It’s no secret! Students love using the Jigsaw Method to learn new information and teach their peers. In this post, I will share a few tips for how to win big with your students. Just follow these easy steps.
Why Do Students Love Jigsaw?
Cooperative learning, as a whole, works on the principles that students love to work with peers, talk, and have fun. The Jigsaw Method includes all three of these elements.
Students also love the authority this teaching method gives them. Within their expert groups, students become the teacher and are responsible for sharing their part of the information with the whole class. This gives them ownership, another thing students love.
How-To Win BIG Using Jigsaw
First of all, if you need a quick refresh on the strategy before reading on, check out this post.
Step #1 – Set Students Up For Success
There are a lot of moving parts to completing a Jigsaw activity including:
- chunking the information equally
- making expert groups
- learning the information
- presenting the information
Students should know before they get started exactly what the expectations are. Examples and non-examples are a valuable way to show students what you are looking for, especially when it comes to presentations.
Step #2 – Schedule Enough Time
Every classroom is different, so the amount of time your students need will be entirely up to you. Dedicate time to reading and digesting the information in their chunk, discussing it with their expert group, planning for the presentation and creating materials, and finally for presentations and assessment.
Rushing in any one of these areas can lead to disaster.
Step #3 – Check In Often
In order to make sure you are giving students the just right amount of time and they are meeting expectations, it is important to check in with each group, and sometimes individual students, often.
These frequent check-ins will allow you to not only get the timing right, but make sure they are on the right track and not working under any misconceptions.
Step #4 – Provide a Choice of Materials and Methods for Jigsaw Presentations
One of my favorite things about this collaborative strategy is the unique ways students come up with to present their information to the class. While I provide students with a list of ideas, I have been blow away with the unique presentation methods they have used.
Having an expansive choice of presentations methods and materials allows each group to present in the way that best fits them. For instance, I had one group that was horrified at the idea of standing in front of the room, but happily created a movie trailer they could play that included all the necessary information.
Step #5 – Leave Time for Questions
Just like when we are presenting information, expert groups should be prepared to answer questions from their peers. This keeps them accountable, but also allows students not in the expert group to clear up any misconceptions or confusion.
While I have always given students the first opportunity to answer any question I stand at the ready to help.
Win Big with the Jigsaw Method!
By following these easy steps you are sure to wow your students and win BIG with this cooperative strategy.
Ready to Try a Jigsaw Today?
Check out these pre-made Jigsaw resources that include chunked informational passages, ideas for presentations, scaffolded note-taking pages, and an assessment.