Elementary School

Fiedler Elementary - Another Positive and Productive Year!

By Stephanie Rye

The Positivity Project is underway once again at Fiedler Elementary, and this year it is proving to be more important than ever before! Many of our students have been learning completely at home for a year and a half. The students who did attend school in person for part of the time last year have not been on a full school bus, in a full classroom, in a lunchroom at all, or on the playground with other students. As our school year got underway, we realized quickly that our students needed to relearn what it means to be part of a school and classroom community. So, The Positivity Project has been an integral part of the discussions in each classroom about what it means to think about others and not just ourselves. 

Every classroom teacher incorporates The Positivity Project into their instructional day a little bit differently. In Mrs. Harrison’s fifth grade classroom, she has found it is the perfect way to send the kids off to lunch and recess with the mindset that other people matter! Each day’s discussion starts off with a review of this week’s character strength and what that strength means. The students work to not only think about the definition that has been shared with them through the slides but to apply it to what it means in their own lives. In today’s lesson about integrity, Sarah summed it up nicely when she said, “Integrity means that you do the right thing.” 

After watching the video about Charlotte and her belief that there must be truth in advertising, the students discussed it at length with a partner, and then shared their thinking with the class as a whole. Some students expressed their surprise that she could sell so many Girl Scout cookies just by telling the truth, but one student, Karla, was not surprised. She commented, “If you tell people the truth, that one of the products is not so good, then they are more likely to believe you when you say positive things about the others”. She went on further to explain how this relates to her own life. “When my mom asks me if I brushed my teeth and washed my face if I tell her I brushed my teeth but I did not wash my face, she’s more likely to believe that I am being honest”.

Mrs. Harrison took that opportunity to help the class realize what integrity develops in your relationships with others, trust. She explained that as they get older, they will have more responsibility. With that, they will want more freedom and having a trusting relationship with your family will be vital. The lesson winds down, and the students begin to prepare for lunch and recess with the discussions about integrity with the fact that other people matter in the forefront of their minds. 

Throughout the building, students are reminded about these values. The video monitor in front of the office cycles through a variety of messages reinforcing the character strengths. One slide states, “Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it.” Another slide gives important advice from Ms. Cummings, the principal, “Do what is right even when no one is watching.” Even when the students walk from the cafeteria to the playground doors and are dismissed outside, they are repeatedly reminded by the lunch monitors, “Have fun, and be kind!” It is through this collective effort and with the help of The Positivity Project, that we see our staff and students coming together to have another positive and productive year at Fiedler Elementary! 

Stephanie Rye 

Family Engagement Liaison, Fiedler Elementary

Stephanie Rye

Stephanie Rye is the Family Engagement Liaison at Fiedler Elementary in Kearsley Community Schools.  Stephanie has her Bachelors of Science in education from the University of Michigan and a Masters degree in reading from Oakland University.  After teaching fifth grade for thirty years, she retired in the spring of 2021 and began her new role at Fiedler this fall.  Stephanie supports students and families by helping to improve student attendance, plan family engagement nights, provide resources and support for strengthening homework skills, and provide academic support.