Dear PS107 Families,
The We Are One Book Series, an initiative by the PS107 Diversity Committee, is designed to promote greater awareness of and respect for diversity within our school community each season. The series will focus on the topic of differences in learning styles. We want the students to discover the different ways in which they, their friends, and their family learn and express themselves. We are approaching this conversation through the framework of Multiple Intelligences theory developed by Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University. This approach helps teachers, parents, and students better understand how knowledge and information is processed, learned, and expressed.
We all show how we are smart in different ways. Some of us learn by reading, some by songs, and others learn by talking to other people. Multiple Intelligences theory is comprised of eight different types of intelligences—Linguistic (Word); Logic-Math; Spatial (Art); Body-Kinesthetic (Body); Music; Interpersonal (People); Intrapersonal (Self Smart); and Nature. The foundation of this approach is that all people possess each type in varying degrees. Most of us can choose three or four intelligences as our strengths. We are substituting Multiple Intelligences with the phrase “Ways to Be Smart” to make the topic more accessible for kids.
We will start the conversation on learning differences and multiple intelligences with a picture book, Ellie Rae Discovers Eight Ways to Be Smart by Mary Massey, which will be read aloud in every classroom this week. There will be teacher-led discussion, Q&A, and activities around the theme of the book. The students will conduct grade-appropriate surveys to find out ways they and their peers like to learn and think about activities aligned with their preferred learning styles. Attached is an informational and activities chart about multiple intelligences, as well as a list of children’s picture and chapter books about learning differences. For parents who would like to learn more about MI theory, we recommend In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child’s Multiple Intelligences by Thomas Armstrong.
–The PS107 Diversity Committee