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

As the semester continues, are you hearing more complaints from your students or children? Are they less motivated to complete their homework well than they were when the school year began? Is it harder to get them to focus and persevere?

Remember that studying and practicing with all eight smarts helps motivation and comprehension. It can also enhance memory and, therefore, the application of truth.

Depending on what’s being learned and studied, all 8 could be used for quick repetition in one study session. It’s also wise to use them over time. Children can use one-two each night when reviewing spelling words or vocabulary definitions. They can use three or four one night when studying for a test and different ones the next night.

For example:

  • Body smart – use manipulatives, explore real objects with your hands, march taking one step for each letter in a spelling word while spelling the word out loud, “sky write” words large in the air to use many muscles, use clipboards while pacing and try the motions of rocking chairs and beanbag chairs, act out a plot point, …
  • Logic smart – predict what questions will be on a test and then practice answering them concisely, use numbers/statistics where possible, analyze what’s illogical such as the way a certain word is spelled or how a main character acted in a surprising way, create experiments when you can, debate peers or parents to practice expressing your beliefs, …
  • Music smart – use rhythms and/or melodies to remember spelling words like you’ve done with Mississippi, use your voice purposefully to remember how to spell words like whispering the “h” in “whisper” and shouting the “y” in “gym,” add melody or a sing-song effect to statements you’re trying to remember like the order of events for a history test, …
  • Nature smart – look for patterns in what you’re learning because that activates the nature-smart part of the brain, discover relationships and similarities among things being studied, relate learning to nature, study outside, …
  • People smart – use small groups, study in a room with other people rather than by yourself, discuss topics with peers and parents, use role play and drama, when given a choice of what to study try to choose people more than places or events, …
  • Picture smart – draw or sketch the definition of vocabulary words, focus on and then recreate maps and charts being studied, visualize what you’re studying – plot points as well as details in a list, create displays, …
  • Self smart – study alone, provide immediate feedback, relate learning to your lives, practice sharing information and answering questions to gain confidence, …
  • Word smart – read things out loud that you need to remember, emphasize and even exaggerate expression and inflection to aid memory, recopy/retype notes and talk with yourself about what you’re writing, read easier books about the topic to help you understand vocabulary words, …

Again, don’t overwhelm children/students with too many of these methods at any one time. They are great to use over time.