Goal To improve decision-making and problem-solving skills
1. The student will be able to determine relative importance of various problems.
2. The student will demonstrate ability to deal with problems in order of importance.
1. Think about the problems that are bothering you.
2. List these problems from most to least important.
3. Do what you can to hold off on your less important problems.
4. Go to work on your most important problems. (Goldstein and et al, 1980 p. 133)
Definition: To prioritize means to evaluate the relative importance of things and make decisions based upon that.
Rationale: When you have many things to do it is easy to feel overwhelmed. By putting them in priority or order of importance you make it easier to begin and get to work on the most important items.
Make lists of priorities. Emphasize the importance of being inclusive.
Discuss the options for completing the lower priority items (postpone them, ask someone else to do them, drop them, etc.)
Discuss the evaluation process. How do you decide which is of most importance to you.
Students can better understand the differences among people by comparing their individual priorities and being aware of differences.
Discuss needs versus wants.
Set the stage:
Card game: On posterboard cut to the size of flash cards, affix pictures of items or activities students are familiar with. Flash 2 cards; student receives the one that is most important to him.
Catalog activity: Students are given an amount of money to "spend" using mail order catalog or newspaper ads. Teacher returns list with direction to delete items so that a smaller amount is spent. ($50 - $20) ($5 - $1)
Model/Role-play with Feedback
Give students a list of decisions encountered on a busy day. Students choose the five most important and tell why each is critical.
Students make collages - one of needs, one of wants.
Students fill out interest inventories (for ex.) prioritizing their answers.
Role play situations:
You are worried about too many assignments.
Parent tells you to take care of several chores before going out.
Main actor has difficulty balancing school responsibilities, chores, and time with friends. You have $5.00 and want to see a movie and go to McDonalds.
You don't have enough time for school, job, friends, family.
You want to get a message to a friend but you don't have any classes near each other.
Application with Feedback
Apply budgeting exercise to student's own money or time.
Prioritize money/time in planning community access activity.
Prioritize Christmas list shopping for family members.
Plan how to spend time over the weekend.
Social Skills Curriculum Guide, 1992
Special School District of St. Louis County