Multiple Intelligences & How We Learn

Thursday we will identify the kind of “learners” that we are. Students will take a quiz to discover the ways they best learn and interact with others. To show what we learned, students will be making a “Student Inventory Sheet (SIS),” which will contain this information.  Both the students and I will have a copy to reference throughout the year.  Understanding the way we learn is crucial. It helps us feel comfortable and succeed in school by choosing the appropriate partners, projects and study habits. Later, this knowledge becomes an important factor in deciding our careers. Starting to identify ourselves now has been very helpful to students, not to mention a little fun.

Take the Learning Styles Quiz Here: This uses the Multiple Intelligences theory (Howard Gardner), identifying the 8 major “kinds of smart” that students are. Students find out what their areas of strength are, as well as weaknesses. This has been the most interesting so far.  This is what your test result should look like. (That’s Mr. Little’s from 2008) (Here’s another one from 2010:)

These are the Eight Intelligences, or “kinds of smart. ” Those that you score highest in determine which intelligence you are best at. Students are more likely to succeed when working in their areas of strength, which are typically their highest 2 or 3. The Intelligences are:

Bodily-Kinaestetic (Body Smart): These students excel at physical activities, like sports or dance. These students are also successful at building things and associating learned material with physical movement. Think dancers, comedians, builders, and artists.

Interpersonal (People Smart): These students excel when interacting with other students and are usually extroverts. Usually, Interpersonal learners understand others’ emotions and are empathetic. Think politicians (in theory, maybe not practice!), social workers, and managers.

Verbal-Linguistic (Word Smart): These students excel when reading, writing, and memorizing dates or lists. They learn best by taking notes, debating, discussing, and listening to lectures. They also pick up foreign languages easier. Think lawyers, philosophers/thinkers, teachers, and writers.

Logical-Mathematical (Number Smart): These students excel when when recognizing patterns, reasoning, make abstract observations, games like sudoku, and usually in math and/or science. Think doctors, mathematicians, and scientists.

Naturalistic (Nature Smart): These students excel outdoors and when working with nature. Think farmers, gardeners, conservationists, park rangers, and some scientists.

Intrapersonal (Myself Smart): These students excel when working alone, due to being introverts. These students are great at reflection and are usually great at identifying their emotions and feelings. Think theologians and writers.

Visual-Spatial (Picture Smart): These students excel when using visuals. Spatial students usually find more success when visually manipulating material (mind maps, lists, word searches) and visually studying the construction of material. Think engineers, architects and artists.

Musical (Music Smart): These students excel when using music to learn. While these students are more talented in identifying sounds, thereby playing instruments better, they are also great listening learners (lectures, speeches, books on tape). These students usually use some kind of rhythm or even song when studying and learning. Think musicians, singers and composers.

While these intelligences help us identify how our students and children learn, it is important to note that several of these overlap, and result in shared characteristics. Students do not have ONE intelligence, but instead have a strength. Intelligent students should be strong in many, while the average person has several strong intelligences. I instruct students to recognize what they are gifted and good at, and work to those strengths when selecting projects and activities in school. However, students are ALL capable of achieving in all areas and in all forms of work. These don’t create excuses, but find strengths. Students should be accountable to work from their strengths and also to improve weaknesses.

Here is a printable copy of above:

Here is a copy of the Student Inventory Sheet Students Completed following their quiz, too:

Student Invetory Sheet