Think-Pair-Share is a collaborative teaching strategy that enables students to work together to solve a problem or answer a question. It requires students to think about a topic individually before sharing ideas with a partner and then their classmates.
- Explain to students that they will first think individually about a topic or answer to a question. Next they will work with a partner and discuss their answers. Finally, they share ideas with the rest of the class.
- Think: Students think individually. Ask students a relevant critical-thinking question related to the health concept about which they are learning. Ask them to think about what they know or have learned about the concept for a given amount of time (usually 1 to 3 minutes).
- Pair: Each student works with a partner. Educators may choose to assign pairs or let students pick their own partner. Students share their thinking with their partner and discuss ideas (usually 2 to 5 minutes).
- Share: All students share in class discussion. Once partners share their thoughts, ask each pair to choose who will present their collective ideas with the rest of the class. Pairs may reconvene to talk about if or how their thinking has changed after the class discussion.
Think-Pair-Share helps students develop conceptual understanding of a topic or concept, develop the ability to evaluate information, consider other points of view, and draw conclusions.
This strategy promotes classroom participation, as it provides an opportunity for all students to share their thinking with at least one peer. This process may focus their attention as well as increase their comprehension of and connection to the learning material.
Think-Pair-Share can be used as an informal assessment tool. As students discuss their ideas, the educator may listen to them while circulating through the classroom.
If students work in pairs, they should be paired with sensitivity to each learner’s needs. For example, educators may pair students with respect to their language, reading, and attention skills.