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Think-Pair-Share (TPS) is a strategy designed to give students with “food for thought” on given topics enabling them to create individual ideas and share these ideas with another student. Think, Pair, Share strategy is first developed by Professor Frank Lyman at the University of Maryland in 1981. After that it is used by many writers in the field of co-operative learning. It introduces into the peer interaction and improving student responses to questions.

It is a simple strategy and useful from early childhood to all subsequent phases of education. It is a very multitalented structure, which has been adapted and used in an endless number of ways. This is one of the foundation stones for the growth of the ‘co-operative classroom.’ Think-Pair-Share encourages a high degree of pupil response and can assist to keep students on task.

  • Purpose of TPS Method:
  • It Provides “think time” and increases quality of student responses.
  • Students become actively involved in thinking about the concepts presented in the lesson.
  • If we provide students time to “think-pair-share” during the lesson, more of the critical information is retained.
  • When students talk over new ideas, their misunderstandings about the topic are often discovered and resolved during this discussion stage.
  • Students are more willing to participate.
  • Think-Pair-Share is easy to use on the spur of the moment.
  • It is easy to use in large classes.
  • It helps students to think individually about a topic or answer to a question.
  • It teaches students to share ideas with classmates and builds oral communication skills.
  • It helps focus attention and engage students in comprehending the reading material.
  • Procedure to use TPS method:
  • Choose the text and develop the set of questions or tasks that target key content concepts.
  • Explain the purpose of the strategy and offer guidelines for discussions.
  • Form the model procedure to ensure that students understand how to use the strategy.
  • Observe and support students as they work through the following:

    1) Think. The teacher encourages students’ thinking with a question or task or observation. The students must take a few moments just to THINK about the question.

2) Pair. Using designated partners, nearby neighbors, or a desk mate, students PAIR up to talk about the answer. They compare their mental or written notes and identify the best answers, most believable, or most exceptional.

3) Share. After students talk in pairs for a few moments, the teacher calls for pairs to SHARE their thinking with the rest of the class. He can do this by calling on each pair; or he can take answers as they are called out or as hands are raised. Frequently, the teacher or a designated helper will record these responses on the board or on the overhead.

  • Points to be consider while using TPS method:
  • Allocate Partners – Be sure to allot discussion partners rather than just saying “Turn to a partner and talk it over.” When you don’t allot partners, students frequently turn to the most popular student and leave the other person out.
  • Change Partners – Exchange the discussion partners frequently.
  • Provide Think Time – Provide adequate “think time” to the students. And tell them give me a thumbs-up sign when they are ready to share.
  • Monitor Discussions – Walk around and monitor the discussion stage.
  • Timed-Pair-Share – If you notice that one person in each pair is dominating the conversation, you can switch to “Timed-Pair-Share.” In this modification, you provide each partner a certain amount of time to talk. For example, say that Students #1 and #3 will begin the discussion. After 60 seconds, call time and ask the others to share their ideas.
    Randomly Select Students – During the sharing stage at the end, call on students randomly and ask that person to tell what their partner said.
  • Questioning – Think-Pair-Share can be used for a single question or a series of questions. You might use it one time at the beginning of class to say “What do you know about ________?” or at the end of class to say “What have you learned today?”
  • Merits of TPS method:
  • The students are capable to learn from each other
  • Students are responsible to each other for sharing ideas. The student may also be required to share their partner’s ideas to another pair or whole group.
  • Each student within the group has an equal opportunity to share.
  • High degrees of interaction. At any one moment all of the students will be actively engaged in purposeful speaking and listening.
  • Application of TPS method:
  1. It is used before a lesson or topic to orient the class for previous knowledge.
  2. It is used during teacher modeling or explanation.
  3. It is used any time, to check understanding of material.
  4. It is used at the end of a teacher explanation, demonstration etc, to enable students to cognitively process the material.
  5. It is used to break up a long period of continued activity.
  6. It is helpful to share ideas.
  7. It is used for clarification of instructions, rules of a game, homework etc.
  8. It is used for the beginning of a plenary session.

Uses of TPS method in various subjects:

  1. Science – Making predictions about an experiment, discussing the results of an experiment, talking over charts and graphs, drawing conclusions, developing a concept through discussion, talking about environmental problems.
  2. Health – Discussing healthful practices, talking about how to handle stress, discussing proper placement of foods in food groups, analyzing problems in a diet, reviewing body systems,
  3. Social Studies – Discussing political viewpoints, learning about latitude and longitude, discussing economic trends, analyzing causes and effects of important events, discussing important contributions of historical figures
  4. Math Problem-Solving – Place a complex problem on the overhead (For example, use one of the Weekly Math Challenges found in the Math File Cabinet.) Ask students to think about the steps they would use to solve the problem, but do not let them figure out the actual answer. Without telling the answer to the problem, have students discuss their strategies for solving the problem. Then let them work out the problem individually and compare answers.
  5. Math – Practicing how to read large numbers, learning how to round numbers to various places, reviewing place value, solving word problems (as described above), recalling basic geometric terms, discussing the steps of division, discussing how to rename a fraction to lowest terms
  6. Spelling – Call out a word, have them think of the spelling, then designate one person to turn and whisper the spelling to their partner. The partner gives a thumbs-up to show agreement, or corrects the spelling. You can reveal the correct spelling by uncovering the word from a chart.
  7. Reading – Discuss character traits and motives, make predictions before a chapter or at the end of a read-aloud session, discuss the theme of a book or story, make guesses about vocabulary words based on context clues in the story, discuss the meaning of similes and metaphors in a story
  8. Language Arts – Discuss Daily Oral Language responses, discuss ways to edit or revise a piece of writing, talk over story ideas, discuss letter-writing conventions
  9. Art – Discuss elements of artistic compositions, discuss symbolism in artwork, compare and contrast the various works of a particular artist, analyze the use of color and line in works of art
  10. Music – Identify elements of musical compositions, identify instruments in musical selections, compare and contrast types of music

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