An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Debby Heath, Upper School Spanish teacher

On a Sunday in early November, Spanish teachers Paloma Borreguero, Debbie Bensadon, and I presented a four-hour workshop at the University of Washington. Our audience was language teachers, and the event was funded by the Confucius Institute and the Chinese Language Teachers Association (one of Lakeside's Chinese teachers, Cheyenne Matthewson, is the immediate past president of CLTA). The session, "Multiple Intelligences in the Language Classroom: Activities for All Levels and Diverse Learning Styles" was designed to introduce Howard Gardner's eight intelligences and apply them directly to the language classroom.

Even though we teach different languages, the session focused on pedagogy (how we teach) and was therefore beneficial to all language teachers. Participants learned how to design units for their classes based on Gardner's eight intelligences as a way to reach all learners. We received positive feedback from the participants and enjoyed sharing what we have learned and practiced in our classrooms based on the theory of multiple intelligences. The original seed for this workshop was planted after the Lakeside's faculty read the book "So Each May Learn: Integrating Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences" for a professional development day in 2006. My colleagues and I were gratified to see the ripple effect of the Lakeside professional development program on the larger community of educators.