The purpose of Lesson 2 is for students to learn more about their intelligences profile by completing a multiple intelligences survey.
My plan for this lesson was as follows:
- Discuss (and practice if necessary) certain procedures, systems and structures for classroom management.
- Review the mindmap we had created together using GoConqr.
- Complete a multiple intelligences survey.
- Fill in the results in a bar graph.
- Reflect on the results and how they compare to our predictions from Lesson 1.
After the chaos that I was feeling during Lesson 1 in trying to teach something new, while simultaneously trying to manage a group that loves talking and moving, and also considering the fact that I would be spending a considerable amount of time with them over the next few weeks, I decided I needed to put in place management systems and structures that would work for us as a group. I also needed to reflect on what other changes I could make in order to have things run more smoothly, such as shortening the lessons or getting them up and moving a bit more. I learned that this is an added step that may be required, when you are not the classroom teacher, but are teaching the program (or any lengthy program for that matter) to a group that you don’t teach regularly.
I visited the class the day after Lesson 1, to have a family meeting of sorts to discuss my thoughts on this with them, and to discuss certain expectations and structures. I shared that because I had recorded Lesson 1, I was able to watch and reflect on how we did. I shared the positives that I saw in the video, as well as the areas that I felt we needed to work on, (including my own) if we were to fully benefit from our time together.
Lesson 2 on the following day started out with a quick review of our “family meeting” discussion. Following this we got down to business and reviewed the mindmap we had created. This reminded the kids that there are all different kinds of “smarts,” and also allowed the students who had missed the first lesson to catch up to where we were in the program.
In the first lesson, students had guessed at what they felt was their strongest “smart.” I told them that in this lesson we would get a chance to find out if their predictions were accurate, as well as what their other strengths and challenges are as learners.
Like most kids (and people) that I’ve explored the intelligences with, they seemed eager to learn more about themselves. I rarely meet people who aren’t interested in knowing more about their learning profile and in fact, just two days prior, I had my entire family willingly completing surveys and guessing at each other’s smarts (and I’m pretty sure they were genuinely interested and not just indulging me).
For this particular group, I chose the early years survey that is provided in the book, Teaching to Diversity – The Three-Block Model of Universal Design for Learning by Jennifer Katz. I typed it up in a slightly bigger font and printed it in a booklet for the students.
We were lucky enough to have 4 adults available for this lesson. This allowed me to break the class up into smaller groups and have an adult facilitate in each group. Some kids chose to find a quiet space and complete the survey on their own, while others chose to stay with their group and listen to the adult read the questions. Regardless of the number of adults in the class for this step of the program, it is important to make sure that it doesn’t become a reading exercise (especially for students who may struggle a bit more with reading) and to adapt this step accordingly. This could mean facilitating small groups at different times, having older kids come in and assist, or getting enough adults together to help out, basically whatever it takes to allow all students to accurately complete the survey.
While the students seemed interested in completing the survey, I knew that this step would be tedious for some. I suggested they complete one section at a time and get up and stretch or move a bit in between sections. Many did this, while others chose to work straight through until they finished. Although we dedicated a good chunk of time to work on this, many students were not able to complete the survey in the time that I had planned for, so we ended up breaking this lesson into two sessions.
In session two of this lesson, students completed the survey and filled in the bar graph (also provided in Katz’s book). See samples of their bar graphs below.
After completing the survey, some students also had the chance to reflect on their results. For some this meant discussing with friends, while others chose to write or draw in their reflection journals. I also found some students in the neighbouring student services room. After having completed the survey and graph, they were chatting and using some of the movement tools available in this space. I allowed them to continue, but also encouraged them to share and discuss their results at the same time. It was fun to see on their bar graphs afterwards, that “Body Smarts” and/or “People Smarts” were strengths for many of them! With a few reminders to remain on task, they completed the reflection process in the way that suited them best!
I finished this lesson by giving students a second copy of the survey to share with their parents. Although this step is not mentioned in the program, I thought it might be fun to see if parents got similar results as the students, when completing the survey about their child. A few students came back asking for additional copies for other people they know, which made me happy!
Overall, I was really pleased with how Lesson 2 went. It felt less chaotic and ran much more smoothly. It was also exciting to see what everyone’s profiles looked like afterwards.
In the next lesson we’ll get to play with plasticine a bit, while also getting to know what our whole-group profile looks like. This will be a great change of pace from today’s important but slightly tedious work.
Katz, J. (2012). Teaching to Diversity: The Three-Block Model of Universal Design for Learning. Winnipeg: Portage & Main Press.