We started our lesson wondering, “Why is it important to notice the Strengths in others?” Through a team investigation in the books we are reading, the second graders at Turtleback Elementary School in Poway Unified were able to uncover a lengthy list of qualities that make their favorite story book characters strong. Qualities like, loving, curious, brave, trustworthy, and hard working just to name a few.
As the teams of two worked to uncover the Strengths of their book characters, it was clear that Mrs. Erpelding, Mrs. Ocampo, and Mrs. Brokaw have classes filled with learners showcasing a variety of Strengths. Joe and I were welcomed in with kindness and joy. We noticed students compromising, sharing ideas, and taking risks in working together.
As we wrapped up our time in each class, we shared our findings and reflected on our initial wondering, “Why is it important to notice the Strengths in others?” What we landed on was better than expected, “When we look for the strengths in people, we help them feel good and we feel good too. We remember them for what they are good at and then we feel good about being together.”
The 40 minutes we spent with these classes is a reminder of how capable learners are in identifying the good in others, even when we had to dig a bit to find the Strengths of the Troll in The Three Billy Goats Gruff. What is equally exciting is that this is the first lesson in a series of 8 (Strengths: What are they and Why do they Matter?) from The Thrively Strengths Vocabulary Project, which has learners deeply engaging in Strengths vocabulary, identifying the Strengths in their community, and celebrating their own Strengths they identify with and understanding why that matters.
If you would like additional information about getting started with the Thrively Strengths Vocabulary Project for your learners, reach out to the Thrively Team today.
I can confidently share one thing I know to be true about Integrity Charter School in National City, San Diego: Their amazingly driven, compassionate, and fun-loving teachers are a major strength of theirs!
Together with the K-8th grade Teachers and Leaders, we launched a Thrively site-wide Identity Project the best way we know how, with Teachers doing the project themselves.
At Thrively, we define identity as all the puzzle pieces that make us unique and dynamic. We designed this project with Integrity to take learners through four phases to deepen their understanding of themselves and their learning community. Throughout the entirety of this project, learners are working to answer the essential question, Who am I? Each phase of the project is a collection of Thrively online lessons, supplemental whole group offline lessons, and fun games that support community building and strengths finding.
Working through the project today gave Integrity Charter School teachers a first hand experience into the why and how behind the project, connect and build community with their team, and opportunities to reflect as a team on how to best scaffold lessons to meet the needs and interests of their learners.
We are thrilled to work with Integrity Charter School Teachers and Learners and watch this project unfold and take shape in the coming weeks. We are confident that this partnership will be a model for many other schools looking to implement high-quality learning experiences for students as they build out a year with Thrively. Contact the Thrively Team if you would like additional information about getting started with the Thrively Identity Project.
When students are given the time to discuss and reflect about their strengths, they gain real insight. A sentence from one student’s recent journal entry discussing Growth Mindset really jumped out for me. The student wrote,
“My flaws aren’t what define me; my personality and my unique traits are what define me.”
Imagine if all of our students could start to think of themselves in terms of what is strong with them rather than what is wrong with them.
The 9th and 10th graders at St. Vincent’s Academy, an all-girls school in Savannah, Georgia are doing that and much more. Since taking the Thrively Strengths Assessment, students have been participating in weekly class sessions to discuss such topics as self identity, growth mindset, perseverance, and gratitude.
Thrively is thankful for the leadership team and talented counselors who are leading the efforts at St. Vincent’s.