The Jigsaw Method


Hey there, this is Jennifer Gonzalez for Cult of Pedagogy. In this video, I will be showing you how to use the Jigsaw Method. First I’ll show you the basic structure of
the Jigsaw, then a variation known as Jigsaw II, and finally I’ll give you some tips for
troubleshooting this strategy. So what is the Jigsaw Method? Developed by Elliot Aronson in 1971, Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy
where each student in a group takes responsibility for one chunk of the content, then teaches
it to the other group members. Like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, students
fit their individual chunks together to form a complete body of knowledge. Here are the steps of a basic jigsaw (sometimes
referred to as Jigsaw I) Step 1 is to divide students into groups of
4 to 6 people per group. Jigsaw works best when you have the same number
of students in each team, So avoid having some groups of four, some
of five, and some of six. Later in this video, I’ll show you what to do if you can’t divide
students into perfectly even teams. For this example, we’ll assume you’re working
with a class of exactly 30 students who can be divided evenly into groups of six. We’ll
call these the Jigsaw Groups. Step 2: Divide your content into 4 to 6 chunks. It’s important to divide the content into
the same number of chunks as the number of students in each group. So if you have six
students per group, break your content into six chunks. If you’re only going to have five
students in each group, then you’ll only need five chunks. Suppose you’re a history teacher and you’re
doing an overview of different types of government. You could divide your content into these chunks:
democracy, dictatorship, monarchy, republic, totalitarianism, and theocracy. By the way: These index cards just represent
chunks of content. You don’t need to use actual index cards to do jigsaw. A chunk of content can
be a section of a textbook chapter, a handout containing information, or an online resource. Step 3: Assign one chunk of content to each
person in the Jigsaw Group. Each group has one person responsible for
one chunk of the content. That person will be expected to teach that
chunk to the rest of the group. At this point, students don’t really interact
with other members of their group; they just read and study their own chunk of content
independently. Then, their independent study is fortified by the next step… Step 4: Have students meet in Expert Groups. After each student has studied his or her
chunk independently, they gather with all the other students who have been assigned
to the same chunk. These are called Expert Groups. Within each expert group, students compare
their ideas and work together to prepare some kind of presentation to give to their Jigsaw
Groups. During this time, gaps in individual students’ knowledge can be filled, misconceptions
can be cleared up, and important concepts can be reinforced. Step 5: Students return to Jigsaw Groups. Now that students have studied their chunks
in their expert groups, They return to their original jigsaw groups,
where each student takes a turn presenting their
chunk of information. Meanwhile, the other students listen carefully, take notes, and
ask lots of questions. Once the first expert has gone, the others
take their turns, As each “expert” teaches their chunk of content, The others in the group are learning it. Step 6: Assess all students on all the content. The assessment can be a simple quiz to make
sure all students got a basic understanding of all the material. Be sure to include all
content chunks in this quiz. Jigsaw II is a variation on the basic structure
of Jigsaw. Developed by Robert Slavin in 1986, Jigsaw
II makes one significant tweak to the basic Jigsaw. The difference is in how the assessment is
treated. In Jigsaw I, students are assessed individually and receive just one score. In Jigsaw II, quiz scores are given once to
individual students, then each group’s scores are averaged to generate a group score. This
builds in competition between groups and encourages students to work harder at helping each other
learn the material well. Here are a few tips for troubleshooting this
strategy. One problem you might encounter is this: What
if students don’t divide evenly? Now ideally, you’d have a perfectly divisible
group. But as we all know, that kind of perfection rarely happens, and even if you have perfection
in your plans, one absent student can throw your whole game off. First, remember that you can create groups
of 4, 5, or 6 (and some jigsaw advocates even allow
for groups of 2 or 3), so that should help minimize “extra” students. Still, if you end
up with a few extras, just assign two students in the same group the
same chunk. Now, what if some “experts” don’t teach the
material very well? If this group is depending on this one student
to teach them about monarchies, and he’s not the strongest student, that group is kind
of out of luck. You can anticipate this problem when creating
your groups. One thing you can do, if you have an uneven number of students, is pair
up two students on the same chunk who might be stronger together than they would be on
their own. Also, it’s the responsibility of the expert
group to make sure that everyone is prepared to present their chunk to their respective
jigsaw groups. If one student isn’t really getting it, make sure the rest of the group
gives that student extra preparation… So they’ll be ready to teach the material
to their jigsaw group. A full description of this strategy and its
history can be found at the Jigsaw Classroom website. Additional information about Jigsaw
was obtained from Silver, Strong, and Perini’s book, The Strategic Teacher. Now before you go, I have some stuff for you to click. Ready? I have a ton of other teaching strategy videos.
To watch some of them, click here. To subscribe to my YouTube channel and receive a notification
every time I make a new video, click here. To read more information about the Jigsaw
strategy, click here. And to visit my website, Cult of Pedagogy, which you totally should,
click this guy right here. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

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