Sunday, September 4, 2011


Hello Maury families!

All students in grades K-5 have now completed their "smartags", nametags that identify what their top three smarts are. From the sounds of it, many of you have also completed the survey here, or talked about multiple intelligences with your child at home. Feel free to visit the Learning Lab to make your own Smartag at any time! This week and next, I will be meeting all Preschool and Pre-K students. Although the program will look a bit different, they too will learn about all of the smarts they have!

In order to make the different smarts more relatable, the primary grades met "friends" of mine who each told a story about things they were good at. Students were asked to identify if they were the same, or different, from each friend.Please meet our friends!

TYLER: Tyler loves his friends but prefers to do work by himself. Even though he has playtime with his sister and brother, he often likes to go to his room and play on his own. When he is sad, he is able to tell an adult or friend exactly how he feels. Tyler is Self Smart, or, in adult terms, has intrapersonal intelligence.
LUCY: Lucy loves puzzles. Her room is very organized. When she reorganizes her things, she sees in her head how she wants it be and then does it. Sometimes she misses out on what her parents or teacher is saying because she is daydreaming. When she grows up, she thinks she may want to be an interior designer or illustrator. Lucy is Picture Smart, or has Spatial-Visual Intelligence.
NICHOLAS: Nicolas loves books. He has all kind of books at home and when his parents read to him and he hears a new word, he loves to find it's meaning. He is a good person for friends to come to when they have to write and can't think of a good word to use because he loves words! He wants to learn different languages when he grows up. Nicholas is Word Smart, or has Linguistic Intelligence.
 ALANA: Alana loves numbers. Math is her favorite subject in school. She wants to work with computers or be an architect when she grows up. She also loves brainteasers. Alana is Number Smart, or has Logical/Mathematical Intelligence.
TAYLOR : Paula is an excellent friend. She can tell when her friends are sad just by looking at their faces. At school, she prefers to work in groups or teams and doesn't like to work or be by herself very often. She is a natural leader. Paula is People Smart, or has Interpersonal Intelligence.
 Kristin: Kristin would be outside all day if she could! She loves gardening and her favorite vacation is camping. When she is outside she is always asking questions about the world around her. Just yesterday she wanted to know if the seed in her apple would make an apple tree if she planted it. Kristin wants to be a farmer or an naturalist when she grows up, but she knows she will at least have a large garden. Kristin is Nature Smart, or has Naturalist Intelligence.
RAUL:  When Raul is sad, music can always cheer him up. He loves music class and chorus and wants to learn to play the piano and the drums. He can sing in harmony and can tell when people sing off key. He is especially good with rhythm and his teacher asks him to keep the beat in class quite often. When Raul grows up he wants to be a musician or music producer. Raul has Music Smarts, or has Musical Intelligence.
 PAULA: Paula is always on the move! PE is her favorite special and she is able to remember how to play all kinds of sports. In class she feels like she can learn better if she is moving around. She always remembers facts when her teacher puts them into games where she can move around or touch things. She plays two sports and hopes to coach her favorite sport when she grows up. Paula has Body Smarts, or has Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence.
Now that all students have identified their strengths, it is time to put them to work! My goal is to keep families in the loop regarding what challenges are happening in class sessions. ( Challenges that happen during Learning Lab small group times will vary). Below is a "Challenge Snapshot" of what your child will be doing this week. The questions I ask to guide their learning, as well as the complexity of the materials varies depending on grade level, however this provides you with an overview. Pictures to follow!
Animal Tracks
What will my child be doing?
Students will press rubber casts of actual animal paws, claws and webbed feet into clay or wet sand to observe, identify, and classify tracks.
What academic content does it address?
Animal Species, Identification, Environment and Habitat
What intelligences are used in this challenge?
Naturalistic, Visual-Spatial, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal
What cognitive skills will this support?
Observation, Classify, Similarities/Differences, Synthesize/Apply
What Habits of Mind are strengthened by this activity?
Wonder, Explore, and Ask Questions
Imagine Possibilities and Outcomes
Use What You Know—Transfer Learning
Look Carefully
Support Ideas with Reasons Why
What types of questions will you be asking?
How and why might a live animal track look different in nature?
Where have you seen real animal tracks out in the world?
How and why would Native Americans have observed tracks?
What important skill do you need to identify tracks well?
How would you classify these different tracks? How would you group them?
What clues do we get from each track about the way each animal lives?
Articulate the process you used to think things through.
Visualize, put a picture in your mind of each animal’s habitat.
Describe the habitat. Yes, you are describing…
Where have you learned about habitats before? What understandings can you transfer?
3rd- 5th Grade Note:
Your children will also be learning about the different Habits of Mind, as well as making Habits of Mind Hieroglyphs. Make sure to ask them about this too! Students in 4th and 5th grade will also be keeping Interactive Notebooks about all of their Learning Lab and Think Tank experiences. More information will be forthcoming!
Until next time...
-Mrs. Ford

1 comment:

  1. Please follow this blog for up-to-date Think Tank info!


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