Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Celebrating Multiple Intelligences

This summer when I was looking for back to school ideas, I came across this blog from Two Nutty Teachers on the 8 kinds of smart.

I loved the idea of teaching kids about the different kinds of smart. Last year I had some students who really struggled with self-confidence because their strengths were in areas not focused on in school. I downloaded the 8 kinds of smart posters from Two Nutty Teachers and displayed them in my classroom. You can find them on TPT here.

During the first week of school, I showed the posters to the kids and told them they would be taking a questionnaire to find out their kinds of smart. I had all the kids take this questionnaire that I found on Scholastic's website.

Before the kids started, I modeled completing the questionnaire myself. I tried to be completely honest. Fortunately, I am genuinely NOT picture smart. So I was able to honestly leave all of them blank. Once I had modeled completing the questionnaire, I sent the kids off to do their own. This was a great chance to practice working independently. The kids were very serious about completing the questionnaire.

Hard at work

Once they had finished the questionnaire, I guided the kids through scoring them. Then I had them select ONE of their areas of strength. We compiled the different areas into a class dot plot.

Kinds of Smart Dot Plot
The next day, we looked back over our dot plot and reviewed the different kinds of smart. Then I told the kids I was going to read them a story. As I read, I wanted them to think about the main character and what her areas of strength and weakness would be if she took the questionnaire. Then I read Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. If you're not familiar with this book, I encourage you to click on the link and read more about it. It's a classic!

After I read the story, we had a brief discussion about the main character's types of smart. We also discussed how her original area of weakness grew into a strength. Then I let the kids know we would be setting goals connected to their different areas of smart.

I modeled this activity first with my completed questionnaire. They would choose 3 areas of smart: one that was a strength, one a weakness, and one of their choosing. For each area that they chose, they would create a goal. For example, for word smart their goal could be to complete our school-wide 25 book challenge.

Once they had written their goals down on paper, we used the app "Popplet" to create a thinking map displaying their goals. In the center of their Popplet was a selfie (they loved that!). Coming out from their selfie, they had their 3 goals.

I loved this activity and it gave me a lot of great insight into the differences of my kids. It has already been something we've been referring back to. One day we were working on a math challenge problem, and I heard a student say "I'm not math smart. I'm a lot of the other kinds of smart, but math smart is not my thing." How awesome that they could identify their kinds of smart! I also loved that it gave us the opportunity to discuss that just because you're not math smart or word smart, it doesn't mean you aren't smart.

No comments:

Post a Comment