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Check-in Question Generators

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For those implementing restorative practices, check-in circles are highly recommended to use with all grade levels. On my webpage, Gateway to Restorative Practices, I offer many circle prompts educators can access on my resources page. Today I learned about an easy way to access check-in questions online. The IIRP (International Institute of Restorative Practices) sends out monthly News and Resources. Today the IIRP shares about three free resources to access check-in questions using online programs that generate prompts. Which of these three will you like best?

Resource #1: The Digital Workplace

The first one is The Digital Workplace at Neil Miller, host of The Digital Workplace and author of 100+ Non-lame Check in Questions for Meetings, provides a number of reasons for using his tool.1 Miller says, “But once you understand what you are hiring check in questions to do, you’ll think twice before skipping them.” His reasons are similar to why educators use check-in questions with students and staff.

Sample Check-in Questions from The Digital Workplace
  • Check-in questions provide an opportunity to reset everyone. We never know what a student or staff just experienced before arrival at school/work.
  • Check-in questions offer context. We can often discover what is going on with our students or staff.
  • Check-in questions remind us that we’re working with people: our students and colleagues.
  • Check-in questions provide equity for all participants offering equal talking time. A friendly reminder, always offer permission to pass.
  • Check-in questions should be inclusive of the group. For example, we’re not asking 3rd graders about the first time they drove a car.
  • Check-in questions typically reveal something new about our students or colleagues.

Miller says, “If you skip check in questions for meetings, you might be missing out on more than you think.” The same is true for us with our students and staff. “Now you can hold check-in circles without advance planning.” How cool is that?

Resource #2: Daresay Check in Generator

The second resource for check-in questions is the Daresay Check in Generator2 at The home page reads, “The check in generator…Build trust, Build relationships.” Sound familiar?  

Sample check-in question from Dare Say

The creator, Oscar Norrman, notes that the check-in questions are used to start meetings and workshops. He says, “This gives us room to remind ourselves that we’re all human. A quick check-in doesn’t just lighten the mood, it also helps us focus on what we’re doing as a team.” He likes his system because generating questions becomes exhausting. Many of us relate to that. We want to use check-in questions for circles, but time and energy are challenges. He offers a possible solution.

Norrman gathered questions from the web and from colleagues to create the Check in Generator. The site doesn’t say how many questions they provide, but they do ask, what type of atmosphere do you want to create? I like that Daresay offers a category filter. You can choose all, or just the category caring, daring, laid back, or work focused. Unless you’re doing check-in questions with staff, you can eliminate the work category.  

In the caring category, the prompt, “What are you grateful for?” will work with most students, but “What trait do you value in a coworker right now?” would not. There’s no reason students need to see the prompts, so you can click for the next one if you don’t like it.

The daring category doesn’t seem that daring. “Share an embarrassing moment in your life.” I did find one that probably won’t work for students. “Tell us why you choose to work with what you do today?”

In the laid-back category I found easy prompts, “What is your idea of a perfect vacation?” and “Which emoji best describes your mood right now?”

Norman ends by saying, “Get swiping and feel free to share feedback and new check-ins with us!” I’m sure he’d love to hear from educators.

Resource #3: Instagram Stories and Highlights

Sample circle prompts from Instagram

The third idea is their own. The IIRP posts new check-in questions every Monday on their social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.3 For easy access, they’ve compiled their weekly prompts on Instagram at

To begin using the compiled check-in questions, you sign-in. Then the prompts show up. I like how the colorful graphics add to the attractiveness of the check-in questions. The prompts rotate rather fast. There is a pause button that I use after each prompt. They also offer two additional options. First, you can type in your response in the IIRP box. The other option is to reply with your emoji response to the “@iirp_gradschool.” They offer eight responses.

I’m a digital immigrant, so anytime I find computer sources that are easy to use, I’m all in.

I’d love to hear how you use these resources with your students and colleagues.


  1. March 16, 2021.
  2. Daresay Check in Generator.
  3. IIRP News March 2024. IIRP Graduate School. Email address  
  • Are you relieved when certain students are absent?
  • Do you have students who “push your buttons”?
  • Do you find yourself butting heads with the same students day-after-day?

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