15 Questions to Replace ‘How Was School Today?’
These questions will help you draw out important information from your kids.
How many times have you asked your child, “How was school today?” and been frustrated by the lack of response? As a parent, I’m guilty of asking my son this question all the time, even though I usually don’t get much in return. Sometimes (to be honest), I haven’t had the energy for a real conversation. Other times, I just can’t think of what to ask. As a teacher, I have often wished that kids would share stories of the awesome things we were doing with their parents, but I couldn’t figure out how to make that happen. Now that my son is in middle school—where communication from teachers is less than it was when he was in elementary school and more stuff is happening at school that I need to be aware of—I’ve identified a list of questions that draw out important information. I wish that when I was in the classroom I’d been able to offer this list to parents so that they could hear about what we were doing in our class.
With slight wording modifications, these questions can work with children of all ages:
1. Tell me about a moment today when you felt excited about what you were learning.
2. Tell me about a moment in class when you felt confused.
3. Think about what you learned and did in school today. What’s something you’d like to know more about? What’s a question you have that came from your learning today?
4. Were there any moments today when you felt worried? When you felt scared?
5. Were there any times today when you felt disrespected by anyone? Tell me about those moments.
6. Were there times today when you felt that one of your classmates demonstrated care for you?
7. Were there any moments today when you felt proud of yourself?
8. Tell me about a conversation you had with a classmate or friend that you enjoyed.
9. What was challenging about your day?
10. What do you appreciate about your day?
11. What did you learn about yourself today?
12. Is there anything that you’d like to talk about that I might be able to help you figure out?
13. Is there anything you’re worried about?
14. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
15. Is there a question you wish I’d ask you about your day?
TIPS FOR ASKING QUESTIONS
How and when we ask these questions makes a big difference in the information we receive from our kids. First, you don’t want to ask all of these questions on the same day. You might ask one or two. After a while, you’ll figure out which ones elicit the most meaningful responses. You’ll want to ask during a time when you have the ability to focus so that your child feels they have your full attention. With my child—and in my household—dinner and driving in the car are optimal times for these conversations. Now these conversations have become routine. My son knows that when we drive to school I’ll ask him what he’s looking forward to, if there’s anything he’s worried about, and if there’s anything he wants to talk about with me that I might be able to help him figure out.
The following can help your conversations be positive and powerful:
Don’t interrupt. This is a good rule for any conversation, but especially if you want to get a lot of information out of a kid.
Ask for more. Simply say, “I’d love to hear more about that...” Or, “Can you expand on that a little?”
Ask about feelings. After a child describes an experience, ask, “How did you feel in that moment? What did you notice about your feelings?”
Validate feelings. Whatever your kid feels is normal and okay. Let them know that. Feelings are okay. Tell them this.
Tell them it’s not okay for teachers or kids to be unkind or mean. If they tell you a story about a teacher who yelled or disrespected them (regardless of what they said or did) let them know that it’s not okay for an adult to treat them that way. Same goes for how they are treated by other children.
Thank them for sharing with you. Always appreciate their honesty and willingness to share the highlights and bright spots, as well as the difficult moments. This will fuel their confidence in telling you more.
What questions bring about the most conversation between you and your kids?
By Elena Aguilar
Every Journey Starts with a Step!
The FDCDC 2021 scholarship recipients are off to school and adjusting to college
life! We want to thank you for supporting them financially, and we ask that you continue
to support them throughout the year with prayers and encouragement.
Shy'lliyah Washington (2021 scholarship recipient) has begun her first semester at the
University of Texas at Tyler! Have a wonderful semester, Shy'lliyah! Go Patriots!!
Peyton Robinson (2021 scholarship recipient) has begun his first semester at Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas. Have a wonderful semester, Peyton! Go Buccaneers!!
It's never too early—or too late—to explore options for college or career school. Key steps in preparing for college, including financial and academic preparation, can be located on the U.S. Department of Education site. For more information, click the button below for more information about student aid.
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FDCDC has a fundamental belief that poverty cycles can be broken by education, hard work and opportunity. We envision young boys and girls in Jacksonville growing up with dreams of becoming confident and successful citizens in their community. Our belief is if they are given the proper tools, resources and guidance they are more likely to fulfill their destiny.
FDCDC – Continuing the Legacy of Service
Please be reminded that the FDCDC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Thank you in advance for your contribution and God Bless you and your family!
What We Are Doing
Socks For The Elderly 2021
Socks For The Elderly 2021
Socks For The Elderly 2021
The city of Jacksonville, Texas is celebrating its 150th birthday! The celebration will begin January 2022 and continue throughout the year. There will be special activities and events all year long! The Sesquicentennial Committee wants to ensure the entire community is not only included but actively participates. The Fred Douglass Alumni Association and Fred Douglass Community Development Corporation are asked to collaborate with the city as the 100th anniversary of Fred Douglass High School will be observed and celebrated in 2022 as well.
Some events and activities included in initial discussion are: digging up time capsule buried 50 yrs. ago and burying a new time capsule, Black History celebrations, Easter Egg Hunt, Rodeo, Tomato Fest, Golf Luau, city fireworks, kite contest, and parade.
As the Sesquicentennial Committee begins to plan activities, it is imperative that history from all areas of the community is acknowledged and included. If you have Jacksonville Black history information, ideas for observances/activities, and/or overall suggestions, please send to Tracey Wallace at [email protected]
We are hoping to raise $3000 to help students with college expenses during Fred Douglass School 100 Year Anniversary and Jacksonville's Sesquicentennial next year. Will you consider partnering with us to help more students? Please consider a gift of $100 (or any amount) because every student deserves a chance to attend college. Just go to www.fdcdc.org to make your gift.
A seed was planted laying the groundwork for our future community garden. Read more about the seed below:
Thank you for reviewing and providing feedback on the proposal to establish a community garden on the property in the Lincoln Park area where the Fred Douglass schools were once located. I am writing to share some of the benefits of this project.
Since 1991 (30 years), the Fred Douglass Alumni Association (FDAA) has had a goal of putting a structure on the property to house programs that will help re-build the surrounding community. However, efforts to reach that goal have not been successful. Therefore, we are proposing a different approach for utilizing the property, which we feel will serve our community and help us reach our goal. Attached is a list of some of the benefits that can be realized by this project.
We strongly believe that the community garden concept is the "right" kind of project to start first in the community. As soon as possible, we are going to launch a fundraising plan to raise money for this community garden project and subsequently, a building structure.
George Davis suggested that we contact the agriculture department at Jacksonville ISD schools to engage their participation in this project, which is a great idea. The talents and abilities of FDAA members, with various backgrounds, are needed to help with this project. Next month we will be reaching out to the elementary schools to start developing relationships.
Our Fred Douglass Family includes a fine group of people operating as a team with the common objective of keeping the Fred Douglass dream alive and improving the community. All of us play an important part in making this happen. I am pleased and honored to be part of the Fred Douglass Family, and I am looking forward to all of us working on this important community project together.
Willie J. Howard
Historic Fred Douglass School Opening Provided a Pathway to Success for Black Students
M.B. Davis wrote in the 1956 yearbook, The Dragon. He wrote the following to the graduating class, "You have an excellent motto, 'The Door to Success is labeled PUSH.' I urge that you allow the meaning expressed in this motto to serve as an inspiration to you through the years to come. Your contacts and experiences at Fred Douglass High should give you a good foundation upon which to build a life of service to your community, your nation, and yourself. With every good wish, I am, yours truly, M.B. Davis."
Fred Douglass High School Success Stories
In follow up to the article recognizing pathways to success by FDHS, we want to highlight the many successful students from the historic FDHS. This month's featured success story is Sarah Black Robinson. Please submit information on other FDHS success stories in PDF format to [email protected]
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