One of the eight kinds of smart is Nature Smart. I was happy for the students who fit this description because so often, their style of learning is not often met at school. Today was for all of us, the students and staff of the two year round schools in our district, but my heart celebrates the students who were created to learn best like this! Those for whom this field trip filled up their senses and their hearts.
I just finished up a research paper for my school, and below is my conclusion. It seems to fit well with my thoughts for today.
"There are many more ways to be smart than what many schools are currently allowing (Multiple Intelligence). The current testing culture personally drives me absolutely crazy. It does not tell students that they matter. It does not reflect their true genius. Students do matter they are special and unique. Tests don't assess languages of my students or care that they speak two languages and smile when I talk in Spanish to them as if it is a secret language. They do not know that they can play a musical instrument or that they can paint a picture for someone with love and dance in the talent show. Doesn't that matter more?
These students are someone who friends can count on to be there for them. They write. They put on a plays at home & at school. They love recess. They wonder with our Wednesday Wonderwall time. They are great helpers in the classroom. They survived hardships to even be alive and they are a miracle. That is true genius.
My students have gone on a vacation come back alive with stories because I tell them to look beyond our country bumpkin water tower. They even know how to tell a great story and bubble over with excitement to share. Data will tell me how they line up with other students, their RIT what they are good at (Reading or Math), what they are not... but it will not tell me YOU MATTER." (Horst, 2013) (I am also learning how to make correct citations---ha!)
Below is a link to see which kind of "smart" you are:
If you are interested in creating more authentic learning opportunities and combining the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1985) with the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy (Anderson, Krathwohl 2000), here is a planning Matrix for you that I got here: mccallumj.wikispaces.com
Finally one thing I did this year is I sent out a form to my parents in my classroom to fill out about their child. I want and desire to know the whole child, not the little tiny snap shot I see at school. Here is the form I used http://printables.scholastic.com/printables/f.jsp?id=36447 or you could use this one as well: http://www.beginwiththebrain.com/resources/8_kinds_of_smart.pdf. I study this, I refer to this and it is like a path for me to help understand the children in my classroom.
This matters. It makes meaningful learning. It creates learning that sticks and in the end, when you try to adjust your teaching to ensure the best learning for all students, it tells them YOU MATTER!