Menus for Learning and Assessment
September 30, 2019

Traditional assessments call upon students to use pencil and paper to show learning. When we take this common approach, we can neglect students who are gifted in other ways. What if we had a different lens? What if there was a way to assess learning while tapping into the genius of each and every child? 


We’ve blended Howard Gardner’s work around multiple intelligences with the Empowered-Learning Approach and created these Assessment Menus: Grades K–2 Assessment Menu | Grades 3–5/Middle School Assessment Menu. Give them try, inviting students to tap into their preferred way of learning and processing information. 

Here are three steps to guide your practice: 

  1. Ignite Curiosity. Ask, “What are we curious about?” or “What kinds of question(s) are we answering?” Model Habit 2 by inviting students to write the learning target in their own words. Get super clear about the end in mind. 
  2. Investigate. Ask, “How will we learn?” Perhaps some students prefer to work alone while others are eager to work with a partner or a small group. Students may also have ideas about the types of resources they’ll need in this time of discovery. 
  3. Invite Connections. Ask, “How will we know we mastered the learning?” Maximize empowerment by encouraging students to identify their kind of smart and choose from a variety of learning and assessment options. 


Check it out: the root meaning of assess is “to sit beside.” Let’s imagine sitting beside our students as we assess learning. When we connect the Empowered-Learning Approach with Gardner’s theory on multiple intelligences, our students are able to create their own meaning, and real change—and learning—occurs.


Classroom Resources: 


Learn More: 

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