Multiple Abilities Strategy in 5th Grade
The Multiple Abilities Strategy is a strategy that teachers use to launch a lesson or task that involves collaborative groupwork. It is a way to communicate to students the variety of strengths and abilities, including skills, understandings, and mathematics practices, that are required to be successful in a given task.
Watch Kelli Riggs use the Multiple Abilities Strategy to help her students tackle a complex math task.
The Hot Shots Soccer Team is a complex task from Unit 5.9 of the SFUSD Math Core Curriculum. To plan for the Multiple Abilities Strategy, Kelli first made a list of abilities, including strategies and mathematical strengths, needed to be successful with the task.
Next she considered her students particular strengths and used these to focus the list.
Here is the list that Kelli made:
Launching the Task
Kelli let her students know that they all bring different strengths to any task, and shared the list she made with them. She reminded them that each of them could do some of these things on the list and that members of each group could combine their strengths to be successful and learn together from this task.
During the Task
As students worked, Kelli noted when she saw students using their strengths, whether they were listed or not. Some of her feedback was given to groups, and some was made publicly to the whole class.
When you summarize the lesson, refer to the list and discuss the things you and students saw and how they helped their group. You can ask students to add strategies they used while doing the task that are not on the list.