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Use an online inventory to determine students' learning strengths and intelligences.
multiple intelligences, intelligence, learning style, self-esteem, differentiation, Gardner, inventory, survey
What are your students' learning styles? Which of Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences best applies to each of them? Those are things any teacher might want to know in order to differentiate instruction for his or her students -- but this activity also can provide eye-opening information for the students themselves!
An inventory of students' learning styles can build self-esteem by helping them discover their strengths; learn about areas in which they might need to make more effort; and appreciate the differences among themselves.
Published inventories are readily available to help teachers and students determine their learning strengths. You also can find some excellent free resources online:
How Many Ways Are You Smart?
This simple printable (pdf) page provides an easy tool for discovering which of eight intelligences students favor. Watch the associated video (scroll down to find video) to learn how to administer and use the results of the survey. Students can do the activity on their own by simply folding the inventory sheet in half and making a checkmark next to each of the 24 statements that describe them. Then, they unfold the paper and tally the results. Be sure students share the results with you!
Multiple Intelligences Inventory
If you're looking for a more in-depth MI inventory, this one provides ten statements that relate to each of nine intelligences. Students identify the statements that describe them as learners. They then tally and graph the results on their own. If you're looking for additional statements related to each of the intelligences, you might use the Web page What Are My Learning Strengths?
You might also share with students some of what the inventory means. The Multiple Intelligences Kids' Page offers some kid-friendly explanations.
With older students, you might want to turn this activity into a research project in which they research "multiple intelligences" and learn more about the intelligence(s) they favor.
You also can learn more about a teacher who has used learning inventories in the classroom in the Education World article Your Students: No Two Are Alike
Those are just a few of the many resources you'll find online that can help you (and your students) learn more about the learning styles your they favor. Following are some additional resources:
Note: The informal inventories above represent only a small sampling of the available tools; the results should not be used as a sole measure of students' learning strengths or abilities.
Students share (in words, pictures, or writing -- depending on their learning strengths) what they learned about how they learn.
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