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It’s Right to Write – by Hand!

Most adults today can recall countless hours spent growing up with a pencil in hand perfecting every letter in the cursive alphabet or pulling out a sheet of notebook paper to get started on a class essay. Now, in the 21st-century classroom, typing is the preferred method of communication for practically any task or assignment. Of course, we can all agree that typing is more time-efficient and less physically taxing, but learning how to handwrite is still essential for today’s students.

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As paper submissions slowly disappear in lieu of digital submissions, and cursive slowly gets replaced by Microsoft Word or Google Docs, there exists a fear that eventually learning how to write will go completely extinct in our education system. While technology is a great supplementary tool in education, handwriting is still applicable to so many life skills like:

Motor Skills Development

Handwriting develops motor skills by teaching children how to locate each stroke relative to other strokes, learn and remember the appropriate size and details of strokes, and develop muscle memory.

Memory Recall

Writing—for example, in note-taking has been proven to provide improved memory recall, an essential skill throughout all levels of education.

Reading Comprehension

Writing and reading are strongly connected, as strong writing skills have been shown to increase reading comprehension. This union will help students in the long run by giving them a competitive advantage in both standardized testing and reading for higher education.

Legal Documents

Documents like a driver’s license application, a court-mandated form or even a simple rent check still and likely always will need to be completed by hand for legal purposes.

Creativity

Writing words in different styles, such as calligraphy, stimulates the creative part of the brain—something that cannot be mimicked by selecting a new font from the ‘toolbar.’

While technology is a vital resource in education by providing new opportunities in personalized learning and enhancing critical thinking skills, handwriting is still a modern necessity. So, as technology continues to advance education, the practice of handwriting shouldn’t be forgotten.

We understand the importance of handwriting at Thrively, so we created a course specifically for note-taking! “Cornell Note Taking” teaches students how to most effectively take handwritten notes. This form of note-taking leads to improved memory retention and emphasizes topic comprehension – results we can’t write off! 

Honoring an Educational Hero – Martin Luther King!

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 every day. 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 on 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 education is to learn but also 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 the 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.

P.S. Looking for other ways to connect? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

Thrively Acquires Activity Rocket

Have you heard the exciting news?

Thrively has acquired Activity Rocket, a resource to find activities for your kids near you! Activity Rocket was created by two moms, Lisa and Illene, who understood that parents want the best activities for their children, but it isn’t always easy or convenient to find them. Together the two moms set out with the goal of helping parents find and book these classes, camps, sports and other enriching activities in minutes. If you live in the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia area, Activity Rocket is a great resource to save time and resources. Together, Thrively and Activity Rocket aim to help every child discover their genius– and what better way to do it than to connect children with activities they will genuinely enjoy?

First, students take the Thrively Strength Assessment to discover their top strengths and interests– ranging all the way from analytical, to fun-loving, or athletic. A unique profile is then created for students including catered course plans, lessons, pathways, activities, and so much more! Students can use their specific strengths and interests to find activities that will keep them happy and engaged. Athletic? Ice Hockey. Creative Skill? Musical Theater, Singing, Dance, or Painting. Focus? Computer Programming. No matter your children or students’ strenghts, Activity Rocket has a an activity to keep them passionate and interested in their activ

After taking the Thrively Strength Assessment and discovering their top strengths and interests, children can find engaging activities they truly enjoy. In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, let’s explore some of the many activities on Thrively and Activity Rocket connected to ‘athleticism’.