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  • “Accountable talk” makes discussions productive

    K-Kids club meetings are a great place for elementary school students to lead and participate in group discussions. Advisors can encourage meaningful discussions by introducing “accountable talk.” This is a way of sharing ideas and opinions that also requires members to listen fully and to follow up their own thoughts with reasons and clarification.

    Here are a few ways to introduce accountable talk:
    • Define it. Explain that accountable talk is a way of speaking and responding to others in a respectful and thought-provoking way.
    • Offer examples. Give each member this handout and explain that they can use it as a starting point for responding to a question or sharing an idea.
    • Practice. Pose an easy question to the club (e.g., what is the best holiday and why? Or, what’s a hobby of yours?) and have members respond by practicing this new format.
    • Use it. Encourage members, especially club officers, to use accountable talk at every meeting and club discussion. Review the handout before every discussion and remind everyone to use it.
    Advisors will know that accountable talk has been successful when members start using the language without being prompted or reminded.

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  • Advisor reflection tool

    For many K-Kids clubs, the end of the school year is just around the corner. What were your successes? What have you learned? Which relationships were important? Before school is out, take a few minutes for the K-Kids advisor reflection tool. Use it to document this year’s club performance and to plan improvements for next year.

    Benefits include:
    • Improved co-advising. Faculty and Kiwanis advisors can fill this tool out together or individually, but sharing notes is important. Doing so prevents communication issues between advisors and missed opportunities for the club. 
    • Reminders for next year. While the K-Kids year is fresh in your mind, review the club’s experiences. You and your fellow advisor can note important responsibilities and outcomes you don’t want to forget. 
    • Smooth transition. K-Kids work hard to make an impact in their school and community. When you retire as a K-Kids advisor—whether next year or years down the road—set them up for continued success by providing insight for an incoming advisor.

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