Friday, July 18, 2014

8 Kinds of Smart

Amy here! I can't believe how fast the summer is going. Unfortunately my to-do list seems longer than ever and I am no where near tired of the pool yet, but past experience tells me that before I know it, I will be standing in front of my new group of kiddos talking about the year ahead of us.

For several years now, an important element to the start of our school year has been talking with students about the idea of "smart". I think all of us can remember our school experience and those in our class that we considered "smart". It was always the kid who got the great test scores and picked up concepts very quickly. I love the dialogue that has been happening in the education field recently about what true "smart" is because it gives us the opportunity to celebrate all students and these celebrations fuel more accomplishments to celebrate! (What an awesome cycle right?!?)

We work very hard throughout the year (especially in the first few weeks of school) to help our students understand that demonstrating how smart you are comes in the amount of growth you make, not in the final outcome. We help students to become self-reflective about their learning and we encourage them to get excited about the process of learning and the growth they are able to demonstrate through hard work.

One way that we accomplish this is by teaching Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences. We talk at great length about the eight kinds of smart and how we are all our own combinations of smart. We all have strengths and we all have areas that are more challenging. After sharing the eight kinds of smart with students we take them (and their parents) through a variety of activities to help them identify the smarts they are strongest in. Throughout the year we share with students how they can utilize their strengths to help support their learning. It is amazing to see how empowered students feel when they know that they can use skills they already possess to help them learn something new.

We will share more the activities, surveys, and checklists we do with kids and their parents to help them identify their strengths in future posts 8 Kinds of Smart Posters. To get you started, below you will find a link to a set of *FREEBIE* posters that use kid friendly terms to explain the 8 Kinds of Smart. You can print them and hang them in the room as a reminder or you can use them with your interactive whiteboard to present them to students. Continue to check back for more resources on the 8 Kinds of Smart. ENJOY!!!

8 Kinds of Smart Posters 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The start of something new...

Thank you Megan Favre at Birds in Hand Design for our beautiful new blog design!!! If you're looking for someone to design your blog, we can't recommend Megan enough. After 31 emails and Megan's immense amount of patience with two beyond nutty teachers, we have a design that exceeds all expectations. Thanks, Megan!! If you would like to visit Megan's website, click here.

To kick off our new blog, we will be writing a series of posts sharing our classroom redesign adventure. Our goal in this journey is to create a classroom environment that encourages the way the 21-century student learns. Follow us to share in our quest for a new classroom design that engages and inspires our classroom communities.