March 22, 2016

CTE Department Chair meeting

Follow along with the meeting agenda and activities is a great tool for interactive flyers which can be accessed anywhere internet is available. Use this tool with your classes and colleague interactions to integrate technology that is appealing and user-friendly.

Meeting Agenda

(packet pick-up)



Peer Presentation-Crockett High School Science/Construction

Academic Integration

Workforce (extra-duty pay) Update

Course Evaluations


Timely Topics

station rotation-Inventory, Funds, Professional Development

Professional Learning-StrengthsFinder activities

Closing/Questions and Share Outs

Google Tools use

CTE month activities

StrengthsFinder Overview

StrengthsFinder- 34 Themes

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

StrengthsFinder Grid Results

Big image

Austin ISD CTE Team

Contact us with questions, suggestions or to share success stories!

Strategies for Classroom Use

Paper Tower Activity (Team Building)

The goal is to build a large, free standing paper tower, using nothing but printer paper and tape. Grab a ream of printer paper from the supply closet, or use any discarded full sheets of paper from the recycling bin. A group of 20 will easily use a couple hundred sheets of paper. Also, provide a roll of masking tape for each group. It usually takes a few minutes to give directions and gather materials, so plan accordingly.

• Set-up: Divide the group into teams of 4-6

• Design- 5 minutes (cannot touch the paper or tape during this time)

• Build- 10 minutes

• Debrief- 5 minutes

Sample Debrief Questions

• Did you see any strengths at work in your teammates? Use specific examples.

• Which of your strengths felt “on” during the activity?

• Were you holding back during the activity? Why?

• What behaviors in your teammates can you connect back to a specific strength?

The Very Busy Spider (Identifying and Using Strengths

1. Each Team Member has a Specific Role to Play (identify strengths)

Introduction: There are 10 animals in the book. When each comes asking the spider to do something with them, they reveal part of the unique role they play on the team.

• The horse rides

• The cow eats grass...

Let’s imagine that all of the animals on the farm are part of a larger team. They have a role and a function that only they can uniquely play. Presumably, each animal has taken The farm only works well when each team member is playing the role only they can play.


Center these around self-identifying strengths or use an assessment tool to help students identify their strengths *not a personality test

(Naviance has an assessment you could review with a counselor to see if it fits)

2. Each Team Member Spends Time Refining their Strengths

Ask students to identify each animal's strength and see if they can make the connection as follows-Each animal is asking the spider to hang out with them while they are practicing their area of strength. The reason the spider doesn’t go along with them, is because she too is busy “spinning her web,” practicing one of her strengths.

Often, leaders don’t spend enough time working on the things that only they are best at. They also don’t allow team members to operate in areas of their greatest strength.

3. Wait for The Right Opportunity to Use Strengths

Although chasing cats and taking naps were probably interesting to the spider, she didn’t stop spinning her web to spend time with the dog or the cat. She continued working on what she was best at, so when the time came, her strengths could be used to maximum capacity. She was rewarded when the rooster stopped by and asks, “want to catch a pest fly?” We learn that “…the spider caught the fly in her web… just like that!”

Ask students to reflect on their strengths and how/when they could use them in a team environment. Combine this with the Paper Tower Activity for practical application.

4. Strengths Based Team Work

Roosters are not great at catching flies, but they are good at alerting others of action that needs to be taken. A rooster, “sounds a distinctive alarm call if predators are nearby.”

Conclusion-Are You Ready for Action?

The only way the spider was able to use her strengths at the exact moment they were needed was because she had spent the entire day preparing for that one moment. She was busy spinning her web for the moment it was needed most. Regardless of your specific StrengthsFinder themes, are you doing what you need to be doing today to sharpen and broaden your understanding of your strengths so that when called upon, you can use them in generative ways?