You have probably heard your parents or grandparents say that they remember where they were when they heard that President Kennedy was shot. There are a few of those experiences like Challenger Space Shuttle and President Reagan being shot that I will be able to tell my grandchildren about.
As a teacher, we often have experiences, that aren’t necessarily life-altering like the examples above, but these experiences do have an impact on us professionally. I was just starting out in my teaching career, when I stumbled across an article about Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence. Talk about one of those great “Ah Ha!” moments. At the time, I had only taught for a few years, yet I had noticed that some students responded differently to different types of lessons.
Have you ever had that experience where you feel like something is on the tip of your tongue but you can’t think of the exact word that you’re looking for? That’s what I felt like when I would reflect over my lessons. I noticed these differences with students yet I couldn’t put a label on it until I read this article.
After reading more articles on this topic and learning styles, I decided to overhaul my centers. Social and science topics were the overall theme of my units. Each center was named after a person who demonstrated a strength with the various types of intelligence. Here are a couple of examples of a plant unit:
Intrapersonal – Shel Silverstein center: Students wrote poems about a tree or flower.
Logical – Mathematical – Isaac Newton: Student completed an area and perimeter assignment that was about a garden.
I just finished a new Syllable Thumper and ABC order center which is a perfect way to incorporate music with your lessons.
First, begin with a simple song. I like to begin with something easy that students are a familiar with like Humpty Dumpty. This video is great because it has the words and the music. Have your students clap the syllables that they hear. Afterwards you can make a list of 1 syllable words, 2 syllable words, etc.
Next, tell your students that they are going to make a Syllable Thumper. You will want to send home the note included with the packet ahead of time asking your parents for oatmeal containers or containers of the same size and shape.