By Grade Level

Conversation Starters, Making Connections and Additional Resources

Elementary

Elementary: Conversation Starters and Making Connections

September SEL Topic: Red Ribbon Week, Bullying

Conversation Starters:

1. What is the difference between laughing with someone or at someone? How would you recognize if the joking was hurting someone’s feelings?


2. Is everyone the same in the world? What would the world be like if everyone liked and did things exactly the same? Why is variety necessary? How do you treat people who are different from you?


3. What would you do if someone asked you to try a drug that you know is bad for you? Who is a trusted adult at school can you ask for help in this situation? (Parents: once the child gives you a name, please send that person an email to let him/her know they are your child’s “go-to” person.)

 


Making Connections:

 

1.    Work through the What Should You Do? worksheet, and discuss each answer.

2.    Cut pictures of healthy foods and activities from magazines or online. Create a Healthy Choices collage letting the child pick which pictures to include. Talk about why they chose the pictures and what could happen to their brains and bodies if they made a bad choice. 

3..    Drive by an area of town where homeless people live. Discuss the circumstances and consequences that may have resulted in having to live on the street. 

September T-2-4 Topic: Careers in Arts, Audio Visual Technology and Communication

Conversation Starters:

1. Do you have an active imagination? Do you like to act things out? Do you like decorating your room? Would you be interested in a creative career? If not, what elements of art and communication are needed in other jobs?


2. Listen to the radio while driving in the car or watch television together. Which advertisements stand out? Which annoy you? What words or images are used to appeal to the audience they are trying to convince? What are the elements of the ad: voice, singing, music, call-to-action (BUY THIS, VOTE FOR…). 

3. What is the name of your art teacher? What makes him/her think differently than other teachers? What is your favorite thing to do in that class?


Making Connections:

 

1.    Visit the Sawyer Yards where dozens of artists DO their work. Talk to the artists about how it is to make a living doing this (open house every second Saturday).

2.    Attend a performance and point out all the audiovisual technology being used: speakers, microphones, video, miles of cables, lighting, etc. Talk about the people who make this behind-the-scenes technology work for the audience’s enjoyment.

3.    Draw or paint an awesome picture. Take photos of it, and make a plan to “sell” it to a friend or family member. What is a fair price? How would you market it? How would you package it? Use this website for ideas.

 

Fall 2018 Parent U's

October

  • 20: Parent U: Supporting Success for Every Child

Conference style, multiple presenters in English and Spanish

Registration: 8:15 - 8:50 a.m.
Sessions: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Cornerstone Academy
9016-C Westview Dr.
Houston, TX 77055

Register here
 

23: Mentor U/Parent U: Mentors and Parents as Allies

Presenters from the National Alliance on Mental Illness

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. @ SBISD Administration Building Board Room
955 Campbell Road 77024
Register Here

November

  • 13: Mini-Parent U: Foundation Plan with Endorsements

Martha Meyer and Susana Velis

5:30-7:00 p.m. @ Spring Woods Middle School

December

  • 4: Mini-Parent U: Naviance

Donna Handlin

5:30-7:00 p.m. @ SBISD Board Room, 955 Campbell Road

8th Grade

8th Grade: Conversation Starters and Making Connections

October SEL Topic: Drugs

Conversation Starters:

1. Research shows that young people who talk to adults regularly about the dangers of drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs. Why does this work? Why is the percentage not higher? Why do some adults not talk to children about this?  


2. Why do some people choose to take illegal drugs? Is the risk worth the consequences?


3. Excessive drinking poses serious risks to physical development of teens, such as negative effects on reproductive system, liver damage, reduced growth potential of the limbs and the body, reduced memory. How might these facts affect your choices when pressured to partake?

 


Making Connections:

 

1. Participate in the Red Ribbon Week photo contest by decorating your home or school with a Life is a Journey. Travel Drug Free theme.


2.    Make a chart with the harmful drug types listed in the Drug Facts Among Texas Youth 2016 report (see link below). Next to each, write the harmful short-and long-term effects of each.


3.    Role-play with your student how to say “No” in various scenarios. Do reverse role-play and let the student be the person offering the illegal substances, and you, the adult, model how to say “no,” change the subject, walk away, etc.

September T-2-4 Topic: Navigate & Endorsement Review

Conversation Starters:

1. What is a career cluster? Which do you feel is the best fit for you? Which jobs in this cluster sound interesting to you?


2. What do your strengths, values, personality and skills have to do with finding a career path?


3. Do all careers need a college degree? What are some that DO and some that do not? What kind of degrees or certifications are needed for each?

 


Making Connections:

  1. Use the Career Clusters link to look up five possible careers. Make a list of the best parts of each job or draw a picture of yourself doing this job.

  2. Look at the SBISD Guthrie Center programs. Which are of interest? Which pathways offered here are of interest?

  3. Think of songs or lyrics that mention different careers. How many can you list together?

Additional Resources:

Career Clusters

The Guthrie Center

 

Upcoming Parent U's

October

  • 23: Mentor U/Parent U: Mentors and Parents as Allies

Presenters from the National Alliance on Mental Illness

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. @ SBISD Administration Building Board Room
955 Campbell Road 77024
Register Here

November

  • 13: Mini-Parent U: Foundation Plan with Endorsements

Martha Meyer and Susana Velis

5:30-7:00 p.m. @ Spring Woods Middle School

December

  • 4: Mini-Parent U: Naviance

Donna Handlin

5:30-7:00 p.m. @ SBISD Board Room, 955 Campbell Road

11th grade

11th Grade Conversation Starters, Making Connections & Additional Resources

October SEL Topic: Social Media 101

Conversation Starters:

1. What are some pros and cons of using social media? Which kinds of words or pictures cause problems for you or others?


2. What would you do if you saw a threatening post from someone you know? Someone you don’t know?


3. If you were hiring someone to work for you, what would you look for in their online postings that would make you want to hire him/her or NOT?

Making Connections:

1, Help the young person be involved in uplifting activities that could be posted to highlight character strengths (i.e. volunteering, personal performances, tutoring, job duties, cultural events, praise for friends’ accomplishments, etc.) to create a positive digital footprint. Present your best self on social media.


2.    Identify trusted adults at school, and other settings away from campus, who your child can talk to if they see high-risk threats online. Make sure the adults’ contact information is readily accessible (contacts list, wallet card, etc.). Email each of the identified adults to let them know the young person has “chosen” them as a trusted, go-to person.


3.    Talk about how “little kids” argue and call each other names immaturely. Think of hypothetical scenarios where conflict between people should be worked out in person vs. posting online. Discuss why “walking away” from a hurtful online post and talking through the situation with other person face-to-face with active listening is a more mature approach. Practice using the phrases in this article. Sometimes writing them down gets the ideas to stick in your mind so they are ready to use when needed.

September T-2-4 Topic: ACT/SAT

Conversation Starters:

1. Which college criteria matter to you? Size, location, climate, majors, supports, athletic programs, academic reputation, research? Which of these criteria align with your personality, strengths, preferences? Why or why not?


2. If you could go to ANY college in the state/country/world, where would you go? Why? Look up this college online, and see what the admission requirements are. Naviance is a great place to look at all colleges and universities under Super Match.


3. To get into college and receive scholarships, students need to write persuasive and personal essays. What characteristics and accomplishments about yourself are you most proud? What hardships have you overcome and what have you learned along the way? What would your brag sheet look like?


Making Connections:

1.    Use the Prompts for College Essays to discuss and draft written responses.


2.    If your student attended the SBISD College Fair on Oct. 8, develop a follow-up plan and schedule some college visits (some universities have virtual tours on their websites). These additional steps will show the universities you are truly interested in attending there and could favor your application over others.


3.    Call at least one college representative, use the questions in the Tips for Talking to College Representatives to gather information about their university.  Write down the kinds of questions they ask you so you are prepared for future calls and conversations.

 

Fall 2018 Parent U's

October

  • 23: Mentor U/Parent U: Mentors and Parents as Allies

Presenters from the National Alliance on Mental Illness

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. @ SBISD Administration Building Board Room
955 Campbell Road 77024
Register Here

November

  • 13: Mini-Parent U: Foundation Plan with Endorsements

Martha Meyer and Susana Velis

5:30-7:00 p.m. @ Spring Woods Middle School

December

  • 4: Mini-Parent U: Naviance

Donna Handlin

5:30-7:00 p.m. @ SBISD Board Room, 955 Campbell Road