Yesterday marked the beginning of the RD Program I talked about in my last post. As mentioned, I will be running the program with two different classes, Group A (kindergarten) and Group B (Grade 4). Yesterday I started with Group B.
In preparation, and to get students thinking before the lesson, I put up some posters about multiple intelligences (MI) the day before. I found these posters on Teachers Pay Teachers. Like with many of the resources I was finding on multiple intelligences, existential intelligence was not included in the package, however I really liked the colours and visuals, so I went with them anyway. No big deal right?! I was sure I’d be able to find a “Picture Smart Kid” to make one for me later!
The purpose of Lesson 1 of the program is to introduce the theory of multiple intelligences to the students. I had a general idea of how I wanted it to go.
- Get the kids thinking about what it means to be smart.
- Categorize their ideas in a colour coded mindmap on the interactive white board.
- Explain the categories and multiple intelligences to the students afterwards.
- Have them reflect on what they feel their strengths are, based on the multiple intelligences
- Have them choose what they feel is their number 1 strength, and place a post-it note with their name on it in the corresponding category on the display board.
- Complete the journal reflection questions.
As a student services teacher I am always in and out of many classes, including this one. One of the things I find the hardest with teaching in several different classes, is trying to work out each group’s different systems and procedures, in order to have things run as smoothly as possible. This challenge, combined with the fact that the program was new to me and that I was trying out a new mindmapping website, likely all contributed to the chaos I was feeling throughout the lesson. Luckily the video footage showed otherwise, in the beginning at least!
While watching and reflecting afterwards, I was able to see that the beginning of the lesson actually ran quite smoothly, and wasn’t as chaotic as it felt. The students had noticed the posters on the bulletin board, and this helped them to generate lots of good ideas. I added these all to our mindmap. Each intelligence was represented by a different colour on the mindmap, but I didn’t give a title to these categories until the end. As I was expecting, existential intelligence was the most difficult to expand on. Otherwise, they did a great job at covering all of the intelligences. I used GoConqr to create the mindmap instead of chart paper as suggested in the lesson plan. The website got a bit finicky during the lesson, but I was able to make some small adjustments afterwards and I’m really happy with how it turned out.
While the video footage allowed me to see that the beginning of the lesson wasn’t as chaotic as it felt, it also revealed that I had kept the students at the carpet for far too long. Towards the end, the chaos that I was feeling was much more real. Many students were daydreaming, up and walking around, or talking with their peers. I will definitely have to get them up and moving a bit more next time. This is the power of videoing lessons and being able to watch and reflect afterwards. Note to self: Do this more often! Many of the students also identified “Body Smart” as their strength, which also tells me that it is a group that wants to be moving around. Something to definitely consider in the upcoming lessons!
Watch the short (and blurry) video clip below to see the students sharing a few of their ideas.
The journal reflection at the end of the lesson had the students back at their desks which was a needed change at this point. This part of the lesson went really well and I loved reading their journal entries afterwards. See a few of these in the pictures below! Access the journal I created (based on the recommendations from the book) here.
The journal reflection activity, wrapped up the first lesson of the program. I’m looking forward to the next lesson, which will have the students looking more closely at what their strengths and challenges are!
Katz, J. (2012). Teaching to Diversity: The Three-Block Model of Universal Design for Learning. Winnipeg: Portage & Main Press.