Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Investigating Evidence for Evolution (Day 2 of 4) - Section 5: The Classroom Flow: Wrapping Up


In my first lesson plans involving jigsaw activities, I envisioned circulating as students in lab groups presented their piece of the academic content puzzle, quizzing students on what they knew, and adding to/editing any remarks that seemed off the mark from my desired learning outcomes for each student.  However, instead of this process being supportive for students or a fun, easy Q and A session as a check for understanding, student presenters seemed nervous, as did their audience! As I observed this, I realized that even with my most friendly smiles and warmest voice tones, students were very aware of my position of power as the teacher and that this strategy was not working.

As I have shifted the entire questioning protocols and approach to group work (collaboration and product) in my class, my approach to jigsaw activities has also changed.  For me now, my main support role happens in the expert groups.  They are larger groups, which means when I am listening or questioning, students don't feel as worried about being called upon or singled out and they have the benefit and support of a larger group of peers when asking questions, ones they might have felt were not smart questions if they had only been vetted by two or three classmates at their lab group tables.  On the day of the jigsaw share out, I stay very quiet and very much out of the way.  I take notes about the discussions and questions I am overhearing, I observe groups closely for body language and group dynamics, and I take note of when specific groups are finishing up their conversations.  

Based upon those observations, I can then get the entire group back together and discuss their major takeaways as well as their lingering questions.  I can also share back with them things I had overheard throughout the teams in order to generate more clarifying questions.  

I'd love to hear how you work with jigsaw activities to make them the most effective and valuable learning experiences for our students! 

  Supporting Student Share Outs in a Jigsaw Activity
  Adjustments to Practice: Supporting Student Share Outs in a Jigsaw Activity
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Investigating Evidence for Evolution (Day 2 of 4)

Unit 8: Unit 8: Evolution & Biological Diversity
Lesson 7 of 11

Objective: SWBAT identify, describe, and analyze the four major areas of scientific evidence for evolution.

Big Idea: Use this jigsaw activity and research paper analysis to get students analyzing the different types of scientific evidence in support of evolution!

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