Multiple Intelligences and Learning

Multiple Intelligences and Learning
Multiple Intelligences and Learning

The topic of Multiple Intelligences (MI) and student learning has been around a long time.  Simply it’s trying to match up the various abilities that students have and the teacher’s instructional approaches.

For me, it wasn’t until I was teaching almost 10 years that I learned of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence (MI) Theory.  Up until then I knew that kids learned differently but once I learned about MI my teaching toolkit exploded with ideas.  Understanding the theory and learning new ways to meet student needs opened my eyes to endless possibilities. These strategies were extremely helpful when I was hired as a Teacher of the Talented and Gifted. Although the students were highly abled, many were limited in their strengths and the MI approach helped them to think about topics differently.

As a student teacher supervisor at the local college I find that teachers are well versed in learning intelligences and styles. Most lessons include differentiation in content, approach and assessment.  This is important as teachers try to balance educational standards and innate abilities of each student. Having a good understanding helps teacher’s options to engage and motivate ALL learners.

Parents are very aware of their child’s natural abilities but may not know the “technical” name for it.  As a teacher and principal, I heard from many parents the areas their children excelled in or the way they learned best. This information was especially helpful when placing children in class placement.  So, when teaching kids at home or in school, or finding the perfect new classroom, why wouldn’t we think about the strengths and learning styles of kids.  Don’t we want them to do their best?  

Learning Intelligences Simplified

  • Word learner – Child expresses himself/herself well and enjoys reading and writing.
  • On-the-move learner – Child is well coordinated and learns best when physically involved in doing things.
  • On-my-own learner – Child prefers to work alone.  Enjoys independent projects and likes to set own goals.
  • Number learner – Child is interested in logical thinking.  Often enjoys puzzles and math.
  • Nature learner – Child likes being outside and often enjoys science.
  • Rhythmic learner – Child enjoys music and rhythm.
  • With-friends learner – Child works best with other students and is often a leader in the class.
  • Construction learner – Child loves drawing and building things.

In addition to learning intelligences we all have a preferred learning style.  In general, the more avenues of input (auditory/hearing), kinesthetic/movement, or visual/sight, the higher the possibility of student learning. Don’t we all learn better when we learn in different ways?   

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Historical Dates: Feb. 2020

Start the month knowing some historical dates in February
Start the month knowing some historical dates in February

For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general knowledge. The dates can be used in many classroom activities. These activities can help build relevance into everyday lessons. Knowing these dates will certainly impress your students!

Special Events This Month:

  • American Heart Month
  • Black History Month
  • National Dental Health Month

Historical Dates to Remember

  • February 2nd                Groundhog Day
  • February 3rd                 Elmo’s Birthday (Sesame Street character)
  • February 8th                 Boy Scouts Day (Founded 1910)
  • February 9th                 Hershey’s Chocolate Founded in 1894
  • February 12th              Abraham Lincoln born, 1809 (16th President)
  • February 14th               Valentine’s Day
  • February 15th               Susan B. Anthony’s 100th Birthday (born 1820)
  • February 17th               President’s Day/Random Acts of Kindness Day
  • February 20th               Love Your Pet Day
  • February 22nd              George Washington born, 1732/World Thinking Day
  • February 25th               Mardi Gras (always 47 days before Easter – also known as Fat Tuesday)
Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

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Parent Resources at NYS has many  parent resources to help parents. has many resources to help parents.

This site is a one-stop, digital portal of parent resources on parenting, childcare options, concerns about child development and how to talk and work together with your child’s teacher. The Council on Children and Families (the Council) worked closely with its member agencies to develop the resources. This site was funded by the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five Initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The site was created for New York families but there are great resources included that are helpful for parents and children all over the world.

Parent Resource Areas

For More Information

You can subscribe to the NYSB5 newsletter, text NYSB5 to 22828, or email them at

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

Historical Dates: Jan. 2020

Start the month knowing some historical dates in January
Start the month knowing some historical dates in January

For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general knowledge. The dates can be used in many classroom activities. These activities can help build relevance into everyday lessons. Knowing these dates will certainly impress your students!

Special Events This Month:

  • National Soup Month
  • National Thank You Month
  • National Eye Health Care Month
  • Universal Letter Writing Week

Historical Dates to Remember

  • January 1st                   Happy New Year/Betsy Ross’ Birthday
  • January 13th                 Poetry Break Day
  • January 15th                 Hat Day (The First Top Hat was worn in 1797)
  • January 17th                 Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday (1706)
  • January 19th                 Popcorn Day
  • January 20th                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
  • January 23rd                National Pie Day
  • January 25th                 Chinese New Year (Year of the Rat)
  • January 29th                 National Puzzle Day
  • January 30th                Franking D. Roosevelt born (1882) (23rd President)
  • January 31st                 Backwards Day

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Writing Prompts to Encourage Writing

Writing prompts can help kids get writing.
Writing prompts can help kids get writing.

Why Writing Prompts?

There is something special when your child starts to be a writer.  Writing gives children an opportunity to share their ideas and express their creativity.  While writing kids get to use their pre-reading and writing skills in a way that is relevant to them.   Writing prompts can help. 

But writing is not easy and many new writers struggle when faced with a blank page.  Writers, both novice and experienced, need lots of encouragement to be successful. But they also can benefit from getting some ideas (prompts) to get them started.  Think of it as that “slight push” you give your child when they first learn to ride a 2-wheeler.

Writing Prompts Motivate

When creating prompts, think of different ideas that will spur an interest to write.  Giving kids a variety of topics helps them extend their vocabulary and use different language skills.  Kids can find their “voice” through writing poems, songs, jokes or stories.  But don’t limit their choices to “common” types of writing.  Encourage kids to see and find “writing” in the world around them.  Commercials, plays, TV shows, ads, emails and blogs are all opportunities to share their writing.

Today’s technology can capture the attention of a wide range of audiences making it easier than ever to reach people on the other side of the world. I would never have dreamed 30 years ago that my thoughts on education would be seen worldwide!  I am so honored to have so many blog readers.  It’s the comments and ideas that I get from my readers, students, colleagues and parents that help me choose my posts. Thank YOU for helping so many kids learn.

Let’s use 2020 to develop some writers. Check out the new prompts that will be posted each month throughout the year to inspire our new authors.

January Writing Prompts

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR: Try creating a HAPPY NEW YEAR acrostic. Choose words or phrases that relate to your wishes for 2020.  The H, for example could be “Hope I’ll learn how to dance this year.”
  • Say Something Nice in 2020:  Everyone likes to hear a compliment.  Choose 5 people in your life and write down a compliment and give it to them.  You’re sure to get a smile.
  • Soup of the Day: Create a recipe for your favorite “unusual soup”.  Perhaps one that makes you silly, old or talking another language!  Write the 10-15 ingredients that make your soup special.
  • Winter Clothes: The winter season brings cold weather to many parts of the U.S. Dream up some new clothing ideas you would like to invent for your new winter clothes.  Be creative.  Maybe some skis attached to your flip flops?
  • Fortune Cookies: Fortune cookies have a piece of paper inside with a message.  Write 5 messages that you would like to find in a fortune cookie.

Happy New Year Writers!

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Special Education Resources for Teachers

Changes in special education make it difficult to keep up to date on resources to help kids.

Finding effective strategies and resources is a lifelong search for special education teachers.  Continuous changes in the field makes it hard to keep up on new studies, research, and new technologies. For student teachers the learning curve is bigger. Check out some of the new resources that I have reviewed that you might find helpful. 

Special Education Resources

  • I have recommended Teacher Vision before but not with a focus on special education needs.  This site is divided into easy to read/use sections with links for printed printed materials, activities, books, and charts.  Everything you need to supplement your classroom materials.   If I had 1 site to choose to find ways to support my students, this would be it.
  • Do2Learn provides thousands of FREE pages that will help students improve on social skills, behavior, and academics.  Resources include many activities to support social, emotional, and academic needs of students.   Extensive  resources for preschool students.
  • The National Center for Learning Disabilities gives lots of information of different types of learning disabilities   Do not be scared off by the front-page focus on legislation issues.  The site includes videos and articles that contain valuable information and strategies to help your teaching.  Check out the tips on improving parent-teacher relationship, assistive technology and using the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.
  • Keeping up on latest research and special education laws by state can be tiresome.  Check out The Education Commission of the States specifically for your state. New York Friends here is the link to NYS Education Special Education website. 
  • Learning Disabilities Online helps kids with learning abilities achieve their full potential. Check out the Educator’s sections for instructional strategies, information, and solutions for teaching issues.

Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.

Isn’t education All about reaching the kids in the classroom and at home?

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New Kindness Quotes to Start the New Year

Scientific studies have shown that kindness has a great number of physical and emotional benefits.  Quotes about Kindness give students “the words” to motivate them to be kind. Kindness is best learned by feeling the emotion of caring for someone else and feeling cared for by others.

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?

Other posts related to this topic:

  • The Great Kindness Challenge January 2020
  • Kindness Quotes for Home and School