Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence suggests that people have a variety of intelligences including musical, visual, verbal, logical, kinesthetic, etc. How do you consider multiple intelligences when planning lessons and engaging learners?
Tara, Science in the City:I think multiple intelligences are very important to keep students engaged. I try to think about different ways to practice with a concept. Perhaps students have a choice, or perhaps they move through stations, but they get to practice the same concept through several different ways. It is important for them to see that some students do better at some things than others, but they can learn from each of them.
Ellen Weber:My PhD developed an approach to use mulltiple intelligences with upper grades and adults. Called Mita approach, Howard Gardner listed this in his book, “Intelligence Reframed,” and named it pioneer work for MI with teens.
Students start class by completing a FREE survey http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Survey-to-Discover-Your-Multiple-Intelligences-477656 and every class is built upon using their strengths to apply course content in innovative ways as they learn and engage new facts.
Clair, High School English on a Shoestring Budget: I started reading our texts aloud to my students to keep everyone together, but in the process, I discovered that a majority of my students were likely auditory learners– hearing the texts, they said, greatly improved their understanding of it. When I can’t read to students, I encourage those who struggle with reading to consider trying auditory books (lots of stories are available online or off in auditory format).
For many assignments and projects, I try to allow for choices. Boardwork may include the choice to respond in narrative or comic strip. Projects allow for creativity and choice– for personal writing, I might give the choice of narrative or multimedia project. But, there are somethings that only get one format (like essays)– so we discuss that sometimes in life, you get choices. And other times, you have to just do what you’re given.
Sara, Ms. Fuller’s Teaching Adventures:I remember in college learning all about this and practicing making plans that allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the material based off of their intelligence type. Therefore, I have developed several projects that allow students to perform, or do creative writing, draw, etc. However- I keep thinking now- how or why do we do this if the ultimate testing is going to be standardized and completely disregard our students’ learning styles? It’s frustrating to me to say the least.
Now in terms of whether students are auditory or visual learners- I try to present my material most often in presentations so students can read along or listen. Hopefully that helps reach the majority of students.
Jackie, Room 213: I try to be aware of all learning styles and create lessons with a lot of variety. I’ve been focusing a lot on kinesethic learners lately, trying to get some movement into most lessons. My favourite thing to do is the walk-and-talk. When students have a complex idea to consider, or when they are planning their own essays/assignments, I’ll let them go for a five minute walk with a partner–and a pen. They are supposed to talk about the task at hand as they go. Sometimes it’s hard to get them moving for every lesson, so if it’s a class that has them sitting for a while, I’ll give them a short walk break half way through. For the most part, students really appreciate the chance to move and they don’t take advantage of these situations and use them as intended.