Portrait of a Graduate Family Resources: 7-12

Grades 7-12

Family Conversations

  • Consider telling your child when they are demonstrating a skill at home or in a social setting. Example:
    • During soccer practice this morning, when you missed the goal you didn’t give up and kept trying hard to get the ball back to score. (Goal-directed and resilient)
    • When you were playing with your sister, you were being kind to her by sharing your toys and letting her choose a game to play. (Collaborator)
  • Share examples of how you were a [collaborator, communicator, etc.] during your day or within your job. Provide specific details and explain how using these skills helped you. (e.g., I was a collaborator at work today when I _____. This was helpful because ___________.)
  • Instead of asking “What did you do in school today?”, consider asking one of the questions below:


Skills for Grade 7-12

Questions to Ask Your Student

icon for communicator attribute


  • I read and research to understand, evaluate, or create new information or ideas.
  • I listen and ask questions, paraphrase ideas, or make connections that further my understanding.
  • I plan and organize my speaking for an intended purpose and audience by selecting appropriate language, and I speak with confidence to engage listeners.
  • I plan, organize, and revise my writing for an intended purpose and audience by blending ideas and concepts.
  • I use digital tools to enhance my communication in multiple ways and to explore and exchange ideas.
  • How were you a communicator today?
  • What questions did you ask that led to further understanding of _____?
  • In what ways did you share your ideas?
  • What digital tools did you use to help you to [research, create new ideas, communicate with others, collaborate, etc.]? How did it build on your learning?

icon for collaborator attribute


  • I listen to, acknowledge, and appreciate diverse ideas and multiple ways of reasoning when I participate in conversations.
  • I collaborate and support team members by making meaningful contributions, following through, and staying focused on the goal.
  • I consider varied opinions, and I gather multiple sources on a topic before constructing arguments and drawing conclusions.
  • I continually gather and use feedback and suggestions from team members to shape ideas and resolve issues.
  • How were you a collaborator today?
  • When did you listen to other points of view? What did you learn?
  • How did you help others in your group finish the [activity, project, assignment]?
  • Were there moments when your group struggled? How did you handle that? What did you learn from that experience?

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Critical and Creative Thinker

  • I use strategies to solve problems, investigate answers to my own questions, and design solutions to challenges in order to further my learning.
  • I consider information from different sources and use it in new ways to create products or explore and communicate ideas.
  • I create through the designing and building process.
  • I can share my thinking, ideas, and feelings through the visual and performing arts.
  • I evaluate sources for validity, relevancy, and the impact it has on others.
  • I use evidence to support my conclusions.
  • How were you a creative and critical thinker today?
  • Did you have a need to problem-solve today? How did it help you?
  • Did your thinking change or evolve when _____? How so?
  • Did you have a chance to be creative? What did you do?
  • In what ways do you ensure information you use is meaningful and reliable?

icon for global and ethical citizen attribute

Ethical and Global Citizen

  • I consider local, national, and global perspectives when examining issues, which enables me to understand a variety of cultures and perspectives.
  • I participate in activities that benefit my community.
  • I am learning to communicate in another language so that I can connect with others in the world.
  • I consider the impact on the environment when I make daily choices.
  •  I understand the foundations of rights, privileges, and responsibilities in the United States.
  • I demonstrate empathy, compassion, and respect for others, and I promote human interactions based on these ideals.
  • When I see someone struggling, I help him or her.
  • I act with integrity in all that I say and do to set a model example for others.
  • How were you an ethical and global citizen today?
  • How are you being a [good friend, classmate, role model, leader] when _____?
  • What choices did you make that positively impacted you, others, or the environment?
  • What choices did you make that negatively impacted you, others, or the environment? What did you learn from that?
  • What are some ways you participate as an active member of your community?

icon for goal-directed and resilient individual attribute

Goal-Directed and Resilient Individual

  • I make choices that keep me healthy.
  • I surround myself with people who make me feel good about myself and I try to make other people feel good about themselves.
  • I can identify challenges and adjust to overcome them.
  • I persevere through difficult tasks and situations.
  • I practice successful financial and time management strategies that allow me to reach goals and accomplish tasks efficiently.
  • I reflect on my experiences and advocate for myself to grow and improve.
  • How were you goal directed and resilient today?
  • How did you keep trying even when _____ was challenging?
  • If you want to ___, what’s a goal that you might make? What’s your first step in meeting your goal?
  • How might you take responsibility for [your actions, completing work, mistakes, etc]?