Reflection: Adjustments to Practice DNA Discoveries: How Did We Get From Then to Now? (Day 1 of 4) - Section 4: The Classroom Flow: Looking Ahead to Tomorrow's Work


I am a big fan of jigsaw activities!  I have found that when students are responsible for presenting information to their peers, this scaffolded activity gives them the support they need to tackle challenging concepts and academic language, practice public speaking and effective communication skills, and grow in their independence and confidence when it comes to asking for support and following up with clarification questions with each other and with me.

At the same time, I have often felt that I have still needed to build in an additional day to reteach everything the students did during the jigsaw activity just to make sure there were no gaps in content presentation...that is, until this lesson experience.  Here, I added in an additional day for role playing.  By adding this twist within the more traditional jigsaw lesson structure, I gave students additional opportunities to learn on their own and with each other and was able to take much more focused clarifying questions at the end of the session that showed me just how unnecessary any additional lecturing from me the following day would be.

Because of our success with this student driven model, I experimented again with a slightly different jigsaw activity in our evolution unit where students created a poster and again in a later unit with a concept map and finally, a movement activity.  I am really interested in approaching my lesson planning for next year with this in mind.  The more I can create scenarios where students are in the role of experts and I can be confident that the information being transmitted between students is accurate and clear, the more satisfied I'll be that I am helping my students to gain skills they can use in many different situations both in and outside of the classroom.

  The Benefits of Jigsaw Activities
  Adjustments to Practice: The Benefits of Jigsaw Activities
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DNA Discoveries: How Did We Get From Then to Now? (Day 1 of 4)

Unit 7: Unit 7: DNA & Protein Synthesis
Lesson 1 of 22

Objective: SWBAT trace the evolution of scientific thought and research into the structure of DNA.

Big Idea: Use an engaging jigsaw activity and drama strategy to give students the chance to trace the history of DNA!

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student working on dna disc chart day
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