Consider using the assessment as a way to start or end the school year and see students' progress over time. You might use the results as the subject of a teacher-student advising conversation or as the centerpiece of a parent-teacher conference. The built-in portfolio tool can be a little clunky, but it has merit, too: If your school isn't already invested heavily in another content-sharing tool (such as Google Drive or Dropbox), it could be a great collaborative space for teachers and students alike.Continue reading Show less
Founded by a tech entrepreneur, Thrively is a website that helps kids find online and local activities that fit their particular interests. Thrively was created with input from pediatric neuropsychologists, and the site bursts with teacher-contributed lesson plans and ideas. Once a teacher sets up a class, kids take an assessment that identifies 23 potential strengths. The site then suggests activities tailored to kids' interests and strengths; Thrively says it has more than 100,000 on file. Kids can click on a "Done It" button when they've completed an activity, and progress can be viewed using site dashboards. Users also can share activity boards with other members of their social circles.
Kids' experience on the site should be safe. Thrively doesn't contain racy content or images. However, it frequently links to external sites that provide additional information on programs or events the site suggests -- sending kids away from the closed environment the site provides (though it's primarily a parent resource, so you may not have to worry).Continue reading Show less
For students you’re just getting to know, or for those who may need a little help articulating their interests, Thrively is an interesting tool to help them consider how they'd act in different situations and then get a strengths-based assessment. While there are some traditionally academic questions (identify the Colosseum, solve a visual logic problem), there are other questions about navigating social situations, good sportsmanship, and even juggling. The broad range of question topics normalizes that there are lots of ways to be smart and lots of things that kids can potentially like and be good at.
That aspirational tone would be even better if there were a better sense of how to sort through the resources. It's not clear where they all came from, and it's even harder to search them strategically. Also, not all of these resources are for all kids: While some activities are free in-person events or accessible online activities, others are pay-to-play affairs. It's pretty slick that you view activities instantly curated by your ZIP code; having similarly sophisticated search capabilities would make this a one-stop shop for kids. As it is, this is an engaging starting point for an encouraging conversation about a student's abilities and what kinds of learning activities might engage them next.Continue reading Show less