“Three Quote Introductions”

This variation was created by NSRF National Facilitator Courtney Foster. When a group has already used the NSRF Quotes Introduction Activity, she proposes a variation: “Three Quote Introductions.”

Because so many of the quotes in our card pack are well-loved by participants, it’s often hard to get them to pick “just one” for this activity. Courtney’s Three Quote variation gives the participants the autonomy to select three, which they welcome. (Just note that if you allow them to “break the rules” on Day 1, it may be hard to reel them back in later.)

The activity is run in the same way as it is usually conducted, but in this variation, each participant selects three quotes to share:  one to describe themselves personally, one to describe who they are at work, and a third to describe their aspirations. Another adaptation from the original activity asks participants to share their quotes with just one person (rather than in two or three rounds of pair-sharing) since they have approximately three times as much information to share. Their partner then introduces them to the larger group using one–but not all–of their selected quotes.  

“Divine Lottery Quotes Activity”

I learned about Courtney’s variation when she invited me to lead an on-site training of her staff. Clearly this was a group of people who not only knew each other well but had learned the Quote Activity from Courtney, and a few had already led it with other educators. Because I opened that training differently than usual, I skipped over the activity even though I had already distributed small stacks of quote cards around the table. Later in the day, when I had a few minutes to fill, I spontaneously created the “Divine Lottery Quotes Activity.”  In this new variation, rather than the quote cards being shared around the table, each person needed to select a quote to share from one of the 4 or 5 cards in front of them. I named it “The Divine Lottery” because the shortened selection of quotes seemed a variation of bibliomancy or stichomancy (a practice in which one picks up a holy book or any book nearby and opens to a random page, pointing to a random line on the page).

Again, because this group knew each other well already, I simply had them read their selected quote aloud rather than sharing in pairs first. The activity worked just as well as many of my playful experiments with stichomancy in the past. In fact, several participants expressed their disbelief that I shuffled them randomly because the quotes before them were so “on-point” with each person’s personality. A few exclaimed “How did you know where we were going to be sitting … even before you knew who we were?!”

Other optional variations?

Try one or both of these out, and let us know how it worked. If you have used our Quote Cards in other ways, please let us know about that, too!

You can find NSRF’s Quotes Introduction Activity and Quote Cards listed among our Protocols for paid Members. Be sure to log-in to view this page. A preformatted version of our suggested quotes for this activity can be found here to download.

Courtney Foster has over 28 years of experience in the field of education as a classroom teacher, an instructional coach, and an administrator at the school, district, state, and federal level. Her passion for working in low-performing schools led to her involvement in numerous enhanced assessment grant and school improvement grant programs totaling approximately $80 million. She worked at the SC Department of Education with the School Improvement Grant program, where most schools in the program made significant gains in student achievement. She developed an instructional coaching model with a Race to the Top district grant with four school districts in South Carolina. A large part of that model was to include CFG in schools to create a more productive learning culture among staff. She continues her work in a school district in South Carolina developing their coaching model that includes CFG work.