What are multiple intelligences and what do they have to do with me? What is bodily kinesthetic learning? Let’s talk about children…there are a lot of children that struggle to know where they are in space and time…they crave deep pressure, long to feel grounded, connected both to their environment and to those around them. They learn well by experiencing with their senses…what does it sound like, feel like, look like? As adults, we may become labeled as the close standers and even close talkers. We develop not so well accepted mannerisms to accommodate our lack of kinesthetic and proprioceptive awareness and our needs as bodily kinesthetic learners.
I teach in a preschool that pays particular attention to the multiple intelligences as defined by Howard Gardner. We assess our children along the Maine State Early Learning Guidelines as well, however, I am growing to really appreciate the power of identifying a child’s strengths as multiple intelligence learners. This approach allows for a more comprehensive picture of the child.
As a bodily kinesthetic learner myself, I had to develop strategies to cope. I did not always have the option to avoid lecture classes. Some of my tried and true strategies…arm myself before going in! I love to use, colored paper for note taking, have several highlighters in different colors, 1-2 drinks perhaps a water and a juice, pencils and pens and colored sticky notes, gum or hard candy. When I become antsy in class, I am able to engage my senses myself. I can switch up colors of paper or highlighters, I can organize extra thoughts on the sticky notes, I can reset from sensory overload with a drink or piece of gum or hard candy. Usually I can manage this with minimal distraction to others. This was not always the case…it took me until my second year of graduate school to get the message. Once I recognized and honored my learning style, I struggled less as a learner…
As an early childhood educator, it is important to help children, their families and their future educators to know how best they learn. Equipping the families and the children with what strategies work best for them only strengthens the possibilities for their success. Empowering children to key into what their mind and body is telling them is a good start. Knowing who we are and how we learn best is an asset. The reality is, we will not always have teachers that will take the time to appreciate needed accommodations and adaptations for learning. Let’s help children and families to be advocates…this is a proactive approach…yes?
I will continue to share my thoughts and experiences as I grow as a Mom, as an educator and as an adult with ADHD…thanks for reading!