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ROUNDS

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ROUNDS are sentences started by the reviewer which are finished by each person in turn. The sentences can be about facts or feelings, self or others, past, present or future.

Rounds introduce some basic principles common to many reviewing methods, such as the right to be heard and the right to pass.

Rounds are particularly useful ...

  • when everyone has got a lot to say
  • when there is unbalanced participation in a group
  • when searching for a review topic
  • for quickly checking how each person is feeling (or thinking)
  • to create a particular mood - see responses below

SENTENCE BEGINNINGS
Rounds can be pitched at any level. By trying out different sentence beginnings, the reviewer can find the level at which people are most willing and able to take part. Amongst the advantages of sentence beginnings over questions are that:

  • they require less thinking (half the 'answer' is supplied)
  • they usually produce clear statements (full sentence answers)
  • their regular repetition helps to keep answers to the point

EXAMPLES

  • The high point for me was when ...
  • The low point for me was when ...
  • The hardest thing for me was ...
  • The easiest thing for me was ...
  • What surprised me was ...
  • Something I knew would happen was ...
  • Nobody listened when ...
  • I'm really pleased that I ...
  • I wish I had ...
  • I felt like going home when ...
  • If I'd had a camera ...
  • If I could do it again I would ...
  • I wish I had been asked ...
  • I was annoyed when ...
  • My motivation went down when ...
  • My motivation went up when ...
  • I was helped by ...
  • I helped ...
  • I appreciated ...
  • I was appreciated by ...
  • I'd like to complain to ...
  • I'd like to congratulate ...
  • I'd like the group to tell me ...
  • One last thing I'd like to say is ...

SOME USEFUL SEQUENCES AND COMBINATIONS

EXPRESSION
What I found difficult, easy, interesting, satisfying ...
FEEDBACK
I felt ... when you ... (One round about each person)
LEARNING
What I learned ... What I'm beginning to learn is ...
PLANNING
If only ... Next time ...
CLOSING
I'd like to thank, apologise to, congratulate ...

HINTS

People may not listen well if they are too anxious about what they will say for their turn. This pressure can be reduced by:
  • allowing time for thinking or making notes before a round starts
  • allowing passing, or repetition of what someone else has said
  • starting with different people for each round
Creeping Death: Rounds can be overused with the result that the routine stifles discussion rather than stimulates it - so mix rounds with more free-flowing methods, and when using Rounds remember the tips above for keeping things alive!

Circle Time: Rounds are also a basic feature of Circle Time - which can be a useful source of similar ideas especially for working with young children (5-11 years old)

adapted from Playback: A Guide to Reviewing Activities

  "Learning from experience = going round and round in ever increasing circles"

Responses to feedback about 'Rounds'

Q. How do you create a particular mood through rounds?

A. You ask about how rounds can be used for creating moods. You can initiate rounds about expressing achievements, high points or magic moments to generate a mood of success/achievement. You can create moods of acceptance/belongingness/pride by using rounds that generate positive feedback and/or thanks. If you use rounds that invite criticism or looking at low points, you may want to conclude with something more upbeat. But by selecting and sequencing things too carefully (or by using too many rounds), the technique can generate a mood of resistance to what may feel like manipulation - which is why I am keen to hand over responsibility for intitiating rounds (which I call 'Orbits') or switching to a more free-flowing method - if I sense that rounds are being experienced as too controlling.

Q. What is Circle Time?

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/teachingandlearning/library/circletime/


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