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The Weight of Your Words

Today is National Compliment Day, an unofficial (but wonderful) holiday—celebrate by expressing simple praise, sharing congratulations, and encouraging others! Created in 1998 by two women from New Hampshire, today is intended for commending others’ success, brightening someone else’s day with kindness and maybe even lifting others up in spite of their setbacks. Both giving and receiving compliments come with a variety of health benefits like decreased stress and formation of stronger long-term relationships—so why not celebrate those around you! At Thrively, we believe that kindness is something that all students and children should strive for in their day-to-day lives as they develop into young adults and soon-to-be professionals.

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Thrively understands that kindness is crucial to our goal of developing the whole child, where emotional maturity meets intellectual proficiency. In honoring this goal, we have created courses to teach children and students of all ages about the weight of their words.

Our lesson “It’s Cool to be Kind” is geared specifically towards students ages 8-10, and it teaches the importance of kindness and empathy. This lesson builds on the values that every parent and educator aims to instill in a fun and engaging way. Using videos, images, and personal reflection, students are guided through what it means to be kind and how this decision can be consciously made every day. “It’s Cool to be Kind” shows the positive effects that kindness can have on someone’s day, and, most importantly, emphasizes kindness as a choice.

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We also know that kindness can be contagious, and we want to illustrate that idea to Thrively children and students. For students ages 9-14, our lesson “Chain Reaction” explicitly demonstrates how one small act can cause another; reaching out to another person with an act of kindness, such as a compliment, can result in their complimenting someone else and creating a chain reaction of spreading kindness. The impact of a chain reaction is an especially important lesson today, as we remember to be kind and uplifting to those around us!

Kindness has profound effects on someone’s mood, their well-being, and the course of their day. Whether it be by giving a compliment or simply being kind to those around you, use today as a reminder to stay positive and treat others how you want to be treated.


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

 

Gone Huntin’-for Happiness!

As the New Year begins, holiday craziness winds down, and Spring Break seems like it is an eternity away, we celebrate the 17th annual Hunt for Happiness Week–because who doesn’t need a happiness booster every once in a while? This week-long holiday generally takes place the third full week of January and calls for even the happiest of people to seek out his/her sources of fulfillment in life. We encourage all people to focus on things that make them truly happy this week, whether that be art, music, self-reflection, or exploration. This week is about finding the best and happiest version of yourself– and at Thrively we want to help students do the same!

Superheroes Cheerful Kids Expressing Positivity Concept

We understand that a child or student’s happiness is driven by their passions, but how can they identify these passions? Luckily, we have created a course to do so! Passion Projects are student-driven projects where kids can interact with whatever makes them the most passionate. They identify a question they find interesting, spend time interacting and researching that question, and have a product or presentation at the conclusion of the project to show how they spent their time. Passion projects could range from being a research project, a hobby exploration, advocating for a cause, exploring a career — really whatever makes them happiest.

Thrively wants to help your child or student on their path to seeking ultimate happiness. Our lesson “Hunt for Happiness” allows students to hone in on their social emotional skills, discovering what makes them feel free and confident. Through a series of exercises and reflections, students will be able to find out what triggers happiness — like music!

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Not happy yet? Well how about we fill your “bucket” then. Heard of Bucket-filling? We hadn’t either, until we came across this awesome happiness-lesson called “If Every Bucket was Full” to equip your students or children with the tools needed to maintain positive perspectives – necessary for everyday situations! Try out this free lesson and fill those buckets on your path to a happier life!

 

Honoring an Educational Hero, MLK

Today we remember and celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., an advocate of social justice, education, and humanity. Throughout his short but impactful life, Dr. King peacefully led the progression of African American equality in the United States. Using his nonviolent protests and powerful words against racial discrimination, Dr. King propelled the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into existence, thus becoming widely regarded as a hero of US history. Beyond his success in progressing the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King’s views on education are particularly inspiring and deserve to be highlighted today and everyday. Thrively looks up to Dr. King and his universal words of wisdom that inspire students, teachers, and parents alike!

Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking. (Photo by Julian Wasser//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

In his most famous paper,“The Purpose of Education”, written while attending Boston University, Dr. King discusses the moral function of higher education. He believes that education should be well-rounded, and that standard intelligence can only get someone so far in life. He wrote:

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”


A big initiative in education today is to build students’ 4Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). Similar to Dr. King’s emphasis of critical thinking, Thrively has programs specific to building and developing this skill.

Dr. King also believes that the key to a good education is the combination of intelligence and character–which Thrively aims to achieve through personalized learning. Not only is education to learn, it’s learning how to learn. Dr. King argues that by learning how to be a critical thinker, students can create meaningful impact outside of the classroom. Dr. King further highlights this by connecting education and social justice – particularly how education can translate into community change. Sixty-five years later, Dr. King’s words continue to resonate with people of all ages.

As students move along the Thrively Journey, they become more self aware through discovery of their strengths and strengths-based learning. We hope to provide students with the roadmap and tools to be effective leaders and change-makers to shape a better tomorrow! 

 

Five Ways to Spot a Great Educator

First off, what defines an educator?

An educator doesn’t necessarily mean a school teacher, although it can. In fact, many of the people who educate us have nothing to do with what goes on in a classroom. Parents, grandparents, older siblings, religious leaders, peers, businesspeople and coaches, just to name a few, are primary educators in the lives of students. Learning isn’t something that comes from a book, but rather something that comes from the vibrant experiences that we have in life. At Thrively we know that educators are instrumental in shaping a student’s success and building his/her character, so let us help you spot the greatest ones!

Taking decisions for the future

1. Have active intellectual lives

They believe in continuing to learn themselves. And while these people don’t necessarily have high SAT scores or perfect GPAs in college, they do continue improve their own learning all of the time. Powerful educators are passionate about intellectuals pursuits – be that art, poetry, science, math, whatever their interests are.

2. Are fun!

Education isn’t dry – not good education anyway. Children, and adults for that matter, connect with education that’s exciting and enriching, and makes them happy.

3. See your child for who they are

Your child is a unique individual. Great educators don’t see success as one thing, they don’t believe in the cookie cutter mold of happiness or accomplishment. These individuals encourage children to explore their interests, whatever those may be.

4. Create opportunities for learning

Learning doesn’t always take place at a desk, though it certainly can. Educators who are positive forces in the life of your child find ways to incorporate learning into everyday life. Whether that’s in the grocery store, at a baseball game, or walking through the neighborhood – learning can happen everywhere, because life isn’t limited.

5. Believe intelligence is achievable

This one is truly important. Good educators believe that intelligence is not inborn. They believe that, while there may be a genetic predisposition to it, that children can learn to be intelligent through exposure to academic content and critical thinking skills. And they believe that your child is capable to making leaps in intelligence through positive support.

Look around for the great educators in the life of your child. Seek out those individuals who possess these qualities, and encourage them to share their skills with your child!

Welcome to the Thrively Blog!

Welcome to the Thrively blog, we are glad you stopped by! Thrively is a personalized learning platform to help parents and teachers guide K-12 students on a journey to develop their strengths, interests, and aspirations.

The content in this blog will vary, but the goal will be the same: to better understand personalized learning, including best practices, how classrooms are using Thrively, and why self-aware students are the key to a brighter future.

If you haven’t taken our Strength Assessment yet, set aside 30 minutes and try it out – either in the classroom or at home. Your students or child will immediately be given their top 5 strengths and can then start on a roadmap to personalizing his or her learning journey through courses and activities tailored to their strengths!

It’s time to Thrive. Let’s start this new learning journey today.

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