Instructional Strategies



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Jigsaw


What is it?
Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that enables each student of a “home” group to specialize in one aspect of a learning unit. Students meet with members from other groups who are assigned the same aspect, and after mastering the material, return to the “home” group and teach the material to their group members.
How Does It Work?

  1. Students are assigned to a “home” group. Each group should consist of four or five students, the number of topics to be explored in the lesson.

  2. Each member of the home group receives a separate assignment. Use an assignment sheet, if necessary, and assign each assignment a number.

  3. Students move from their home group to an “expert” group. The expert groups consist of students with the same assignment (example: #4 Expert Group – The Great Compromise)

  4. Expert groups explore the topic in depth. The group prepares a short presentation to teach the home group.

  5. Students return to their home groups to teach the content. A graphic organizer may help home group members record the information.


Why use it?

Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each piece--each student's part--is essential for the completion and full understanding of the final product. If each student's part is essential, then each student is essential.


An Example:

The Unit Understanding (what the teacher wants students to learn):

Geographers use statistical tools to compare the characteristics of groups of people.


Assignment:

In your expert group, use your textbook and the examples from the skills activities pages to research your assigned demographic factor. Be sure to address this question: What does this factor tell geographers about whether a nation is developed or developing?

Demographic Factor:


  1. Infant Mortality Rate

  2. Per Capita GDP

  3. Life Expectancy

  4. Birthrate

  5. Quality of Life Index

  6. Literacy Rate

In your expert group develop a presentation that explains your demographic factor, answers the above question, and includes a graph that compares several countries using your factor. Underneath the graph, complete this statement for your demographic factor:

If (your factor) is high, the nation is more likely to be (developed/developing), but if (your factor) is low, the nation is more likely to be (developed/developing).



K.I.D. (and K.I.D.S.)


What is it?
K.I.D. is a framework for understanding vocabulary within the context of a lesson and for identifying the main idea of a given passage. K = Key work or concept, I = Important information (such as meaning and context), D = Drawing and S = Sentence.
How Does It Work?

  1. Choose the important terms or concepts from a passage of text you want students to comprehend. You can also guide students to words in bold print and/or let students choose their own key words and concepts.

  2. Have students create a K.I.D. chart on notebook paper (or work the format into Cornell notes or on an index card).

  3. Have students read to the passage. As students read, they take notes of information important to the term. Then students draw a picture or symbolic representation to help them remember the concept. If using the S, then have students write a sentence that explains the term and/or what is happening in the picture.

  4. Debriefing. Grade and provide individual feedback, have students share with small groups, or compile and share responses as a class.


Why use it?

This strategy is helpful because it focuses students’ attention on the main terms and concepts within a text. As they focus on those terms, they also learn the main idea and supporting details of that text. The drawing engages both sides of the brain in learning and remembering the concept and the sentence shows a greater depth of comprehension.



An Example:

K

Colonialism

I

Why did countries establish colonies?

  • looking for resources such as gold or good farmland

  • to punish their prisoners

  • some people were looking for freedom

  • countries wanted ports and military support throughout the world to protect their trade routes and business interests

D



S

Colonialism is the process used by empires that created colonies to help them get and manage more wealth for their own country or empire.

List/Group/Label


What is it?

The List/Group/Label strategy offers a simple three-step process for students to organize a vocabulary list from a reading selection. This strategy stresses relationships between words and the critical thinking skills required to recognize these relationships.



How Does It Work?

  1. Select a main topic or concept in a reading selection. The more specific the concept selected, the more understanding the students will have for the big idea (unit understanding).

  2. Have students list all words they think relate to this concept. Write student responses on the chalkboard. Note: Since the concept is presented without a specific context, many of the student suggestions will not reflect the meaning of the concept in the reading selection.

  3. Divide the class into groups of 3 or 4 students. Have these teams join together related terms from the larger list. Have the teams provide "evidence" for this grouping—that is, require the students to articulate the common features or properties of the words collected in a group.

  4. Ask the student groups to suggest a descriptive title or label for the collections of related terms. These labels should reflect the rationale behind collecting the terms in a group.

  5. Finally, have students read the text selection carefully and then review both the general list of terms and their collections of related terms. Students should eliminate terms or groups that do not match the concept's meaning in the context of the selection. New terms from the reading should be added, when appropriate. Terms should be "sharpened" and the groupings and their labels revised, when necessary.

Things to consider:

  • Students need some prior knowledge of the concept in order to brainstorm related vocabulary (not intended for teaching new concepts).

  • English learners may benefit from cognates, visuals, and structured guidance to understand labeling of categories.

Why use it?

List/Group/Label challenges students to . . .



  • List key words (especially unclear and/or technical terms) from a reading selection.

  • Group these words into logical categories based on shared features.

  • Label the categories with clear descriptive titles.




Look & List


What is it? The Look & List strategy accesses students’ background knowledge to build vocabulary prior to a reading or activity. The students are supporting the understanding of vocabulary words that they already have schema about to support the learning of other students in the classroom.

How Does It Work?



  1. Get an index card with a vocabulary term listed on one side.



  1. Place a post-it note on the back.




  1. Ask at least three different people what they think the definition is. Write what they think on the post-it note.




  1. Meet with the other people in the classroom that have the same term as you. Create a group definition and write it down.




  1. Be prepared to share with everyone after five minutes.

Why use it? The Look & List strategy is an engaging way to assess students’ schema for particular vocabulary terms and allows students to work collaboratively to determine definitions of words that will support their reading of the text.

Modifications:


  • The teacher may choose the terms and limit the number of vocabulary words being introduced. (Multiple students can be assigned the same vocabulary term.)




  • The teacher may choose to use pictures instead of terms.




  • Post-it notes are not necessary unless the teacher will be reusing the index cards.






Looping Cards


What is it?

A strategy used to review vocabulary or content over a particular unit. Loop cards, also known as 'follow me cards', provide a matching activity for your entire class. You should generate one for each student, so each student, when matched on either side, becomes a part of the loop. Shuffle them before you give them out.


How Does It Work?


  • It is important that all the cards are used for a game because they form a 'loop' and one card leads to the next. Therefore, if there are less than 30 pupils playing, some must have an extra card, and if more than 30, some must share cards.



  • One card is retained by the teacher, or adult leading the game, in order to start, finish and generally control the proceedings.




  • It is important that the cards are well shuffled and mixed up before they are distributed to pupils.

Why use it?

'Loop Card' games keep pupils engaged and attending as all students are involved and do not know when their card will come up.



An Example:



I have

Who has


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