You are on page 1of 3

What Is Think-Pair-Share?

Think-Pair-Share is a cooperative discussion strategy developed by Frank Lyman and his colleagues in Maryland. It gets its name from the three stages of student action, with emphasis on what students are to be DOING at each of those stages.

How Does It Work?
1) Think. The teacher provokes students' thinking with a question or prompt or observation. The students should take a few moments (probably not minutes) just to THINK about the question. 2) Pair. Using designated partners (such as with Clock Buddies), nearby neighbors, or a deskmate, students PAIR up to talk about the answer each came up with. They compare their mental or written notes and identify the answers they think are best, most convincing, or most unique. 3) Share. After students talk in pairs for a few moments (again, usually not minutes), the teacher calls for pairs to SHARE their thinking with the rest of the class. She can do this by going around in round-robin fashion, calling on each pair; or she can take answers as they are called out (or as hands are raised). Often, the teacher or a designated helper will record these responses on the board or on the overhead.

Why Should I Use Think-Pair-Share?
We know that students learn, in part, by being able to talk about the content. But we do not want that to be a free-for-all. Think-Pair-Share is helpful because it structures the discussion. Students follow a prescribed process that limits off-task thinking and off-task behavior, and accountability is built in because each must report to a partner, and then partners must report to the class. Because of the first stage, when students simply THINK, there is Wait Time: they actually have time to think about their answers. Because it is silent thinking time, you eliminate the problem of the eager and forward students who always shout out the answer, rendering unnecessary any thinking by other students. Also, the teacher has posed the question, and she has EVERYONE thinking about the answer, which is much different from asking a question and then calling on an individual student, which leads some students to gamble they won't be the one out of 30 who gets called on and therefore they don't think much about the question. Students get to try out their answers in the private sanctuary of the pair, before having to "go public" before the rest of their classmates. Kids who would never speak up in class are at least giving an answer to SOMEONE this way. Also, they often find out that their answer, which they assumed to be stupid, was actually

which has been demonstrated to be a powerful factor in improving student responses to questions. Share is a structure first developed by Professor Frank Lyman at the University of Maryland in 1981 and adopted by many writers in the field of co-operative learning since then. Equal participation Each student within the group has an equal opportunity to share. It is possible that one student may try to dominate. It is a simple strategy. The teacher can check this does not happen. listening. It is a very versatile structure. which has been adapted and used.not stupid at all. are powerful reasons to employ Think-Pair-Share in order to structure students' thinking and their discussion. 2.readingquest. summarising others¶ ideas. sharing ideas. It is important that students need to be able to share their partner¶s ideas as well as their own. effective from early childhood through all subsequent phases of education to tertiary and beyond. discussing. and they also often elaborate on their answer or think of new ideas as the partners share. It introduces into the peer interaction element of co-operative learning the idea of µwait or think¶ time.html Think. Teacher gives the students µthink time¶ and directs them to think about the question. Share Think. Simultaneous interaction . The student may also be required to share their partner¶s ideas to another pair or whole group. Pair. The pair then share their ideas with another pair. RELEVANT SKILLS Sharing information. paraphrasing. STEPS 1. communication. This is one of the foundation stones for the development of the µco-operative classroom.. asking questions. PIGSF Positive interdependence The students are able to learn from each other Individual accountability Students are accountable to each other for sharing ideas. or with the whole class. developing thinking.org/strat/tps. Pair. http://www.perhaps their partner thought of the same thing. Students also discover that they rethink their answer in order to express it to someone else.¶ PURPOSE Processing information.. Teacher poses a problem or asks an open-ended question to which there may be a variety of answers. These. 3. in an endless number of ways. 4. it seems. Following the µthink time¶ students turn to face their Learning Partner and work together. clarifying and challenging.

At the end of a teacher explanation. Think. Any time. During teacher modeling or explanation.¶ It ensures a high level of engagement (it is hard to be left out of a pair!) and is more secure than a large group. Longer and more elaborate answers can be given. rules of a game.High degrees of interaction. www. CURRICULUM IDEAS Think. Answers will have reasons and justifications because they have been thought about and discussed. COMMENTS This is an essential structure to introduce early in the process of establishing the µco-operative classroom. Share can be used in all curriculum areas and is limited only by the creativity of the teacher.eazhull. Share has many advantages over the traditional questioning structure. Students are more willing to take risks and suggest ideas because they have already µtested¶ them with their partner._pair. to check understanding of material.org.htm . homework etc._share. The µThink Time¶ incorporates the important concept of µwait time¶. Pair. Compare this with the usual practice of teacher questioning where only one or two students would be actively engaged. demonstration etc. APPLICATIONS y y y y y y y y Before a lesson or topic to orient the class (previous knowledge etc). This structure along with Numbered Heads Together is an excellent substitute for the normally competitive structures in a question and answer session. For clarification of instructions. At any one moment all of the students will be actively engaged in purposeful speaking and listening. Pair. For the beginning of a plenary session. To break up a long period of sustained activity. It allows all children to develop answers. to enable students to cognitively process the material.uk/nlc/think. Whenever it is helpful to share ideas.