Skip to navigation Skip to content

#WINSDAYS – Dive Deeper

Sometimes we can’t cover everything in the #Winsdays with Winnie videos. If you have more in-depth questions, though, we’d love to share the answers with everyone. Here we’ll post Winnie and other faculty’s answers to all your burning #Winsdays with Winnie questions!


Is the 3 before me strategy applicable to all questions, including content questions? How about during class?

Thanks for asking. The 3 before me strategy can be used for all sorts of questions, so set the standard and see where it takes you.

Content questions are especially important to use 3 before me… the bright students who can think quickly can learn how to rely on others, and have others rely on them. 

You can use it in class too. Perhaps you say “who would like to weigh in on this question?” or “I wonder who in class might have some insight about that.”  You are also free to answer if you wish.

Remember: we are teaching students HOW, not just WHAT. Strategies like ‘3 before me’ prepare them to be on teams and be resourceful within those teams.


I have used the jigsaw classroom somewhat, and the barrier that prevents me from using it more is just doing the grouping and re-grouping process multiple times within the course.

Is there an app or online resource that I could enter in students names,  then have the app do the grouping- regrouping  for me?

[Responses from Winnie Dunn, Whitney Henderson and Tiffany Bolton]

Winnie Dunn: I have a couple of thoughts and I am copying my colleagues at MIZZOU who use Jigsaw Classroom so they can weigh in as well.

First, you don’t need to change groups every time. Just as we have a stable team in practice, students benefit from developing a working relationship with each other. So you could mix them up 0, 1 or 2 times in a whole semester. Remember a guiding principle of #WINSDAYS is teaching students HOW while we are teaching them WHAT.

Second, the main thing to focus on when setting groups for Jigsaw are the expert groups. The home groups form from one person (or 2 if you have uneven groups) from each expert group, so ifyou change the experts, the home groups naturally change.

I am not aware of any program to do this. I have set up various formats in EXCEL so I can plug the next class names into them.

I hope this helps… keep up the mindful teaching!

Whitney Henderson: One thing I did with a class this summer was to form 2 sets of groups that remained the same for the entire semester. One group was their home group, they divided readings and taught each other the material and completed all group assignments as a team. 

The second set of groups I formed were discussion board groups. The discussion board groups consisted of one member from each home team. I gave them discussion board prompts that would allow them to discuss what each of their home teams were focusing on, see how different each group was, and provide outside feedback. Then each member could take that new info back to their home teams to enrich their discussions further. 

The students really liked it and have asked other faculty if it’s a possibility for their group work this fall. I only had to set the groups at the beginning of the semester so it didn’t add much to my plate! Let me know if you have questions!

Tiffany Bolton: I agree with Winnie that I’m not aware of any app that does the group and I typically just use an online list randomize site to do the initial grouping. 

However, I have impromptu decided to do this in class several times. I just have students place themselves in their first group. I’ll then just walk around the room right before the regrouping and just number each group member off. I’ll say all the ones form a new group, all the twos, etc. This way saves time figuring out the regroup process!