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How will we explore multiple intelligences theory in the classroom?
How do I apply multiple intelligences (M.I.) theory in my classroom?
What are some simple ways to get started?
What are some of the challenges I may face?
How do I assess students' progress?
How does curriculum align with state and national standards?
How does technology complement the M.I. approach?
How do I work with my school, the parents, and the community?

How do I assess students' progress?

When applying M.I. theory, the primary purpose of assessment is to further understanding. Whether assessment results in a letter or number grade, or a narrative report, is not as important as the role it plays in student growth.

There are many possible means of assessment. A good place to start with the development of meaningful assessment tools for your class is by developing rubrics. Take a look at the lesson plan examples we presented in the "Demonstration" section of this workshop.

The student must know in advance how his or her demonstration of understanding will be assessed. Involving the student in choosing the criteria that will appear on the rubric is key. Student participation may range from participating in a class review of criteria chosen by you to drawing up their own individual rubric.

A key point is that both student and teacher must understand the criteria for assessment. If the criteria established to evaluate a paper doesn't contain a standard for assessing spelling correctness, poor spelling should not have an impact on the assessment.

If the criteria are well chosen, they should serve as the basis for constant coaching throughout the learning process.

As you refine your use of rubrics, you will see how they can be replicated and modified to suit different studies and different students.

presentationAssessment of student projects can be simplified considerably by providing students with a detailed list of the types of information that the assignment should address at the minimum level of completion. For example, in an assignment about cell biology, students may be asked to address three major processes (from a list of many) to illustrate in a presentation.

milestoneUse milestones or target dates to help students plan their long-term assignments. In order to help students stay on-track on elaborate, time-consuming projects, ask them to submit outlines or "rough sketches" before they actually write out or develop detailed aspects of a project. For students who lack strong "intrapersonal intelligence," it can be very helpful to show them how to "back up" their schedule from the due date.

By helping students break up tasks into manageable "bites," you can keep them from feeling overwhelmed.

Assessment is the subject of one of our upcoming workshops, "Assessment, Student Evaluation, and Restructuring Curriculum." In it, you will learn about assessment methods for various strategies, communities, and goals.


Workshop: Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning
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