Brief introduction to the topic of salt water marshes
In this particular step the teacher will give a brief introductory presentation on the topic of salt water marshes. He/she will discuss aspects related to how salt marshes form, their environmental impact, what animal and plant species exist within such areas and how important they are to the local ecosystem (Farndon, 2003).
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The rationale behind this particular step is help students gain a brief understanding of the ecology of salt water marshes before they proceed on the topic on their own. It can be considered a guide of sorts in helping them know what to research, how the research should proceed and what they should present.
Separating the class into teams of 6
The basics of a Jigsaw activity is having students investigate particular aspects of a topic on their own and then piece together the information into a learning activity where students become the teachers to other students helping to facilitate a unique learning environment (Souvignier & Kronenberger, 2007).
This particular activity is done in order to help facilitate the creation of numerous unique views about a topic instead of basing all answers from just one point of view.
Having each 2 individuals per team create a brief impact report for either tidal changes, plants and animals (Emphasize information regarding environmental impact)
For this particular step each 6 team group is divided into teams of two individuals that will research topics on tidal changes, plants or animals within Salt water marshes and how each aspect is interconnected in the local ecosystem.
By separating the research into groups of two this enables the development of several points of view regarding one particular topic instead of a singular overriding view created by the group (Souvignier & Kronenberger, 2007).
Have the 2 individual members per team that are working on the same topic meet together and share ideas on what they learned about tidal changes, plants or animals
In this particular part of the activity what is done is to have the two members of each group that are researching about their respective topics meet up and share their views. This is done so that different aspects regarding the same topic are exchanged resulting in a much broader view about the topic they were given and how best to present the topic back to their own group.
Have the teams meet up again and share the information they learned in order for all members of the team to be brought up to speed on all aspects of the topic
The essence of the Jigsaw activity is to bring together various different views regarding different aspects of a topic and combine them into a cohesive and understandable whole. As such by having each two person team responsible for their topic teach their group members about the topic they learned this makes them more excited about the topic and about teaching it.
Inform the students that a brief quiz will be done on saltwater marshes and that they have a 15 minute review period where they should try to confirm all information accumulated
This particular activity is done to facilitate greater learning interest for the individual topics and should encourage students to actually listen to what is being said.
Quizzes will be handed out to evaluate group performance
This aspect of the activity is done in order to evaluate overall group performance by taking the average of each group’s quiz scores and comparing them to the rest of the other groups.
Individual essay assignments will be given to determine individual performance based on arguments presented on each individual topic
This aspect of the activity is done in order to evaluate how well individual students understood an assignment and how they are able to voice their own unique opinions and perspectives on it.
Evaluating Individual Performance
Evaluating individual performance when utilizing the Jigsaw learning activity can be done in two ways: a take home essay assignment involving the specific part of saltwater marshes that particular student was assigned to or individual quizzes.
The inherent problem with utilizing individual quizzes which are tailor made for that particular topic is that it makes it harder on teachers to evaluate average scores for all members of the class due to different tests as compared to a single quiz that’s for the entire topic and given to all the students to answer.
The advantage of utilizing an essay format is that it enables a teacher to evaluate the views of the students and the strength of their arguments.
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While facts are an important factor in an essay the presentation of the arguments and the way in which students use their own words to create an essay on the topic they were given helps to determine each student’s individual performance in light of how well they write the essay (Souvignier & Kronenberger, 2007).
A well written essay is indicative of a high level of performance and as such is a good measure of evaluating each student based on what they learned.
Evaluating Group Performance
An evaluation of group performance utilizing the Jigsaw learning activity can be done by giving a short evaluative quiz covering different aspects of salt water marshes.
What must be understood is that due to the nature of the Jigsaw learning process where students themselves become teachers that educate their peers after learning more about the precise topic they were studying about, the only means of determining whether the group as a whole was able to learn anything from the activity is to evaluate the average test score of the group as a whole and compare it with the other groups that were also part of the activity.
Overall group averages can be used as units of measurement to determine which group did better or worse. It must also be noted that one way of encouraging greater group performance is to inform students that the group, not the individual, with the highest average score will be given a reward for the task.
While the reward itself can constitute a variety of different advantages or exceptions (i.e. exemptions from certain tests or bonus scores) by offering reward for greater overall group performance this would encourage a greater degree of information sharing among different members of the group especially in cases where more advanced students would try to help the slower students with certain aspects that they don’t understand.
Facilitating this particular activity can be done by giving students 10 to 15 minutes before the start of the quiz to create a “drill period” where information sharing and fact checking is encouraged among all members of the group so as to ensure that all members and not just a few individuals will be able to get high marks.
Farndon, J. (2003). Marshes and wetlands. In , Plants (p. 59). Mason Crest Publishers. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Souvignier, E., & Kronenberger, J. (2007). Cooperative learning in third graders’ jigsaw groups for mathematics and science with and without questioning training. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(4), 755-771.