Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blog #4

I loved the idea behind the assignment presented in the article, “Mapping Student Minds” by Ariel Owen. I was amazed at how this one assignment gave every type of student the chance to use their personal strengths and improve upon their weaknesses. It is an assignment that every student can be successful at and that every student will be able to learn from. Furthermore, by observing the students at work and grading the finished assignment, teachers are given the opportunity to evaluate each individual student’s learning style and intelligence strengths. The outcome being that the teacher will be better prepared to tailor future assignments, for each individual student, based on his or her dominant learning intelligence. As we learned in class last week, there are many different types of intelligences that students may possess. The multiple intelligences include: kinesthetic (body smart), logical (number smart), intrapersonal (myself smart), visual/spatial (picture smart), linguistic (word smart), interpersonal (people smart), musical (music smart), and naturalistic (nature smart). The assignment in this article incorporated nearly every type of intelligence and promoted critical thinking skills at the same time. Much of the assignment is completed as group work, which covers interpersonal intelligences. The students go on at least two actual field trips and observe the natural environment, which touches upon naturalistic intelligences. Students use logic to debate and agree upon causal relationships. The causal relationships are displayed as a causal maps, using word association, which benefits both visual and word smart students. Students are encouraged to self-correct their work, which might be beneficial to intrapersonal learners. Finally, students present their projects to each other, which will help auditory learners to better absorb the material. If you add appropriate music while the students are working in the classroom, it might benefit music smart students. There are countless other ways in which this assignment touched on various learning intelligences. The most impressive thing about this assignment is that the basic outline of how the assignment is done can be used for a variety of different subjects and topics. This assignment also took advantage of the many forms of technologies that can be used in the classroom to enhance student learning. They took virtual field trips, used online databases, incorporated causal mapping tools, and conducted research on the web.

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