Multiple Intelligences (MI) is my favorite theory of learning styles. My first post in this series, Multiple Intelligence and STEM explains the importance of identifying differences in how kids learn. I made the assumption in that post that most STEM teachers are probably strongly Logical-Mathematical. And so this is the first intelligence that I want to discuss.
Home EDucator's Resource Directory, has a post on how teachers, particularly homeschooling parents, can understand and teach their strongly Logical-Mathematical students. If you visit this link, I only caution you that you don't pigeon-hole your child. All of the intelligences work together, affect one another, and therefore, you need to consider how the logical-mathematical parts of your child work in combination with his/her other strengths.
Logical Mathematical kids enjoy:
- Problem Solving
- Graphing: all visual representations of data
Kids who are strongly Logical-Mathematical may:
- Categorize their toys by shape, color, or size
- Enjoy mazes, puzzles, and anything that allows them to consider logical issues
- Want organization and structure in their learning environment
- Figure out the "how" of something before it is taught (albeit maybe not the way you would have taught it!)
- Enjoy experimenting as long as they have a say in the methods and analysis (Not a cookbook lab-where the outcome is known and the methods are predetermined.)
"Logical Mathematical learners solve problems with creative stolutions and have no problem with experimenting." Home EDucator's Resource Directory
Ever since my boys were born, I was curious as to what learning style they may be. Having no experience in early childhood education, I had no idea at what age I might start to see glimpses of learning styles. But here we are at five years old, and I can tell my oldest, Caleb, has logical-mathematical tendencies. Much of our time is spent doing activities in which counting and logic are key. So checkers is one game we enjoy. He likes playing it "for real" (not our iTouch app) because he can cheat when I'm not looking; claiming he's helping me move my pieces!
In addition to checkers, Caleb love doing mazes. I was so pleased to find the Krazy Dad website that offers all sorts of FREE printable puzzles, and mazes. The site includes Sudoko, Crosswords, Slitherlinks, and a bunch of other puzzle types I've never heard of. The mazes are categorized into easy, intermediate, challenging, tough, and super tough. And the mazes come in all shapes, sizes including all sorts of animals and dinosaurs, which is perfect for Caleb. However, at this point the Easy mazes are not very challenging but the Intermediate frustrate him. So his momentary disposition dictates which maze I hand over for him to do. You'll notice I put the printouts in plastic sleeves and have him use *washable* dry erase markers. This helps so he can easily erase when he needs to backtrack. And it also allows us to reuse mazes!
I believe my favorite logical-mathematical activity is the Pattern Block Activity Pack from Learning Resources. These are plastic pieces of different colors and shapes. The pack has lightly laminated design sheets where the kids line up the shapes to make patterns. And some of the sheets don't have colors, and the kid has to figure out what pieces fit to make the shape. And apparently the blocks are pretty standard in their size, shape, and colors, because at a garage sale I picked a story book that has items in the pictures that the child can use pattern blocks to build. Nice!
And then we've also had some fun with the Add It!, a game designed by Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I love this FREE resource for several reasons. One is that its beautiful, but more importantly, it is conceptually helpful. The download includes the placemat, the addition flash cards, 2 scoops, and the number answers. Caleb puts the flash card on the left, and puts that number of items in the green and yellow colored box next to it. We use Cheerios since we have a toddler hanging out with us; if they fall on the floor, its ok! Then he uses the scoop to push both sets of Cheerios down to the blue square. Once he counts the total number he finds the corresponding number. It is golden! I was really proud of him catching on so quickly, but he just looked up at me like, tell me something I don't know!
Erica shared a laminating tip I absolutely love. For pieces that don't need to be extra sturdy, you can laminate the sheets back-to-back with the good sides facing out so that only one side is laminated. I did this for the flash cards. A cost saver for sure! Erica also offers a Subtract It! game which conceptually is even better than the Add It! game because the Cherrios that are being "taken away" go into a recycle bin, and the child counts what's left! My son did well with this the first time we played it. At first I only printed off the easy cards (0-4), but he announced it was easy and that he needed "level 2." (Everything in his world is in levels!) This was my "Ah-Ha" moment when I realized I might have a logical-mathematical child!
Mama Jenn, has an entire series on mathematical learning. I lover her post on Math Games for Family Fun Night, that a logical mathematical kid would love. Why not theme your family fun game nights? Math this week, literacy next?
In closing, I have two overarching ideas I want to be sure to share. The first is, we don't sit and do these activities for long. Honestly, I'm lucky to get photos most of the time. I've learned to use the power of suggestion. Instead of asking Caleb if he wants to play one of these games, I just get it out and set it out where he may see it sometime during the day. Inevitably he'll come in holding it and announce that he wants to play it! I'm not sure how long this method will work, but until then....
Secondly, although I am tickled that Caleb is showing logical-mathematical tendencies, I am being cautious not to push logical-mathematical games any more than I push literacy. I don't want to make any assumptions about how he learns. The human mind is so complicated, I am just enjoying watching him learn. Plus, we each have all of the intelligences in varying amounts and by exercising them we can improve them! So that's what we're doing!
This article is the second in a series about Multiple Intelligences. You may enjoy the other articles as well.