Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.

Many important things occur at the end of the school year. Papers are written, content is studied, finals are taken, grades are figured, and report cards are distributed. Desks and lockers are emptied. Bulletin boards are taken down. Whole rooms are closed, not to be opened until sometime in August.

What if I suggested that one of the most important things that must occur at the end of the year is something said, not something done? That’s right.

Children must hear they are smart so they go into the summer with a positive view of themselves. Last memories of this year will definitely affect next year.

Even if your children/students don’t do as well as you had hoped on some assignments and tests, look for evidence they did use their intelligences so you can affirm them. When students do well, don’t just tell them that. Make sure to tell them which smarts you know they used.

To help you observe, here’s a summary of what to look for:

  • When using their WORD smart, children will talk, listen, read, and write. They’ll most likely talk more when excited. People to talk with aren’t as important as them processing with words so they may do just fine when alone.
  • When using their LOGIC smart, children will ask and answer questions. They will solve problems. They’ll most likely ask more questions when excited.
  • When using their PICTURE smart, children will think with their eyes. They’ll visualize in their mind and actually draw on paper. They’ll most likely add to their pictures when excited.
  • When using their MUSIC smart, children will think with rhythms and melodies. They’ll most likely make music when excited. They may hum, click a pen, drum with their fingers or pencils, and/or tap their toes to a rhythm in their head.
  • When using their BODY smart, children will move and touch. They may struggle to sit still and keep their hands to themselves. They’ll most likely be more physically active when excited.
  • When using their NATURE smart, children will think with patterns. They may do best on units about plants and animals and topics they can relate to nature. They’ll most likely want to go outside when excited.
  • When using their PEOPLE smart, children will talk to people. They’ll be productive team members. They’ll most likely talk to people more when excited.
  • When using their SELF smart, children will think deeply inside of themselves. They’ll work carefully and usually have very thorough work. They’ll most likely want to spend time alone when excited.

That’s it! Remember, all children have all eight and they benefit when we point them out to them. As the year ends, don’t just tell them they did well or that you’re proud of them. Help them see how they used their intelligences so one of their last memories is knowing how they are smart.