My instructional coach is a lover of the jigsaw cooperative learning structure. I've used it a few times but I have not yet reached the stage of lover. I tried it for the first time in my class of 25 anddddddd.....it didn't go so well. I had them line up from smallest shoe size to largest without talking. Then I counted them into groups of four. I ended up with six different groups which totally threw me off. I only had four problems prepared. What I did was create a worksheet of eight problems, four different types. One was worked out as a reference example. Their task was to complete one problem and teach it to their group. I just totally messed up the logistics.
I don't want to explain all that, I want to focus on the reflection I had with my class after that. I asked them what they thought about the activity and they did a GREAT job of raising their hands and listening to each other speak. Their comments were that the activity took too much time due to all the moving back and forth between groups. They also said there were too many people trying to talk and explain at the same time. It ended up being loud, noisy, and crazy. Also some of them said they like to get right to work instead of wasting time moving around and explaining. They preferred working in pairs to groups. I told them we could compromise on working in pairs if we worked in some way where students are explaining to each other since that is the most beneficial part. They came up with the idea to have pairs pair up and explain to each other. I'm okay with that idea.
I later talked to my instructional coach and we figured out how I screwed everything up. So I will try jigsaw again at some point. But I really liked the fact that my last two blog posts have been positive, real-life example of problem-solving and collaboration. I hope that I am improving their ability to reflect and self-assess. I hope. I feel like we are working together as a team for the good of all. Aww, fuzzy butterflies and bear hugs. Now, how can I do a better job and do it in every class?
Something I need to reflect on I suppose.