I have posted recently on Susie’s suggestion that PQA works best when we find one kid to pour all our attention on, causing the others to want that kind of attention as well.
I also posted on using color coded cardstock for each class with two columned questionnaires (downloadable from this site) on the back that only get answered at the rate of one question per week or two. That is another little tweak that has helped increase class focus as well.
Another idea was to just keep the cards on my desk after the first few days of class and just draw from them to start the PQA circling instead of passing them all out, since most of them wouldn’t be discussed in that class that day anyway.
Here is another thing that has been working this year. Whenever I want a particular question to be on the quiz, I turn my focus to the quiz writer (see “resources/workshop handouts” on p. 41 on this site) and say, in a very deliberate and focused way in L2, “Josh plays electric guitar on the ceiling!” That is the cue for the quiz writer to write exactly that question down as a question in English for my use during the quiz later. Needless to say, this brings greater focus to the entire PQA proceedings, at the same time it makes it easier for me to give the quiz without having to do the instant edit thing.
Every day this year I seem to learn new things about the Circling with Balls PQA activity, probably because the shift from smaller classes (25 students) in monocolor suburban boring classes to larger classes (35 students) in diverse urban truly American classes is forcing me to do so.