Rank Them | Conversation Starters

Talking to black screens. Staring at yourself all day. Asking if anyone hears you or if they can see what you’re sharing on the screen. Teachers are feeling lonely and isolated and starved for interaction. 

Enter: the rank it slides (sign up for my email list for link).

Last school year my friend Michaela, known as @thetownieteacher on instagram started these attendance questions. She asked her class a “This or That” question when she called their names for attendance. This was way better than the typical, “here” or “present” and it was cool to hear their opinions. She compiled a huge list and shared them and maybe she didn’t start the attendance question trend but in my head she’s getting all the credit. 

I try my best to create a space where my students feel like they can talk and interact and usually they do but some classes and some days we fall FLAT! Every now and then I would see a teacher on IG share a question they asked their class and tuck it away for a dry day. This time the credit goes to @misscraftymathteacher. Kathleen did this toast question with her students and I was curious so I tried it with mine and it was a hit. Not only that but I shared it and other teachers and they thought it was a hit. There is something about the mundane things in life being challenged by an opposing opinion that really gets people going.

Question of the day conversation starters

Watch this video of our toast question

That’s when I got the genius idea.

I’ve seen a few people argue on the internet about a few things. Preferences are one of them. Asking students to rank things adds so many layers to the conversation. Why did you put that one above this one? Why didn’t this one make the list? This one should be top 3 no matter what! You quickly figure out shared experiences aren’t really that all that shared.

What are the top 5 fries for you? I bet you have an opinion. I bet you might even feel strongly about it. IMO it has to be:

  1. McD’s
  2. Chick Fil A w/ Polynesian Sauce
  3. Checkers
  4. Wendy’s w/ a frosty
  5. Sonic because BK belongs on the bench

We don’t have an In-N-Out here but that would’ve been number 3, animal style of course. 

I believe in flowing with your momenntum and striking while the iron is hot so of course I started brainstorming about what ways I could make volume 2. How could it be meaningful… That’s when my newest evolution came about. I thought what if we ranked household inventions or inventions in general and what if I rigged all the inventions to be women of color… What if I turned innocent conversation about heaters and home security systems into meaningful conversations about things we take for granted. These things were actually essential to our society and hard to live without.  These things were made by people whose stories are often untold and unseen. Now that’s a conversation starter. That would point to the need for history to be told accurately and simultaneously encourage the use of problem solving and problem solving careers and problem solving subjects, like math.

Rank these inventions (by women of color)

Community Contributions

The “rank them” slides are over 90+ strong and that is all because of community contribution. 

I would love to beef up the “question of the day” and the “inventors”. Please send me contributions. Email me a link to some premade Google Slides and I will credit you and add them to the collection of your choosing. My email is estherbrunat@icloud.com.

What people are saying about the slides:


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