in building rapport. More specifically, these questions can be great “door openers” to start a conversation and/or to move a conversation that is “stuck” because the child refuses to talk. To download this activity as a reproducible, click here.

1.     What is your favorite color?

2.     What is your favorite holiday?

3.     What is your favorite TV show?

4.     Who is your favorite friend?

5.     What is your favorite food?

6.     Which food do you want banned from the planet?

7.     Do you have a pet? What’s your pet’s name?

8.     What do you want to be when you grow up?

9.     What do you daydream about the most?

10. What are you most afraid of?

11. What do you worry about the most?

12. What was the happiest time in your life?

13. What movie have you enjoyed the most?

14. What book have you enjoyed reading the most?

15. What is your favorite game or toy?

16. What is your favorite song?

17. Who is your favorite singer?

18. Do you enjoy watching sports? What is your favorite sport to watch?

19. Do you practice sports? Which ones?

20. What do you like about you the most?

21. What do you like about you the least?

22. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

23. What is your earliest memory?

24. What is one thing that you hate to do the most?

25. If you could have one wish, what would it be?

26. What is your favorite number from one to ten?

27. What is one thing that is easy for you to do?

28. What is one thing that you find hard to do?

29. What is your favorite subject in school?

30. What is your least favorite subject in school? What specifically you do not like about this subject?

31. If you could change one thing about school, what would it be? (Adapted from Schaefer, 1994.)


Schaefer, C. E. (1994). How to influence children: A handbook of practical child guidance skills. Second Edition. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson.

A Call to All Teachers:

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Of Interest to Teachers...
All Behavior is Communication: How To Give Feedback, Criticism, And Corrections That Improve Behavior. To preview this book on amazon, click here.

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