Strengths, Growth Areas, and Diversity
As a foundation for peer support, our students learned about their classmates’ strengths and growth areas as well as their own. We believed this understanding would help students appreciate their peers’ unique abilities and make strategic decisions about who to ask for help. As we developed this part of our curriculum, we also promoted a growth mindset and emphasized that all people have multiple strengths and growth areas. To learn more about this stage of the project, read Chapter VII: Learning about Ourselves.
This list of questions and prompts is designed to guide sharing time while students are displaying or demonstrating a personal strength.
This letter to families explains sharing time around personal strengths. The letter includes a calendar, on which a specific date and/or time may be assigned to each student. To invest students in this activity, the letter invites them to bring in a school-appropriate item that represents their strength.
In this game, students mime one of their strengths or growth areas, and then other students guess in turn.
This guided writing activity asks students to reflect on one of their strengths and describe how they improved over time.
This student work may serve a model for the “One of My Strengths” Writing Activity. In this piece, the student describes trajectory of her learning, beginning with effort and ending with a musical performance. Her neat handwriting and careful drawing suggests that she has taken pride in her work.
This guided writing activity asks students to reflect on one of their growth areas and envision how they might improve.
This student work may serve a model for the “One of My Growth Areas” Writing Activity. Reflecting on her growth area, this student identified specific skill she wishes work on (dribbling with one hand) and imagines herself playing basketball in the future. Like the previous example, this piece of writing seems to have been drafted with care.
In this hands-on activity, students seek to answer the following question: Is it more helpful to have a class with the same strengths or a class with different strengths?