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Wayne Post
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events -- in cartoon form
In Their Own Way
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About this blog
By Dave Granlund
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events. Dave has been an editorial cartoonist published in daily newspapers since 1977. Born in Ware, Mass., Granlund began drawing cartoons in grade school and at ...
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Dave Granlund's Editorial Cartoons
National cartoonist Dave Granlund's blog features his take on politics and current events. Dave has been an editorial cartoonist published in daily newspapers since 1977. Born in Ware, Mass., Granlund began drawing cartoons in grade school and at age 16, he was published on the editorial pages of local weekly newspapers. His eight-year enlistment in the USAF included assignments with SAC HQ and with Headquarters Command, where his duties included work as head illustrator for the Presidential Inaugural Subcommittee and providing briefing charts for the White House and support for Air Force One. As part of NATO in Operation Looking Glass with the Airborne Command Post, he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Dave's newspaper honors include awards from UPI, New England Press Association, International Association of Business Communicators, The Associated Press and Massachusetts Press Association. His work has been nominated numerous times for the Pulitzer Prize. His pastimes and interests include history, wood carving, antique tractors and Swedish language studies.
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Sorry to be gone last week folks, but I was out of town at an education conference.  Once I got back, I spent the next few days playing major catch-up.  So I am just now sitting down to get the blog updated - my apologies! 

My saturation with all thing education last week brought me back to one of my favorite education books.  As a special education teacher, I can testify with confidence that kids do not all learn the same way.  In fact, no two students are exactly alike.  Yet we have a very narrow idea of what "intelligence" really is or how learning should take place.  Our dream for our children can be too small - and we wind up hindering their true potential as a result.

In Their Own Way by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., takes a look at our idea of what "smart" means and how in truth, there are many ways to be "smart" and bloom.  Most people in education these days are familiar with Howard Gardner and his theory of multiple intelligences.  The idea is that people are smart - intelligent - in different ways, but our school system tends to reward only one or two of those ways.  Gardner has identified eight different "intelligences":  body-kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, spatial, linguistic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.  Schoolwork tends to be aimed at those strong in the mathematical or linguistic intelligences.  However, what if we were able to allow kids who were musical or spatial to learn in their own way?   How would that change the amount of information and skills they'd be able to obtain and use in their lives?

Thomas Armstrong takes this theory and runs with it in an extremely applicable way. He addresses issues of multiple intelligences in schools and reasons why your student may not be thriving.  The chapters are chock-full of insights and great ideas for both the home and the classroom.  But my FAVORITE part of the book is in the back where he breaks down books, games, internet sites, learning materials, and a TON more for each specific intelligence.  It's like a treasure trove of ideas for anyone who works with kids, whether an educator, teacher, day-care worker, counselor...anyone who works with kids would benefit from these final chapters.  They are massively useful in helping kids reach their full potential. 

Some examples:

- Have a child who is strong in bodily-kinesthetic form punctuation marks with their body posture to teach grammar

- Come up with chants and songs to help students learn math concepts in a musical manner

- Use puzzles to teach countries to kids with strong spatial skills

In addition to providing a massive amount of resources and good ideas, the books is well written and easy to read.  It's not at all  "academic" in its vernacular.  You don't have to have an Ed.S. to understand it.  Dr. Armstrong's goal is to provide useful information rather than a professional or highly academic discussion, and he surpasses that goal with his book's structure and word choice.

I also found the book to be very personally applicable.  In reading the book, I realized that I am very strong in the linguistic and intrapersonal intelligences.  I can go to those sections of the book and identify strategies that can help ME learn new concepts. For example, journaling my way through new ideas is a great way for me to learn because it uses both of those strengths. 

If you interact with kids at all, this book is for you.  If you've ever struggled with getting a concept into a kid's head, this book is for you.  If you've ever wondered why your child doesn't do well in school, the book is for you. 

In short...there's a good chance this book is for you.  Check it out! 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

What I'm Reading Now: Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge

Top 5 TBR:

1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

2. Shooting Victoria by Paul Thomas Murphy

3. A Prophetic Calendar by Jill Shannon

4. Forgotten God by Francis Chan

5. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordian

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