Whiparound is a discussion strategy in which every student shares out loud a brief thought, idea, or opinion in order to quickly demonstrate their learning or contribute to a classroom discussion. In a Whiparound, a teacher or student asks a question and the teacher states they will do a Whiparound, indicating every student will share a brief response, typically in a routine way that has been pre-established (e.g., starting from front to back, right to left, etc.). During a Whiparound each student shares without interruption as the rest of the class engages in active listening, reflecting on common themes and new ideas. A Whiparound provides a structure for whole-class sharing that ensures that every student participates and allows the teacher to informally assess students’ understanding.

Implementation Tips

Choose questions that are highly engaging and relevant to the objective of the Whiparound. Students should be excited to respond as well as hear their peers’ responses. Examples might include quick ice breaker questions (e.g., What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” to more analytical, content-based questions (e.g. Which character do you most identify with and why?”).
Sentence Frames
Create sentence frames and provide them to the students before conducting a Whiparound. The sentence frames can be projected for the entire class or handed out individually to students. Click [[|here]] for an example.
Whiparound Expectations
Teach the expectations of a Whiparound before using the strategy. Student should be expected to listen to their peers’ responses, keep their own responses brief (1-2 sentences), and pay attention to the pre-established order of responses. When initiating a Whiparound, use a routine cue (e.g. “Let’s whip!”) and review the key expectations (e.g. “What are the three most important expectations in a Whiparound?”).
Talking Stick
Use a “talking stick” to indicate whose turn it is to speak. Choose a durable object that can easily be passed around and will only be used for this purpose (e.g., bean bag, stuffed animal, class-made talking stick). When a student is done speaking, they pass the object to their peer.
Think Time
Provide “think time” for students before beginning a Whiparound. After stating the question, give students one or two minutes to prepare their response. Students can also write down their responses so that they are ready to share during their turn.
Student-Created Questions
Increase engagement by having students create the questions. Give students the topic and ask them to submit their questions in a jar, basket, or other container. Select one or two questions to ask for the Whiparound.
Challenge students to build on their peers’ responses by reflecting on a statement they heard with which they agreed or disagreed. Students can write their reflection in a journal or share aloud with the class after the Whiparound.


Community Building
During morning meeting at the beginning each day, the teacher asks students to share one word that describes how they are feeling and one positive action they will try that day. Prior to sharing, students are given a piece of paper and a pencil to draw their feeling and brainstorm their positive action. After one or two minutes, the teacher hands a student the talking stick and indicates they will sharing using a Whiparound in a clockwise direction. After the Whiparound, the teacher asks students to reflect on responses and share any thoughts they have on their peers’ positive actions.
Silent Whiparound
At the end of a math lesson about strategies for determining the next number in a sequence, the teacher asks, “Which strategy do you prefer and why?” Instead of responding verbally, students write their responses on small whiteboards. The students are then given two minutes to do a Silent Whiparound in small groups (i.e., students take turns displaying their whiteboards for group members to read silently). The teacher asks another question, and students share their responses in a similar manner. After the Silent Whiparound, groups discuss common responses and each student writes a short reflection on their learnings.

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