Assessment for Learning
The Think-Pair-Share strategy is designed to differentiate instruction by providing students time and structure for thinking on a given topic, enabling them to formulate individual ideas and share these ideas with a peer. This learning strategy promotes classroom participation by encouraging a high degree of pupil response, rather than using a basic recitation method in which a teacher poses a question and one student offers a response. Additionally, this strategy provides an opportunity for all students to share their thinking with at least one other student which increases their sense of involvement in classroom learning. This strategy helps students develop conceptual understanding of a topic, develop the ability to filter information and draw conclusions, and develop the ability to consider other points of view.
Think: Teacher introduces a higher-level question about the topic students will be discussing. Students “think” about what they know or have learned about the topic for a given amount of time.
Pair: Each student will be paired with another student (either by the teacher or students can choose their own). Students share their thinking with the partner, discuss ideas, and ask questions of their partner about their thoughts on the topic.
Share: Once partners have had time to share with each other the discussion can be expanded into a whole-class discussion.
As students discuss their ideas, the teacher can circulate and listen to the conversations taking place and respond accordingly. Teachers may also ask students to write or diagram their responses while doing the Think-Pair-Share activity. The students can use the following questions as a guideline to help their response:
- What have I learned?
- What have I found easy?
- What have I found difficult?
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Think-Pair-Share is a great tool because it:
- promotes classroom participation
- can be used at any age
- can be planned or impromptu
- encourages higher-level discussions