Motivation is everything.
I’ve taught in urban/low-income schools for 15+ years, and I repeat: motivation is everything.
Urban and/or low income students can perform just as well as any student as long as you tap into what makes them tick. (This is, of course, important for all students, but it’s most important for the high risk students in our inner cities and poverty-stricken areas.)
This is where Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences comes in.
Reading, writing and arithmetic matter. We all know that. But other intelligences matter too. There are bored, budding artists, musicians, scientists, and environmental students sitting in classrooms across the world who could benefit greatly from an opportunity to show off their distinct intelligences.
I say motivation is everything, and I mean that. But self-esteem is everything too. And we develop self-esteem when we’re good at something. Really good at something.
I know you’re strapped for time in your classroom. I know you have tremendous pressure to raise those test scores. But I also know you can’t improve performance without improving student motivation.
That’s why I start the year with this multiple intelligences survey. I then use the survey to place students into groups where they can show off their intelligences while having fun.
I’ve tweaked the survey through the years to be middle school friendly. Unlike other (wonderful) Multiple Intelligence surveys I’ve seen on Teacher Pay Teachers, this survey takes only about ten minutes. It’s not intended to teach an in-depth understanding of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. It’s intended to quickly get students sorted into groups so that they can have fun and show off their skills. It’s all about that positive vibe I try to create at the beginning of the year.
You will notice from the thumbnails that I only include examples under the intelligences for which I can plan quick activities. In the preview, I show you a sample of the typical activities I plan for each multiple intelligence. (The sample is for chapter 18 of The Maze Runner by James Dashner.)
In addition to the survey, I also give tips for running the multiple intelligence groups.
I hope your students appreciate the opportunity to show off their multiple intelligences as much as mine do.
*This product in in a fully editable PDF document.