Whenever you are writing a lesson plan for a new subject, determine the competencies you want your students to demonstrate so you can recognize their knowledge of the subject. Provide them with the information or rubric of what would represent competence and allow the student to choose the method he or she will use to demonstrate that competence. As long as you are assured they understand the material, then the method that’s used becomes irrelevant to you. However, it will be extremely relevant to the student.
As you know, Howard Gardner identified Eight Intelligences. He talks about language intelligence, logical and mathematical intelligence, visual and spatial intelligence, musical intelligence, physical/kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence and naturalist intelligence. If each student were permitted to tap into their particular strength, then they might begin to believe that they really could be successful in school and would begin to put more energy into the learning process. I know other teachers who have tried this method with phenomenal results. Give it a try, leave me a comment letting me know it works for you. I may use your story in my next book.
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