I couldn’t believe it was happening.
We have a small school.
It’s a project-based high school.
Yet, it did happen…
At the end of the second week of school, a pecking order was starting to form among students, and some kids were being called out for being “different.” Different comes in a variety of ways. These students were being singled out because their differences made them “smart.”
This past week, I adjusted my planned Advisory lessons and went with a week filled of activities & mini-lessons dedicated to Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. I know not every teacher has the same flexibility I am fortunate to have. I have a multiage, diverse group of 15 students for 45 minutes at the beginning of each day, and 30 minutes at the end of each day. This week was without a doubt the most fun I’ve ever had in Advisory, and here’s why: the students explored different areas of intelligence each day and talked about themselves being smart in many different ways. Through this process, they listened to each other– deeply.
The bottom of this post has a link to the Google Drive Folder where each of the four lessons are curated. Our theme from the week came from Sir Ken Robinson via Spady and Schwahn’s Total Leadership 2.0: How intelligent are you? is not the right question; rather, How are you intelligent? — that’s what we’re trying to instill in each other as learners. The four lessons really seemed to help provide our students with a vocabulary to talk about what they excel at and what they want to improve in.
With these four lessons, my goal was to build community and a sense of everyone being smart and different. In my opinion, I could facilitate these exact same learning activities a year or five years from now, and they would be totally different because of the group dynamics of students. Student interaction is required in all of the activities and because of that interaction, the following variables would alter the activities dramatically: group size, student age, their familiarity with Multiple Intelligences, and their comfort with their classmates.
I would love to explore Multiple Intelligence Theory further and am open to collaboration. A big shout out to @edtechsteve. We worked off of his Google Site two days this week.
Make it a great week everybody!