Jigsaw Strategy: An Interpersonal Approach to Basic Rock Types
by Chase Young
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Interpersonal instructional strategies require more than grouping students to complete a task. True cooperative learning is characterized by positive interdependence, individual accountability, proactive interaction, application of social skills, and a reflection period where students can process the aspects their cooperative learning groups (Canter & Winberry, 2001). The jigsaw strategy exemplifies these characteristics while promoting learning through the interpersonal model. The strategy moves through three phases; first, the groups are structured, next the students acquire expertise, and finally students return to original learning clubs to disseminate the acquired information (Silver, Hanson, Strong, & Swartz, 2003). 
 
First, three heterogeneous will be formed in order to study rocks. Each student in the group will be assigned one subtopic containing one of the three basic rock groups—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. The goal will be explained that each student will become an expert on their subtopic, and after careful research and discussion, will report back to the group to share their expertise (Canter & Winberry, 2001).  
 
After the learning clubs have been separated by subtopics, students move into phase two by individually research their area of expertise. This will be done with aid of the internet, and non-fiction books from the library. Student will practice asking relevant questions, and finding the answers through research.  Once students have had adequate time to find out as much as possible, they will meet with the other experts from their subtopics. The meeting will be structured where students will ask other experts questions and seek clarifications. Experts will determine the most important facts in regards to their type of rock. Good questions will be written down for teacher’s use on the assessment. Finally, the experts will collaborate on the best ways to present their expertise to their original learning clubs (Canter & Winberry, 2001). 
 
In the last phase of the jigsaw strategy, students return to their learning clubs to educate their groups on the subtopics to complete the understanding of the three basic rock types. Each student will be held accountable for knowing the properties and origin of all three types. Students will be informed that each student will independently complete a graphic organizer of a blank rock cycle. In this synthesis activity, students will use their new schema to discover the scientific process that propels the rock cycle (Canter & Winberry, 2001). 
 
Finally, students will process the jigsaw strategy through a reflection in terms of what went well, what needs to be changed in the future, the effectiveness of their cooperation, and how they individually performed as a professor of expertise (Canter & Winberry, 2001). It is imperative that students practice the three principles of self-directed learning. Student will reflect on their abilities to manage themselves, self monitor, and their self modification skills based on their monitoring (Costa & Kallick, 2000). Students will make informed decisions for future use in cooperative learning activities. 
 
Dr. Johnson (Canter & Winberry, 2001) mentioned that most educators’ implementation of cooperative learning is actually variations of classic classroom grouping, or might be labeled pseudo-grouping.  Cooperative learning through the jigsaw strategy as an interpersonal teaching model is a great way to include all of the characteristics of actual cooperative learning. 
 
 
References

Canter, L., & Winberry, K. (Directors). (2001). Program 13: The Jigsaw Strategy [Motion picture]. In C. Arnold (Producer), Instructional Models and Strategies. Los Angeles: Laureate Education, Inc.

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (Eds.). (2000). Activating & engaging habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Silver, H. F., Hanson, J. R., Strong, R. W., & Schwartz, P. B. (2003). Teaching styles & strategies. Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ: The Thoughtful Education Press.









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