Saturday, February 05, 2011

What I Learned Today: The Jigsaw Classroom Reading Technique

One of the aspects about my teaching I've been working on this past year is engaging students with assigned readings. I did a short literature review and found some articles about various ways for students to engage with the readings before they come to class (next post will be about one such approach I'll be using this Spring).

While at the Lilly Conference this past November, I had a conversation with Barbara Foster about the cooperative learning technique called the Jigsaw.

Basically this process divides readings into smaller amounts that groups of students are then responsible for reading and reporting back to their reading groups.

Lets say that each group has four members: member 1, member 2, member 3, member 4. During class, each member 1 from each learning group gets together to discuss their 4-10 pages, and to decide what are the most important points/info to know about that section. The same thing happens with all the member 2's, member 3's and member 4's.

Once that is finished, each reading group reforms and then member 1 teaches key info to the rest of the group members. Once she is finished, member 2 teaches their key info to the rest of the group.

The jigsaw gives learners multiple touch points with the reading, and learners also have to teach the material to their classmates.

My colleague and I have used it for one week. I'm interested in seeing what will happen this upcoming class.