Let’s Celebrate Positive Thinking Day

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Classroom Application
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“Sometimes, when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.”


Are you an optimist or a pessimist? September 13 is Positive Thinking Day, an opportunity to reflect on sharing a positive attitude and positive thinking strategies in your classroom.

According to this article from Very Well Mind, developing positive thinking skills is emotionally and physically beneficial. The wide range of health benefits includes longer life spans and reduced risk of death related to cardiovascular disease. An evidence-based program helps students develop lifelong positive thinking and goal-setting skills by integrating a well-researched program into their daily routine.

One resource for classrooms that focuses on building positive thinking skills and assists students in finding activities that meet their interests and develop their strengths is Thrively (reviewed here). Created in coordination with pediatric neuropsychologists, this assessment helps users determine areas in which they excel. After identifying strengths, Thrively shares ideas for activities that support student growth, such as journaling and projects. Along the way, students track their progress on a dashboard while earning badges.

Thrively offers some paid content, but many activities are free, including the introductory playlist called “Daily Dose of Strengths.” This playlist is recommended for students grades 3–12 and should be completed over 30 days. The 25 activities help students set achievable goals and understand how using their passion leads to successful and happy futures.

More information about the “Daily Dose of Strengths” introductory playlist:

  • Activities take approximately 10–15 minutes daily, making the playlist versatile and perfect for use as a homework activity, for computer centers, or as a bell-ringer activity as students enter class.
  • Most short activities include media and a short task, such as a reflection journal or personalizing a banner to use on Thrively. After students share a journal or activity reflection, teachers have the option to provide feedback on the submitted activity.
  • Lesson topics include setting goals, appreciation, assertiveness, and compassion.
  • Thrively offers several options for completing responses, such as text, audio, and video recordings.
  • Assign the playlist to individual students or groups of students after setting up your class.
  • You’ll find this introductory playlist in the playlist store—it’s free. To add the playlist to your account, go through the purchase process without putting in a credit card number and check out.
  • Create a class or multiple classes to make assignments and view progress reports. Options for creating a class include providing students with a registration code, importing a class through Google Classroom, adding students manually, or using the provided template to upload a class.

Another free option provided in Thrively is the Assessment Profile, an assessment that guides users through several questions and scenarios to determine individual strengths.

  • Unlike the playlists, this section is completed by each individual and cannot be assigned to groups.
  • As a result of this assessment, educators and students identify and receive feedback on their top strengths, including creativity, global thinking, and flexibility.
  • Taking this assessment is helpful as a starting point for students to identify their strengths and consider how to use them to their advantage before using Thrively’s activities to further develop those strengths.

While some features are only available in the Pro Plan, the free version includes many activities and assessments. Use the dashboard to find and search for lessons by grade level and skills taught. Choose from categories including growth mindset, grit and resilience, and strengths. Visit the Project Store to collaborate on project-based learning activities—many items in this area are free.

To find additional resources to promote positive thinking, visit TeachersFirst’s special topics collection for Social and Emotional Learning. Among these free resources, students will find various tools to help them develop positive thinking and emotional management skills.

What is your favorite method to promote positive thinking? As always, be sure to check out TeachersFirst’s resources and blog posts for additional ways to encourage positive thinking.

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

William James

About the author: Sharon Hall

Sharon Hall was a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math teaching. With over 15 years of classroom experience as a National Board Certified teacher, Sharon shares her content knowledge and reflections on ideas for basic classroom technology integration with us.

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