By Grade Level

Conversation Starters, Making Connections and Additional Resources

Elementary

Elementary: Conversation Starters and Making Connections

5th Grade December SEL Topic: Respect, Citizenship, Accepting Differences

Conversation Starters:

1. What does your web look like? Who have your attracted into your web of support and friendship? How did you do this? If you are trapped in someone’s web who is not a good influence, how can you get out of it?
2. What are the character traits of a good citizen? What actions would show you that a person is a good citizen? Which do you do or wish you could do?
3. How are careers and good character connected? Which character traits are most important for being a respected employee? Which are most important for being a good boss?

 


Making Connections:

 

1. Write the letters R-E-S-P-E-C-T on index cards or strips of colored paper. On the back of each card, brainstorm with the student to write words starting with each letter that represent ways to show respect (i.e. R: Remember to say “please and Thank you.”). Hang all the cards from ribbons attached to a coat hanger to make a Respect mobile or from a rope to make a garland.

2. Alike and Different: Divide a piece of paper into two columns (or use this template). At the top of each column write the words Alike and Different. Using the student’s and a friend’s name, fill in the column with how the two are alike and different. Repeat the exercise with your name and the student’s name. Discuss what the student thinks is good or not so good about the similarities and differences, and what changes could make the relationships stronger.

3. Read a book together and then draw a picture of the main character in the middle of a paper. Write phrases and words around the drawing that describe how the character showed good citizenship (i.e. Was he/she kind, or helped the community, or made things better, etc.).

5th Grade December T-2-4 Topic: Hospitality and Tourism & Human Services Career Clusters

Conversation Starters:

  1. What is a customer? What skills does it take to make a customer happy? Why is it important in a business for customers to be happy? Where do you feel valued as a customer? Why?

  2. What do the words hospitality and hospitable mean? When hospitality is done well, how should you feel? What happens when an employee is not hospitable to you? How do you feel?

  3. Close your eyes and picture your last visit to the doctor’s office. How many people helped you? How did you know whether they liked their job or not?


Making Connections:

 

1. Look at a photo of a theme park. Race to see how many jobs are represented in the scene?  Which jobs are necessary but not visible here? What does it take to run a theme park?

2. Look at the list of jobs in the Human Services cluster on this website. Think of someone the student knows who has one of these jobs or review one that aligns with the interests of the child. Review the description, the video, and level of education needed. Have the student draw a picture of herself/himself doing this job.

3. Do a service project to help someone in need. Make a list of places or people who need help, and think of one small thing your student can do to improve the situation. Examples: litter pick-up walk, weeding a garden, babysitting, collecting dog or cat food for an animal shelter, bringing treats to a fire station, visit an elderly person, make a tied fleece blanket for a homeless shelter, etc. Make photo montage showing before and after results.

Fall 2018 Parent U's

December

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Donna Handlin

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8th Grade

8th Grade: Conversation Starters and Making Connections

December SEL Topic: Social/Emotional Topics

Conversation Starters:

1. I hear you have been learning about the difference between Sympathy and Empathy. How are they different? How are they alike?


2. How does empathy expand our self-centered universe?


3. Empathy is just like any other skill: the more we practice it, the stronger it gets. What are some ways you might work to expand your empathy by showing care and concern for others?

 


Making Connections:

 

  1. Ask the student to identify a social injustice (current or in the past) his or she feels passionate about (i.e. homelessness, war, racism, religious oppression, immigration, etc.). Divide a piece of paper into four quadrants and label them Feel, Think, Say, Do. Write down at least one emotion the student feels about this topic, a thought connected to the emotion, what can be said that shows the student has experienced something similar, and what could/can/should be done to demonstrate empathy.

  2. Bust or Boost?—to learn what empathy is not review these empathy busters (see link below, Activity 5). Then co-create or tell a story (verbal or written) where the main character has a problem, and different friends come along and DON’T show empathy using phrases from the empathy busting list. As each friend departs, include the main character’s feelings about how the friend’s words of ‘comfort’ didn’t really help the situation. The final friend in the story should show empathy by actively listening, seeing the situation from the main character’s point of view, and/or just showing understanding. Sum up how the main character felt once someone finally understood his/her situation.

  3. Work through the Crying Baby worksheet (see link below) together.

8th Grade December T-2-4 Topic: Career Day Pre-Plan

Conversation Starters:

1. What are some careers that have not been invented yet? What are some that have or are disappearing?


2. Why do people work? Why is it important to carefully choose a career? How can a career evolve into other possibilities? If you work for yourself, how can you do work that you like? Will you always like every part of a job?


3. Discuss what Minimum Wage means. What are the income differences between people who have a high school diploma vs. those who have a college degree? What do you think are the earning differences between men and women? Is this fair?


Making Connections:

1. Use the Interest Profiler (see link below) to explore the world of work and find occupations relevant to the student’s likes and interests.


2. To practice in advance of Career Day in January, talk with your student about how to respectfully ask good questions (see link below) of the professionals who will come to talk about their careers. Why is it important for SBISD students to make a good impression  with the volunteers who will share their time on Career Day? How would the guest feel if students were rude or silly? Discuss why it is not polite to ask someone how much money they make.


3. Do you want to live with your parents forever? No! Use the Texas Reality Check (see link below) tool to show how much living expenses will cost and how much the student will need to earn to pay for them. Choose three careers of interest to the student that would support the lifestyle he or she wants. Discuss what type of education each career option will need to be able to get a job.

 

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December

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Donna Handlin

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11th grade

11th Grade Conversation Starters, Making Connections & Additional Resources

11th Grade December SEL Topic: Soft Skills

Conversation Starters:

1. What does Active Listening look like/sound like? What are some verbal and non-verbal skills you should have if you are a good listener?


2. What happens when you make assumptions about what someone is going to say or do?


3. What are the four parts of an “I” message? When should you use “I” messages?

Making Connections:

  1. Examining assumptions: Look at pictures of three different people (online, in a magazine, etc.) You and the student each write down three “facts” you think are probably true about the people in the photos. Compare lists. What are some things you had in common on your lists? What assumptions were different? Do you think one of you is more right than the other? How do biases and prejudices contribute to our assumptions?

  2. The importance of non-verbal communication: Stand back to back and one person talks for 30 seconds about what he/she did last weekend. The other person cannot ask any questions. Switch roles and repeat. Reflect: Did this feel natural? Did you miss anything in what the person said? Is it important to see the other person when talking with them? What non-verbal cues would have made the weekend descriptions easier to understand? When texting or talking on the phone, what parts of communication are present or missing? How can this contribute to misunderstandings?

  3. Use the “Feedback Formula” (see link below) to practice conversations about real or potential conflicts.

11th Grade December T-2-4 Topic: Career Exploration

Conversation Starters:

1. What is your goal for having a job? What will you spend your pay on? How much should you save?


2. What do you think is a reasonable amount of hours to work each week for a high school student? Make a time budget to figure out what will need to shift in order to have a job.


3. Whose responsibility is it to find a job? What sets you apart from other applicants? What does a person need to do to keep a job? Why is it important to have a good work reputation?


Making Connections:

1. Look up some job applications online to see what kinds of information are required. Discuss why a potential employer will want to know the student’s salary history. Talk about how to use responsibilities at home, as a volunteer and/or at school as work experience.


2. Rehearse an interview with the student by asking typical interview questions (see suggestions in Resources below). Help him/her formulate good, thoughtful answers. Try to not say “Ummm,” “Ya’ Know,” “Like,’  etc.. Put a quarter in a jar every time you catch each other saying things like this in order to break the habit.


3. Role play two scenarios using this article (Tips for Keeping the Job You Have--link below) as a guide. Scenario 1: you pretend to be an employee who does NOT use these tips… what would this look like, sound like? Scenario 2: the student plays the part of an employee who follows these tips. Discuss how generational, gender or cultural differences might affect a boss’ perception of whether the student is a valuable employee or not.

Fall 2018 Parent U's

December

  • 4: Mini-Parent U: Naviance

Donna Handlin

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

Registration link will be posted at a later date.