What Is This?
This method provides students the time and structure for thinking about a given topic or question. It enables them to formulate individual thoughts and share them with a peer and the class. Think-Pair-Share builds oral communication skills while providing an opportunity for all students to share their thinking with at least one other student. Students’ sense of involvement in classroom learning increases when actively engaging in conversation. Think-Pair-Share also helps students develop the ability to draw conclusions through considering other points of view.
How To Use It?
Think: Begin with a specific question, provide students with time to individually think about an answer and document their responses on their own. (1-3 min)
Pair: Pair students. When pairing, pay attention to student strengths and their personalities. Ask the students to share and discuss what they came up with. You can provide questions for the students to ask one another. (5-15 min)
Share: For this part, come back together as a class and have a whole class discussion. You can either choose to have one person from each pair, share with the class, or conduct an open discussion. Students can also share with the class what their partner has said.
When To Use?
Teachers can use the think-pair-share strategy at a number of learning junctions:
- Before introducing a new topic to assess prior knowledge.
- When presenting students with thought provoking questions, dilemmas or discussion.
- After reading a text or watching a film to encourage opinion formation and critical thinking.
- Before students begin an assignment, in order to help them gather ideas.
How To Assess?
Think-Pair-Share can be used as a formative assessment tool; as students discuss their ideas, the teacher can circulate and listen to the conversations while using a prepared rubric for assessing both knowledge and dialogue. Teachers can also provide students with a learning task to be completed while sharing ideas in pairs.