BEST District - January 24, 2017

The What and Why

Think-Pair-Share is a collaborative learning strategy where students work together to think through a question/task. This strategy encourages individual participation in order for the pair/group to succeed. It teaches students to share ideas with classmates and build oral communication skills. The thinking process works through these three specific steps.

Think: Pose a Guiding Question

Provide a guiding question that students consider for 1-2 minutes. This question should encourage students to contemplate what they know or have learned about a topic.

Pair: Form Groups

Have students form pairs or groups (shoulder partners, face partners, etc.). Give each student an opportunity to share their thinking to the other member(s) of the group. This step can last anywhere from 2-5 minutes.

Share: Re-group

Return back to a whole-class discussion. The portion of this discussion connects the small group discourse to the whole group conversation.

When to Use

  • Before introducing new material (accessing prior knowledge)
  • After watching a short YouTube Video
  • After reading a short text to begin a discussion
  • Before students begin an assignment


  • At the "Think", one meaningful adaptation would be to have students write/draw their thinking prior to transitioning to the next step.
  • After "Pair", have partners "Square" with another pair to discuss ideas, making a group of 4.

Fun Alternatives to Think-Pair-Share