Collaborate to Solve Compound Inequalities
Lesson Objective: Transform students into teachers using a jigsaw to solve inequalities
Grade 8 / Math / Inequalities

Thought starters

  1. What strategies does Mr. Cuccaro use to assess prior knowledge of 'and' and 'or' inequalities?
  2. How does the jigsaw activity create ownership and incorporate shared accountability within the group?
  3. How does Mr. Cuccaro assign and move students between groups?
19 Comments
I need to smile more. I love how Mr. Cuccaro smiles at his kids constantly. That's got to make the kids feel better about school and enjoy being in his class.
Recommended (0)
Thanks, Tim. I think your observation ties into a big theme of my class: "Students as dynamic thinkers, not robots." I want students to be more emotional about their connection with math. Based on the charecteristics of a given problem, equation, or even computation, students' feelings about the problem should range from being possibly annoyed to being truly psyched about how they will approach it (for good reason). The analysis of how a problem makes them feel and the reason why it does so, gives students a better connection and overall understanding of the material. I know that my energy and attitude about what I'm teaching has a direct correlation to how students' receive my lessons. I appreciate the comment. Smile on.
Recommended (2)
Great engaging activity, multiple movement, and excellent start with prior knowledge inventory! THANKS! :)
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I can't wait to try this with my class! I've done Jigsaw with faculty before (I'm a middle school principal) with great success and am excited to do with students.
Recommended (1)
I have never used jigsaw with students before and you make it look so doable. Can't wait to try it!
Recommended (1)

Transcripts

  • TEACHING CHANNEL
    INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN CUCCARO

    KEVIN CUCCARO:
    Hello, hello. Come on in. If there aren't any other questions on the

    TEACHING CHANNEL
    INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN CUCCARO

    KEVIN CUCCARO:
    Hello, hello. Come on in. If there aren't any other questions on the homework, we are going to get into what I call a jigsaw activity. We’ve done group work in here, but we've never quite done this. It actually flips the role of you as a student and puts you in the role of a teacher.
    (interview)
    The objective of today's jigsaw activity is to have the students, number one, engage in mathematical discourse.
    STUDENT 1:
    I don't think you have to flip the signs there, though. I think it's only when it's the bottom.
    KEVIN CUCCARO:
    On top of that would be that they would actually get the sense of responsibility, owning a problem and knowing that they're going to be responsible for teaching it to their peers.
    (class)
    You are sitting in your letter group.
    (interview)
    A jigsaw activity is a time for children to work with basically two different groups: a vertical group, which in this case is their letter group, and a horizontal group, and that's going to be their number group.
    (class)
    You’re going to have an objective in your letter group. That is to complete the prior knowledge inventory, which is actually in your folders. I’m going to give you about five minutes.
    (interview)
    Checking in for prior knowledge is a must. I really needed to make sure that they had the basic understanding and the difference between an and-compound inequality and an or, because we're going to need that for that activity.
    STUDENT 2:
    Let’s say there's, you had to be 12 years old and younger to go into a restaurant, or 80 and older. It would be --
    KEVIN CUCCARO:
    You just said "or" there, so are we talking about ands or ors?
    STUDENT 2:
    80 and...No, I'm confused.
    KEVIN CUCCARO:
    No, that's good, let's roll with that. So could you think of one person in your life, maybe a relative, that is less than 12 and greater than 80.
    STUDENT 2:
    No.
    KEVIN CUCCARO:
    So the solution for an and has to fit both, like we just saw with Kieran's example, whereas for an or it's not like we have a choice. It can't fit both. It can't be both less than 12 and greater than 80, so it has to be one or the other. So you're going to use that knowledge as you move on to your number groups. Please do that right now. Take a walk with your clipboard, your prior knowledge sheet. And that said, you do not need to bring calculators. So group three is over here, if you're looking for 'em.
    (interview)
    Now they'll be in a group with three new people. It’s at that point where they're gonna really have the heart of the activity, where they're going to be exploring, investigating a unique problem. And then they'll take that information that they learned from that group, and then I’ll say switch again, and they'll go back to the vertical group that they originally started in. And it's at that point where they will actually be able to teach and guide their peers through their special case.
    STUDENT 3:
    So our special case is you have to remember to put this sign.
    STUDENT 4:
    So the answer is X is more than negative two, or X is less than...
    KEVIN CUCCARO:
    The jigsaw activity does something that normal group work doesn't always do. That is, to create ownership of something.
    (class)
    Give me the word that I’m looking for. One...
    STUDENT 5:
    One inequality!
    KEVIN CUCCARO:
    Oh my gosh, that's it! One inequality.
    (interview)
    The kids really feel like they have to know their stuff in order to be able to go back to their original group and teach it.
    (class)
    Nicki, I feel like you were sort of on to something.
    (interview)
    Today with the jigsaw activity, I mean, you just immediately see kids, oh, you know, just kind of like springing out of their seats to be part of it and to make sure that, yeah, I have this down and I’m gonna be good at this.
    (class)
    Hold on a second. Good discussion. Do you guys feel like you could possibly teach this type of special case to someone? OK, so I got one yes.
    (interview)
    Cases like today, where the kids are just so engrossed in the discussion of the problem, you kind of have to throw time out the window. As a teacher you have to realize, there's gonna be another lesson. For the next class, they're gonna come in but they will go back to their original groups, they will jigsaw again. And at that time I’m going to basically ask, OK, whoever had special case one in group one, it is your time to teach right now.
    (class)
    Take care, guys, we'll see ya. Nicely done. Nicely done.
    * * *END OF AUDIO* * *
    * * *END OF TRANSCRIPT* * *

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Kevin Cuccaro
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