Happy cold and flu season to all and to all a good winter break!
If your Fall was anything like mine having engaging, novel, rigorous sub plans at the ready was a life saver. Over the past several months I have posted ideas for your sub days that included;
Now that we are (almost!) to the winter break where teachers will have a chance to rest and get well I want to throw one more idea your way in case you find a little time to prep some emergency Sub plans over the break (which I highly recommend!) You’ll start the new year with a feeling of security having these well thought out sub plans just waiting in their drawer ready to be deployed.
For my final installment in this series I will propose an oldie but a goodie; the jigsaw.
The basic tenet of the jigsaw is that each child (or group) has exclusive access to a piece of content. They then become the ‘expert’ on that content and come together to make the ‘pieces’ of the jigsaw come together.
I like this model because it builds social and communication skills, can be easily differentiated for various reading levels and packs a lot of content information into a manageable bite for each individual. It’s also way more engaging than a teacher telling you all the information.
I’ll give you an example from my classroom. We’ve been studying energy and it’s many possible sources. We had experimented with how wind turbines, water wheels and solar panels worked and were synthesizing learning about energy. Here were the steps of the jigsaw
- I gave groups of 3 students of a similar reading level a passage about a certain type of energy (wind, water, coal, oil, etc.) and had them get together, read the passage and come up with a plan about how to orally share the drawbacks and benefits of their type of energy with the class.
- I gave students work time and circulated, encouraging them to make a plan for presentation, whatever that looked like. Some took notes on whiteboards, some practiced aloud their presentation
- I created a large comparison chart at the front of the room and had the groups come up tot he front and present their information while I took notes on the poster
- Individual students were then asked to select two types of energy they’d learned about (one renewable, one non renewable) and compare their drawbacks and benefits in a paragraph. We had been working on opinion writing so many chose to write an opinion about which energy source was better
I hope this and the other posts I’ve shared will help you form some of your own sub plans that can keep your students engaged and moving forward even while you rest in bed.