Monday, November 26, 2012

Jigsaw Strategy

Give students an opportunity to teach.

Using the Jigsaw Strategy allows students to become "experts" on a single topic or concept.  They research and learn about their topic in small groups, taking notes, and discussing together the essentials. 

After becoming "experts", they will leave their first group and join a second small group in which they teach others about their concept.  The key for students is to teach.  They do not simply pass around their notes, copying from one another.  Rather, they verbally teach their peers about their concept.  Students who participate in self-learning, note taking, and verbally teaching will gain more in depth knowledge and understanding as they must consider how to communicate what they have learned to others.

Give students the chance to teach one another, give them control, and give them the opportunity to share their learning and expertise with others!  Give it a try, and see what you can learn! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Exit Tickets

11/19/2012  USE AN "EXIT TICKET"

One year ago when talking shop with a grade school teacher, he kept referring to his "exit tickets" in his classroom. When I asked him what one what, he was shocked that I didn't already know, because he figured all teachers (he was TFA so you can't blame him) knew about them. In case you haven't heard either:

Simply put, an exit ticket is what is says - your ticket to get you out of the room. You tell the students ahead of time what you are going to cover, and that there will be a quiz immediately afterwards. The quiz (exit ticket) is very short - easy to finish and even easier to grade. The information however, is extremely useful. You can get a really good idea of things like how well you covered the material and who needs extra attention. Read more about implementing exit tickets here, and see some good examples here.

At the high school level, it can also be advantageous to say "no one leaves until they get 100%" and then the first few to get perfect scores are your "checkers". Once you and your checkers have checked everybody, and all the mistakes have been fixed, they're set to exit. This is win win because a) problems can be fixed immediately on their part and b) you still get to see who needs more attention and who doesn't.

This week (if you have school this week) try and do one exit ticket. Or, do six of them. The point is that you're experimenting for the sake of improvement so get after it and see what you can learn.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Find a Blog


A rather simple task to start off with, and mostly for selfish reasons. Obviously you found this one, which will continue to get better with each week. Even better though, set apart some time to do some searching according to your specific subject. Ask some other teachers you know. Use your resources. There are plenty of wise people with good ideas to share out there. Go find one that can help you improve your game, ....see what you can learn.