Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jigsaw Cooperative Groups

First of all, my observation went well!  According to my post observation conference, the lesson objectives were met, the kids did what they were supposed to do and my principal enjoyed it.  (I am pretty happy considering it was the 100th day of school, we were out of our routine and Zero the Hero had left us donuts and cookies for breakfast!)

Now JIGSAW.  We had a professional development on using jigsaw for cooperative group lessons a few weeks ago.  I have to admit, when I saw the title I groaned a little and thought NO WAY.  Jigsaw never works when we have to do it in trainings...and we are adults.  How in the world can it work with first graders?  Then we watched a video...and learned a little more...and by the end I was ready to try it WITH MY FIRST GRADERS!  2 of my teammates tried it for their evaluations.  Both lessons went well, so I decided to try it with my reading group.  Of course, I modified and extended it like I seem to do with everything, so if you want to learn how to do a true jigsaw, you might want to read up on it {here}!

Here was what we did:
Day One: Home Groups- I had 3 groups with 5 students in each group.  All were researching penguins, but each student had a different area (can, have, are, eat, live) they were focusing on.   There was no recording of information, they were just reading about penguins in several informational non-fiction books about penguins.

Day Two: Expert Groups- The students worked in their "expert" groups.  All students who were in charge of "can" worked together, those in charge of "have" worked together, etc.  In these groups, they created a circle map where they recorded  information they learned about their "expert area."  I had several informational non-fiction books about penguins available.  They were allowed to use any or all of them.
(On a side note, it was great seeing them using the text features to locate the information they needed for their area!)  I had to stress that they could not just add information they thought they knew about penguins.  They had to prove that the information was a fact!

Day Three: Home Groups- The students went back to their home groups and TAUGHT what they were an "expert" in.  (TAUGHT is the key work here.  The did not just say, "Penguins swallow their food whole."  They had to explain why penguins do this!)  To help them stay actively engaged and remember what they learned from each expert, they recorded the new information on the back of their circle map.

Day Four: Creating a tree map with Popplet.  Popplet is an AWESOME free app for iPads.  If you have not used it, I suggest you go check it out!  It literally only took a few minutes to train the firsties how to use it.

Talk about ALL students being actively engaged!  They wouldn't have even noticed if Sponge Bob walked into our room!
At the end of this activity, we snapped a picture (screen shot) of our Popplets to use the next day.

Day Five:  We used our Tree Maps to write our penguin reports!

Since we saved the screen shot as a picture, we could easily enlarge it to see our information!
My students really liked using jigsaw!  Have you used it or something similar?


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