Simple Think-Pair-Share Teaching Strategies

One of the many teaching strategies for getting students to think and talk and share in groups is the think-pair-share method. This is one of the many teaching strategies that work phenomenally in a classroom setting.

Today on, frequent contributing writer Jordan Catapano, who is a seasoned high school English teacher in the Chicago suburbs, takes a look at some simple think-pair-share methods.

Jordan lays out the benefits of think-pair-share, including:

·      Students can listen to another peer and compare their responses.
·      Students can practice articulating their thoughts prior to a class-wide discussion.
·      Students can enhance their understanding by being better prepared to participate in and listen to a class discussion.

He dives deeper into each component of think-pair-share, including these notes on making the pair part meaningful:

·      Ask students to “Compare” answers, and add their partner’s idea to their own notes if they like it.
·      Walk around and listen to as many student answers as possible.

Jordan sums up his article like this: “To make sure you make the most out of this strategy, consider some of these final suggestions. First, make sure you explain your reason for doing think-pair-share with your students. When they understand the purpose and the process, they’re more likely to reach the anticipated outcomes. Second, don’t feel like you need to always plan your think-pair-share discussions in advance: This works great for on-the-spot discussions you suddenly decide to have! Finally, it makes sense to try modeling the procedure with students first, early in the year. This will help show students what exactly they ought to do at each step along the way and helps them feel more comfortable knowing they are engaging in the task properly. It’s not complicated, but clear instructions lead to great outcomes!”

Have you used think-pair-share teaching strategies in your class? Tell us your tips for making the most of this activity in the comments section!