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Book Dr. Kathy

8 Great Smarts – Multiple Intelligences

Posted on: February 22nd, 2016 by Nancy Matheis , One Comment


“Stupid! I’m so dumb! I just made another mistake.”

“I can’t do that. It’s too hard!”

“If I was smart, I could figure this out. Then I wouldn’t get into trouble again.”

All children – and adults, for that matter – need to know they are smart. It’s a power word and a powerful concept. And, it’s realistic because everyone is smart!

Eight SmartsA question children shouldn’t need to ask is, “Am I smart?” because the answer is always, “yes.” If they’re asking this question, it’s because they’re doubting themselves, have been made to feel stupid by something or someone, and need to be encouraged.

A second question Dr. Kathy understands, and wishes fewer children would ask is, “How smart am I?” because it indicates a desire to compare. These children may only feel smart and good about themselves when they feel smarter and superior to other children. It allows and even encourages the bully language and attitude of “I’m smarter than you are!”

Children need to know they ARE smart and understand HOW they are smart so they can BE smart!

That’s why Dr. Kathy loves teaching children, teens, teachers, and parents about multiple intelligences. We all need to know HOW we are smart so we can stop making unwise decisions so we can fulfill our purpose. There’s so much more! Children need to know how they are smart so they’ll believe in themselves and, therefore, take school and all of life more joyfully.

Howard Gardner’s researched model of multiple intelligences is rich and provides great insights. Dr. Kathy’s practical and thorough take on the topic will encourage you!

Have you read Dr. Koch’s book, 8 Great Smarts Discover and Nurture Your Child’s Intelligences? It’s an important tool to help children and adults recognize and value a treasure trove of giftedness that may lie unrecognized and underutilized. A re-release of How Am I Smart by Moody Publishing in March 2016, Dr. Koch’s book turns the theory of multiple intelligences into a readable, understandable, and useful tool to help children and adults make the most of their “smarts.” ?? Learn more!

Recommended children’s books related to Multiple Intelligences

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Word Smart

Posted on: March 1st, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Linguistic Intelligence

When using the word-smart part of the brain, we think with words. If we’re particularly smart in this area, we can argue, persuade, entertain, and/or instruct effectively through the spoken word. We tend to be masters of literacy: we read a lot, write clearly, listen intently, and/or speak well.

Linguistic IntelligenceWord-smart people enjoy:
Reading, writing, telling stories, talking about our day, variety of books, variety of paper and many things to write with, tape recorders, information, learning, school, …

If it’s a strength or we want to strengthen it, we need:
Lots of books, including dictionaries and thesauruses; variety of reading materials, like newspapers and magazines; lots of things to write with and lots of things to write on; people to listen so they can interact and engage in meaningful discussions; instruction in reading, writing, communicating clearly when speaking, and listening, …

Suggestion for teaching and learning:
Read out loud, be expressive, listen to someone read, discuss, debate, vocabulary drills, retype/recopy notes, read related books, lecture, play at word games, storytelling, choral reading, journal writing, book reports, book commercials, library research, give verbal directions, …

Healthy/Positive uses:
Compliment, build up, encourage, teach, listen intently, write letters to the newspaper editor to express views, write soldiers overseas, proofreader, tutor someone, use positive self talk to stay in control, …

Unhealthy/Negative uses:
Gossip, tease, name call, criticize, want to have the last word, impress with words and knowledge, class clown, never listens, manipulates with words, …

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Logic Smart

Posted on: March 1st, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence

When using the logic-smart part of the brain, we think with questions. Traits of logically inclined people include the ability to reason, sequence, categorize, and think in terms of cause-effect and comparison-contrast relationships.

Logical-Mathmatical IntelligenceWhat logic-smart people enjoy:
Learning, non-fiction books (often more than fiction books), math, calculators, math manipulatives, science, science equipment, puzzles, challenges, mysteries, analyzing, categorizing, comparing, investigating, experimenting, questioning, statistics, research, …

If it’s a strength or we want to strengthen it, we need:
Things to make sense, something worth thinking about, someone to answer our questions, someone to explore with, time to explore, experiments, things to compare and categorize, things to take apart, puzzles, challenges, games like checkers, teach us how to handle things and situations that we think are unfair, …

Suggestions for teaching and learning:
Problems to solve, cause-effect thinking, predicting, exploring, self-discovery, use data, use numbers across the curriculum, questions to research, question box on teacher’s desk, brain teasers, science experiments, number games, calculators, …

Healthy/Positive uses:
Invent, solve, counsel, curious, teachable, answer people’s questions, provide research help for others, tutor someone, keep team statistics, clip or organize coupons for mom, …

Unhealthy/Negative uses:
Creating problems, asking too many questions (especially “why?” questions), unteachable because we can think we know enough, argue, test authority figures, anger and confusion when things don’t make sense can lead to misbehavior, we may try unhealthy things like drugs and smoking to see how it makes us feel, fear that we may not have the right answer or of the unknown may cause us to get into trouble, …

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Picture Smart

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Spatial Intelligence

When using the picture-smart part of the brain, we think with visuals and our eyes. People who are picture smart are very sensitive to visual details. We have the ability to observe, transform, and re-create different aspects of the visual-spatial world.

Spatial IntelligenceWhat picture-smart people enjoy:
Art, drawing, painting, creating, designing, crafts, visualizing, doodling, imagining, decorating, dressing up, drama, watching, fiction, history, creative writing, photography, humor, beauty, legos and other toys to build and design with, “I Spy” books, …

If it’s a strength or we want to strengthen it, we need:
Demonstrations, displays, time to examine things with our eyes, time to enjoy visuals, descriptive words to help us form pictures in our mind, time to form visuals, opportunity to talk about visuals in our mind, freedom to doodle, drawings of key points and vocabulary words, outlet for our creativity, …

Suggestions for teaching and learning:
Charts, diagrams, maps, use color on charts, use color often, (make all b’s blue for a while if a child gets b’s and d’s confused, highlight main ideas in yellow), ask if answer looks right, dioramas, humor, drama, show and tell (share and ask), draw definitions of words, field trips, art museums, shapes, geometry, allow time to study things with our eyes, “close your eyes and see,” …

Healthy/Positive uses:
Create beautiful things, decorate home or host parties for self and others, design invitations, become a hairstylist, personal shopper, interior decorator, art teacher, architect, engineer, …

Unhealthy/Negative uses:
Judge a book by it cover, only see negative details, distracted by what is seen, watch inappropriate movies, look at inappropriate picture and/or website, doodle constantly even when told not to, …

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Body Smart

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence

When using the body-smart part of the brain, we think with movement and touch. The evidence of body intelligence can be seen in large motor and/or small motor skills and interests. We are talented in controlling our body movements and/or in handling objects skillfully. We may enjoy physical pursuits like walking, sports, dancing, acting, or camping and/or we may be skilled at activities like sewing, carpentry, or model-building.

Bodily-Kinesthetic IntelligenceWhat body-smart people enjoy:
Moving, touching, keeping hands busy, action, playing sports, watching sports, dancing, doing crafts, puppetry, cooking, building things, playing video games, moving to music and/or playing certain instruments, chewing gum, …

If it’s a strength or we want to strengthen it, we need:
Self-control, self-respect, respect for others, freedom to move purposefully and productively (can result in less movement that’s distracting), physical education, exercise, sports, training in sports, acting, drama, charades, demonstrations, field trips, hands-on manipulatives, investigate with hands, receive touch, …

Suggestions for teaching and learning:
Every student response (thumbs up for even answer and thumbs down for odd, stand up when finished, etc.), sky writing, write at the board, clap math facts, manipulatives, time to explore things with their hands, pacing w/clipboard, bean bag chairs and rocking chairs in the back of the room, use gestures and move especially when students can’t, use coaching language and ideas even when teaching academic tasks, …

Healthy/Positive uses:
Developing and using flexibility, dexterity, and coordination to help others, develop talent, offer to do physical chores and service, comfort others with hugs and encourage them with “high fives,” become a mechanic, coach, orchestra conductor, physical therapist, camping director, …

Unhealthy/Negative uses:
Physical bullying, punching, wrestling, moving too much, not sitting still when they need to, distracting others, easy to become the “class clown,” …

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Music Smart

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Musical Intelligence

When using the music-smart part of the brain we think with rhythms and melodies. Musically gifted people are able to hear, appreciate, and/or produce rhythms and melodies. We often have a good ear, can sing in tune, keep time to music, and listen to different musical selections with some degree of discernment.

Musical IntelligenceWhat music-smart people enjoy:
Playing a musical instrument, singing, variety of music, having a full Ipod, listening, watching others play instruments or sing, parades, tapping feet, turning pencils into drumsticks, dancing (if body smart is one of their strengths), …

If it’s a strength or we want to strengthen it, we need:
Freedom to move to music we’re listening to or remembering, learn to play a musical instrument, take private lessons, time and place to practice, time and place to listen to music, attend concerts, improve logic smart because music and logic are connected in the brain, …

Suggestions for teaching and learning:
Choose songs that fit topic, study the role music played in what we’re studying, study music history, read biographies of musicians and composers (excellent way to learn about perseverance and the role of practice), rhyming poetry, jingles, use rhythms and melodies to learn things (e.g., spelling Mississippi, the ABC song), read with great expression, clapping math facts, whisper silent “h”, …

Healthy/Positive uses:
Enjoy music from other cultures, gain cultural understanding, enjoy great art at home, use it to calm down, worship, perform and bless others, become a composer or music therapist, …

Unhealthy/Negative uses:
Idolize music or musicians, listen to music to avoid interactions and conversations, listen to “wrong music”, watch MTV and similar stations too much or to view inappropriate things, make noise almost constantly or when we shouldn’t, …

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Nature Smart

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Naturalist Intelligence

When using the nature-smart part of the brain, we think with patterns. People who would rather be outdoors than indoors may be strong in this smart. We tend to love animals and are knowledgeable about them. We also are skilled at recognizing and classifying plants, minerals, and animals. The ability to recognize cultural artifacts like cars or sneakers may also depend on this smart.

Naturalist IntelligenceWhat nature-smart people enjoy:
Being outside, animals, pets, flowers, plants, trees, rocks, dirt, water, sky, stars, ocean, forest, park, noticing changes in the environment, noticing patterns, collecting things, camping, hiking, fishing, crafts involving nature such as drying flowers, …

If it’s a strength or we want to strengthen it, we need:
Time outside, nature hikes, field trips in/about nature, time to examine things of nature, experiences in nature with people who are very nature smart, freedom to collect things based on patterns, their own garden and/or animals, conservation and recycling, …

Suggestions for teaching and learning:
Relate topics to nature as often as possible, teach sciences that relate to nature, do experiments involving nature, learn about famous naturalists, compare things based on patterns, categorize and sort things based on similarities and differences, collect data, use magnifiers and microscopes and binoculars and telescopes to study nature, draw or photograph natural objects, study/take breaks outside, …

Healthy/Positive uses:
Set up winter feeding stations for wild animals or birds, learn about and take care of animals and plants and the environment, invent new plants that can help to overcome hunger in Africa, decorate with flowers, relax in nature, work at or attend “outdoor school” and “outward bound” programs, become nature-scientists, meteorologists, park rangers, scout leaders, …

Unhealthy/Negative uses:
Train animals for negative purposes, without regard for their well-being, manipulate genes in animals and plants to create something dangerous, plant illegal drugs and figure out how to hide from the authorities, …

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People Smart

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Interpersonal Intelligence

When using the people-smart part of the brain, we think with people. When it’s a strength, we’re able to discern and then respond to moods, intentions, and desires of others. Therefore, we tend to be leaders. We have the ability (for good or bad) to get inside another person and view the world from that individual’s perspective.

Interpersonal IntelligenceWhat people-smart people enjoy:
People, talking with people, interacting, brainstorming, sharing what we know, cooperative learning, observing people, leading teaching, organizing, relating, mediating, partying, enthusiasm, …

If it’s a strength or we want to strengthen it, we need:
Friends, people who can become friends, mentors, time to talk with others to process ideas and make decisions, freedom to think and question, someone to ask questions to clarify thinking, slow judgment, cooperation, …

Suggestions for teaching and learning:
Use “Think-Pair-Share” type activities, use small groups, assign study groups, use question/answer discussions and ask for people’s opinions, ask questions to help us finalize thoughts, give us opportunities to persuade others, use some dramatics and excellent facial expressions and voice inflection, role play, …

Healthy/Positive uses:
Motivate, encourage, inspire, correct well, counsel, teach, build consensus, have many friends, network, become teachers, pastors, counselors, negotiators, politicians, lawyers, social workers, receptionists, personnel directors, …

Unhealthy/Negative uses:
Manipulate, cheat, can get into trouble when ignored or feeling lonely and left out, …

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Self Smart

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Intrapersonal Intelligence

When using the self-smart part of the brain, we think with reflection. People strong in this smart can use our self-understanding to enrich and guide our lives. We tend to enjoy quiet times of deep soul-searching. We are fiercely independent, highly goal-directed, and intensely self-disciplined.

Intrapersonal IntelligenceWhat self-smart people enjoy:
Time alone, choices, freedom, own opinions, secrets, thinking deeply, …

If it’s a strength or we want to strengthen it, we need:
Privacy, space, peace, quiet, time to think deeply, time to explain their ideas, …

Suggestions for teaching and learning:
Let us learn and study alone when possible, give us time to think deeply (a minute in class and 24 hours overnight), give us time to explain our ideas, give choices, use self-paced projects, use individualized instruction, use diaries/journals, connect topics to personal lives, say things like “close your eyes and think of a time when…”, …

Healthy/Positive uses:
We know what we know. produce original and unique work, disciplined, content when alone, we can become authors, inventors, researchers, entrepreneurs, self-employed, personal trainers, …

Unhealthy/Negative uses:
Not sharing what we know, not sharing things, too opinionated, not teachable, self-centered, …

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MI Friendly Curriculum

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Nancy Matheis , No Comments

Using multiple intelligences is a fabulous way to learn. Dr. Kathy is often asked if there are any curricula that intentionally use the eight ways people learn in their planning. We have begun a list of these learning aides and courses that we feel use the multiple intelligences well in their activities and assignments.

We trust you and your children are helped with this. And, as always, if you have a curriculum that you think should be included, please contact us.

Math“Multiplication the Fun Way” by City Creek Press

Vocabulary“Marie’s Words

Social Studies“History Revealed” by Diana Waring

Bible “Picture Smart Bible” by Dan Peters

“Multiplication the Fun Way” from City Creek Press

“Multiplication the Fun Way” from City Creek Press is an example of teaching something with several intelligences at the same time. Because each math fact is taught with logic, word, and picture smarts, it’s more likely children will learn and remember their facts. Dr. Kathy uses this as an example of a multiple intelligence friendly curriculum.

For each fact, there’s a brief, memorable story and clever picture. Students without logic-smart strengths will especially benefit as they think with two additional smarts. For addition and multiplication, you can purchase story books, flash cards, student books with practice pages, and teacher’s guides. It’s available on CDs for interactive help and new songs have been created to further help kids learn their facts through the addition of music-smart involvement. For help with subtraction and division, you can purchase flash cards that use the same pictures and stories used for addition and multiplication.

For example, picture two bright orange sixes sweating as they’re walking through the desert. What’s 6×6? Thirsty-six. Get it? 6×6 = 36.

More examples are on their website, where you can purchase the parts of the program that will help you and your children. It’s used by many homeschool families and by children who are struggling to learn the facts in their schools. This program can increase enjoyment when practicing math facts and memory at home. It may be ideal to use in the summer so your children don’t forget the facts they learned.


Marie’s Words
Picture Words – In a Flash

We recommend “Marie’s Words” for children who struggle to learn new vocabulary. These 550 vocabulary cards were specifically designed to help students expand their vocabulary for tests like the SAT, ACT, and GRE.

Are your children quickly bored or overwhelmed? They’ll be able to use their word, logic, and picture smarts when learning vocabulary with these cards. Don’t wait, though. You can start using some of the cards when your children are younger to enrich their writing and speaking.

Each card has a word and clever and helpful picture on one side. The other side has the pronunciation, definition, uses it in a meaningful sentence, synonyms, and antonyms.

For example, “fanatical” is written with “fan” in one color and the rest of the word in another. The picture shows a boy dressed in a shirt advertising his team and team banners on the wall. It’s defined simply as “overenthusiastic” and used in this sentence: “Dressed in blue and gold, the fanatical football fan brought everything with his team’s colors.” Synonyms are fervent, impassioned, and rabid. Antonyms are disinterested, dispassionate, and impartial.

More examples are on their website, where you can purchase the cards or an app for your iPhone, iPad, or Android. The app includes audio pronunciations of the words.


 “History Revealed” – Diana Waring

Too often “education” is a one size fits all box and you are left trying to stuff your child inside.

But what if instead of being a box, education was an open door to a world of discovery and adventure?

We believe that education is an adventure waiting to happen!
Unbelievable you say? Unachievable you insist?! Well, get ready to think differently!

That’s what Diana Waring’s History Revealed curriculum is all about…helping you make learning an adventure!

The three foundational principles upon which Diana Waring’s History Revealed curriculum is built are… (go to website for more!)


Freeing Teachers, Empowering Students, and Seeing God’s Heart.

Picture-Smart Bible by Dan Peters

Picture-Smart Bible

The Picture-Smart Bible is an innovative approach to “seeing” Scripture as a total entity. This Genesis-to-Revelation course is designed to help participants learn, remember and teach the themes and concepts in each book of the Bible and have fun in the process! It helps students of all ages see how the whole Bible fits together.

When your children are finished drawing through a book of the Bible, they will have both an illustration to save and an imprint on their minds to remember.

Pictures work in these Bible lessons because they honor the picture-smart intelligence that all children and adults are created with. This is one of eight smarts we can use when teaching and learning.

Children with picture-smart or spatial strengths naturally think in pictures with their eyes. Because our young generation has been raised with visually engaging digital technology, many of them have this strength. That’s why the Bible activities using this approach are perfect for them.


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