Summary of Artifact:
The following artifact is a lesson plan that I wrote for the unit on caterpillars and butterflies I implemented with my 2nd grade students in my final field placement. Rather than just stand in front of the classroom and just talk about caterpillars, I implemented the jigsaw strategy and told the kids they were doing the teaching today. I gave them the materials, information, and instructions needed to complete the task, and I let them go off and construct their own learning. I split each student into 6 expert groups of 3 students, with two expert groups receiving the same topic to study about caterpillars. Students were to “research” and record notes about their given topics, and were then split into 3 different “learning groups” with two experts for each topic in a learning group, where they would teach each other about their topics. The students were required to collaborate and use their researching and social skills in order to identify the important information and relay it to their peers.
This artifact is a reflection of my ability to use a different perspective to engage learners in critical and creative thinking, as well as collaborative problem solving. I could have just as easily directly presented the information to my students myself, but I wanted to give them a chance to interact and collaborate with one another, thus discovering and learning on their own. The students were required to become experts on their assigned topic by reading through the information given to them. They had to discuss with one another what the most important information was that had to be recorded, and they had to be able to defend their opinions based on clues in the reading. Implementing this activity made it a much more authentic and meaningful learning opportunity for the students; they learned quickly to work together in order to maximize their efforts to become experts, as well as the importance of taking good notes when you are working in the science field.